ABCD Conference – Africa, Feb 2018

The people of South Africa – in all our diversity – and on behalf of Africa, look forward to welcoming you on our shores in February 2018, for the 4th International gathering of ABCD practitioners, academics, activistsand partners.

In South Africa, we are proud of our diversity (11 official languages; 9 provinces; 6 colours in our flag, and 4 languages in our national anthem) – but equally, we love what unites us as a nation. We share a painful history, but also a miraculous transition away from apartheid and towards our democratic freedom. We laugh at ourselves, and we “make a plan” – we have an endless bank of resilience and talent that we are using to rebuild our nation. The asset-based approach to life and development is as old as the hills, and deeply entrenched in our cultural practices. Pockets of excellence are to be found throughout South Africa (and Africa as a whole) – individuals and communities using their assets and making a difference. Since the ABCD training of trainers that took place in 2012 at GIBS (Gordon Institute of Business Science) in partnership with the Coady Institute (Canada), there has been a renewed focus on this respectful and authentic approach that recognises our heritage, indigenous strengths, and capacities, and builds on resilience. Local stories of success and implementation will be shared at the ABCD Imbizo 2018; as well as strategies and modalities as to how we entrench this approach in our development and daily lives.

The ABCD worldwide gatherings are not your usual conference. From the beginning, an international core team comes together to co-design a highly interactive, creative, locally-focused experience for practitioners from around the world to gather in a residential setting and live together, sharing meals and stories through deep conversations for the week that they are together and to ignite future relationships beyond the gathering.

The ABCD Imbizo in Port Elizabeth builds on the strengths of previous ABCD Festivals in Coady – Canada, Blackpool – UK and Goa – India which were all well attended by hundreds of ABCD practitioners from around the globe and included many presentations, discussions, networking, fun and collective action!

To gain a deeper understanding of what to expect from an ABCD gathering, you can find recorded highlights from the Coady report here:, the Blackpool Festival here: and a highlights video, recorded by Leeds GATE in Goa, can be watched here:

On this website, you will find information on how to register, accommodation options, the ABCD Imbizo programme, how to contribute at the event, travel & any visa requirements.

The ABCD Imbizo 2018 is the fourth installment of these global gatherings designed to celebrate ABCD and build on its value proposition in the development landscape.

We look forward to hearing about where you come from and sharing what unites us globally with others who are passionate about the assets that humankind has and the capacities we all share to make this world a better place.