Guest Presentation: Community-Based Education Approaches for Sustainable Development

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:20pm


Presenter: Ashley Hollenbeck, Executive Director, Institute for Village Studies

Community-based approaches are widely recognized as a driver for sustainable development. However, many times they fail to meaningful prioritize local knowledge. Asset-based approaches to community development and education provide an alternative framework to redefine traditional development narratives, engage with residents as the experts of their communities, and better understand and utilize the complex web of relationships that are central to sustainability. We will explore the application of asset-based community development (ABCD) through international education programs in central Vietnam. Specifically, we will discuss how the farmers at the Thanh Dong Organic Garden used ABCD to improve their livelihoods, promote organic farming practices in the region, and influence local policy and conservation initiatives in Hoi An, Vietnam. 

Picture of Ashley Hollenbeck


Ashley Hollenbeck is the Executive Director of the Institute for Village Studies. She is a native of the Pacific Northwest and moved to Bellingham after spending most of her career abroad. Her work has focused on environmental conservation, international development, and cross-cultural education in various roles in Japan, Vietnam, Morocco, and the United States. Ashley is interested in continuing to explore how international education can be a tool to work to address complex global challenges at the local level through interdisciplinary, cross-cultural engagement.