Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy: Relocating social and ecological values in food systems

Webinars March 1, 14 and 15

The Nourishing Communities research group is conducting community-based research investigating food initiatives that operate within the social or informal economy, intended to address food security and community development; benefit marginalized communities, including low-income groups, Aboriginal people, youth and women; and provide important environmental stewardship services. We are presenting initial reflections and case studies from regions across Canada in three upcoming webinars:

  • Eastern Ontario – Wed March 1 at 10:00 a.m. EST
  • Northwestern Ontario – Tuesday, March 14 at 11:00 a.m. EST
  • Atlantic Canada and Northwest Territories – Wed March 15 at 12:00 EST

By ‘social and informal economy’, we mean a range of activities that are on the margins, loosely organized, and sometimes not even recognized as economic activities. Within the food sector, such informal, undervalued activities include self-provisioning, barter, food sharing, unpaid labour, environmental remediation and rehabilitation.

Capturing Outcomes

Specifically, the research asks whether and how a social economy of food:

  • increases prosperity for marginalized groups;
  • builds adaptive capacity to increase community resilience;
  • bridges divides between elite consumers of alternative food products and more marginalized groups;
  • increases social capital; and,
  • fosters social innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic diversification.

The webinars will present examples of initiatives that share foodways and/or re-introducing traditional practices; offer an alternative practice that challenges accepted values (e.g. therapeutic horticulture, seed saving, responsible community investment); share knowledge and networking to maximize impacts; and enable collective provision of basic needs.

For registration and webinar details, please contact pmount@wlu.ca