Diamond of Development: The empowering goals of development  include economic self-sustenance, political shared leadership and cultural self-identify. There are hundreds of communities empowered by ToP with thousands of successful projects around the world.

16 points on the diamond outline the stages of any community development initiative. There are best practices and tools for each of the 16 points.

Case studies

Book written about ToP development include Sharing Approaches That Work the conference report of the International Exposition of Rural Development, Creating Community by George Randall West, Methods of Active Participation by Terry Bergdall.

Check out the Community Development Matrix or a more complete set of CD tools and methods.


Geosocial Gridding allows a group to develop a simple but useful administrative way to assign staff and volunteers, to care for the whole geography,and to to endow symbolic power to the geography. It can be a defining moment for a community development project that is remembered for many years. A geosocial grid can take 3 – 5 hours to create and can take 2 sessions with a new group with the group visiting the area between the sessions.


Sectoral Partnerships generate support from the public, private, non-profit and local sectors for any community initiative, which ensures that the project is sustainable over the long term. The result is a description of the role and mandate of each of the sectors. It takes about 45 minutes to do this and can engage many people, especially if diverse representation is present.

The Song Symbol Story workshop can engage any size group and create an entirely new perspective on the past and future. Songs, symbols and stories unlock latent energy in any group and allow people to celebrate whatever they have been through and where they are going. This workshop can be done in the midst of any other type of gathering. Very small groups can complete the workshop in half an hour while others are involved in more logical or left brain activity.


Community Organization sets in place best practice participatory structures needed to ensure that a community has its population fully engaged in its own development. The result is a integrated set of geographic-based, issue-based and population-based committees, task forces and neighbours groups in touch with past, present and long range future plan.

Strategy, catalytic action, miracle, symbol

Implementing Miracles cements the existing resolve of any group and converts that resolve into concrete results and a complete set of practical actions that people actually want to be accountable to accomplish. The result allows all participants to know what they need to have accomplished by when, and gives permission to all to find out if others have done their part in the final outcome. Can be done with any size group with ability to visually see the emerging timeline.


Sharing Approaches That Work is a highly appreciative mode of development that builds on the strengths of the community to expand to new initiatives and areas. The result is an upsurge of community pride in concrete published projects, and an increase in resolve to expand on good work that is already being done. This can be done over a several month period with a large amount of involvement and included interviews and local exchange conferences.