Community Impact

Peter Block – Author of the Abundant Community & Flawless Consulting

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“Joe’s work is done with great compassion and courage. He directs a group that is applying the asset based principle of  John McKnight in new ways. The results he is achieving are significant; his group is directly bringing those on the margin into community…Joe is creating a model for care and inclusion that sets the standard for what is possible.” 

“Joe has created a small team of people who are moving from providing service to building community. His work has radical implications for social service and he has the results to show it.” 


John McKnight – Co-Founder of the ABCD Institute

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“The nature of Joe’s work is the most creative we have ever observed. The integrity and effectiveness of his efforts are models for the rest of the nation.”


Collingwood Neighbourhood House

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“Joe Erpenbeck has a unique ability to create a warm, welcoming and creative space for people to connect, share and learn together. As a skilled storyteller and facilitator, he is able to weave together heartfelt and fun filled ways to help people re-connect with their gifts of head, heart and hands and instill curiosity about their neighbours and co-workers.

Sharing practical tools and examples from elsewhere allowed the participants to leave the workshops and coaching sessions with renewed commitments to be get to know people at a deeper level. It also gave them confidence to have asset based conversations and explore many ideas on how to support the expression of gifts recognizing that different approaches work for different people and situations.

These are gifts that have lasting impacts as people begin to bring these practices into their everyday living, creating caring and contributing communities.”

Paula Carr, Director of Community Engagement & Intercultural Relations


Greater Vancouver Food Bank

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“Joe is a passionate, gifted, and engaging storyteller. “I could listen to his stories for hours” commented one participant. Staffs from all departments were talking excitedly about ways they could incorporate ABCD in their departments after Joe’s workshop. He really lit a fire for what is possible.

Joe’s commitment to noticing and then calling forth and connecting everyone’s gifts (and reminding us how to do the same) is beautifully illustrated by his work in neighbourhoods across North America. Theory doesn’t shift paradigms alone. We need stories that resonate with our common experiences to learn to work differently. Joe’s workshops balance theory and storytelling in a way that gives us practical tools for action and the inspiration needed to act and sustain our work. His work is inspirational: it is a call to action that I have seen energize and mobilize entire teams and organizations to collaborate together in new and exciting ways that strengthen the very fabric of community.

Joe’s time with us helped to build a shared understanding and common language around ABCD across all departments. He really helped strengthen the whole organization. His time with us helped to ensure that ABCD principles were not only understood but also adopted as an integral part of the organizations first ever Food Philosophy.”

James Ash, Director of Operations