The people-centred economy is a vital part of multi-sectoral strategies to improve local conditions. When those conditions are examined through a territorial or local lens, many communities use Community Economic Development (CED) to implement their own solutions to economic problems – solutions that build long-term community capacity and foster the integration of economic, social and environmental objectives. CED recognizes that sustainable development requires an integrated approach to complex community problems, and encourages people to take charge of their future through systematic renewal that is conceived and directed locally. Strategic CED priorities include structural economic change, local ownership of resources, social development, environmental stewardship, labour market development, and access to capital. The people-centred economy is a powerful means to address these priorities.
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From May 30 to June 1, 2010, the National Summit on a People-Centred Economy was an unprecedented gathering of leaders and representatives of the community economic development, cooperative and social economy sectors to build a common agenda and mobilize action for a secure, sustainable economy that puts people and the planet first. The Summit sought to mobilize networks and organizations by building on the best research, agreeing on a common action plan, and increasing awareness of this sector among politicians, policy makers, non-governmental sector leaders and the mainstream media.
As part of the preparatory process for the Summit, six issue papers were drafted on themes which outline the key strengths, challenges and proposals for action to further reinforce this movement. These issue papers were subject to an engagement and outreach process for feedback and revisions by Summit participants and other stakeholders between March 1 and May 15. The revised papers were presented at the Summit, where a common declaration and action plan were developed.