Re:searching for Sustainability

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Last week I got to spend a couple of days in discussions with a remarkable core group of academics, practitioners and students working on the Scaling Innovation for Sustainability research project.

BALTA-SIS, as it is known, grew out of the national social economy research program.  One of the streams in the original BALTA project focused on the contribution of social economy initiatives to creating more sustainable and resilient communities, which grew into BALTA-SIS and The Resilience Imperative, an important new book co-authored by CCEDNet founding member Mike Lewis of the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal and Pat Conaty of the New Economics Foundation in the UK.

Perhaps because community economic development evolved out of a search by people in communities for new ways of reducing poverty and creating healthy communities, most CCEDNet members I meet seem to have the fibre of innovation, entrepreneurialism and research embedded in their outlook.  How can we change what isn’t working in our community?  What has worked elsewhere that we can learn from?  How can we improve our impacts?  These are fundamentally research questions that will always be at the root of our efforts.

So it’s not surprising that CCEDNet members are involved in numerous groundbreaking research programs across the country, several of which were profiled in a recent webinar organized by CCEDNet’s Research Committee.

But what amazes me each time I have the opportunity to participate in a meeting like this is the wealth of knowledge, insight and creativity that both practitioners and academics from a wide range of disciplines bring to our shared challenges.  At this meeting in particular, the work being done by the graduate students and a CCEDNet CreateAction participant, was exceptional. 

If you’re interested in staying connected to the latest information on CED-related research, consider subscribing to the CCEDNet Research Committee’s Google group, or check out the links below. 

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