This is the text of a presentation given by CCEDNet Executive Director Michael Toye at the Forum pancanadien sur le développement économique en francophonie canadienne, November 1st 2012 in Gatineau, Québec.
I would like to start by thanking the organizers for the opportunity to present here today.
As we heard this morning from Brigitte Gagné, Ethel Côté, and Nancy Neamtan, the co-op movement, community economic development and the social and solidarity economy are approaches that are well established across the Canadian Francophonie and have much to offer when it comes to creating sustainable and successful partnerships.
Because CED and the social economy combine social and economic (and often environmental) goals, they naturally cross silos and are relevant to multiple sectors. I believe these approaches reflect a growing recognition of the interconnectedness of economic, social and environmental concerns, and new tools such as environmental audits, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship reflect a both a desire by entrepreneurs to internalize these concerns as well as a growing market in social and environmental responsibility.
CED addresses challenges that require collaboration between various levels of government, community agencies and the private sector. This has been one of the biggest challenges in the development of these approaches, and has required much innovation and experimentation but also has led to valuable successes.
I want to share with you four examples of that success from four areas, and the lessons they have taught us.