When citizens take collaborative action to meet the needs of their community, they are participating in the social economy. Co-operatives, community-based social services, local non-profit organizations, and charitable foundations are all examples of social economies that emphasize mutual benefit rather than the accumulation of profit. While such groups often participate in market-based activities to achieve their goals, they also pose an alternative to the capitalist market economy. Contributors to Scaling Up investigated innovative social economies in British Columbia and Alberta and discovered that achieving a social good through collective, grassroots enterprise resulted in a sustainable way of satisfying human needs that was also, by extension, environmentally responsible.
… from CCED Network…
Quebec’s Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitão, presented the 2015-16 budget on March 26th. Some of the most significant positive measures include:
- The $20M addition to the Programme d’infrastructure en entrepreneuriat collectif (PIEC) [Collective entrepreneurship infrastructure program];
- The $10M recapitalization of Réseau d’investissement social du Québec (RISQ);
- A $30M budget to relaunch Investissement Quebec’s program to stimulate the capitalization of social economy enterprises;
- $10M over five years for an action plan for seniors and persons in loss of autonomy as well as the renewal of the Financial Assistance Program for Domestic Help Services (PEFSAD);
- $3.5M over five years to support innovation and the development of markets, and the confirmation of funding for five years of the liaison and transfer organization, Territoires innovants en économie sociale et solidaire (TIESS);
- A $1M fund over five years to support workers in their process to create worker cooperatives in the context of business reactivation;
- $29M over five years for various grassroots organizations that work to support the development of social economy enterprises, especially in rural and remote regions.
June 24th, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Pacific Time
Despite the increasing growth and attention to farmers markets, CSAs, local food box programmes, etc., alternative food initiatives geared towards local production and consumption, many of which emerge from the social economy, remain minor players when contrasted with the conventional food system.
Key Challenge: how to scale-up alternative food initiatives so that they have a greater transformational impact in the larger agri-food system and also serve as a catalyst for broader societal change towards a sustainable and strong social economy?
The case studies examined in this webinar highlight the opportunities and challenges in scaling-up food relocalization without sacrificing commitment to social, economic and environmental values and goals.
We suggest the need to focus attention equally on building physical infrastructure and capacity (production, storage, distribution, retail) whilst also investing in social infrastructure and capacity (coalition-building, partnerships, clustering) required for a robust and resilient local food movement. We hope to initiate a discussion about the challenges and tensions between pragmatic and transformational approaches to issues of food security, food sovereignty, food justice and sustainability.
Mary Beckie: Dr. Mary A. Beckie is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta. Her research and teaching focuses on sustainable community development, specifically the role of agri-food systems, community-based resource management and the social economy, and is grounded in the scholarship of engagement. Dr. Beckie holds a doctorate in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development from the University of Saskatchewan and has been involved in related work in western Canada, the mid-west United States, Europe, Cuba and Sri Lanka. Her previous research with BALTA focused on the role of farmers’ markets as catalysts in scaling local food systems.
Sean Connelly: Dr. Sean Connelly is a lecturer in the Department of Geography at the
University of Otago in New Zealand. His research and teaching interests are in human-environment relations, sustainable community development and local food systems. He completed post-doctoral research with BALTA focused on local food movements and sustainability and has a PhD in Geography from Simon Fraser University.
The Community, the University:
Working Together to Improve Regional Food Systems
Interested in learning about Community-University partnerships and their ability to facilitate healthy, sustainable community food systems?
In 2000, the Waterloo Region was recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and comprehensive approach to creating a healthy community food system. It was through this approach that food was recognized as a key determinant of health. In this webinar, Katherine Pigott, Steffanie Scott, and Wajma Qaderi-Attayi describe two models of community-university partnerships in the Waterloo Region Food System.
Join us for a webinar
Wednesday June 26, 1 – 2 pm EDT
Sign up to receive call-in information.
Hosted by The Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) project of Food Secure Canada and Carleton University
Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 1 p.m. ET
Universities, non-profits, governmental agencies, and Extension systems must embrace the principles of the Connected Organization in order to thrive in the future.
Join noted author and speaker Dave Gray to learn how the principles of The Connected Company can be applied to institutions and organizations such as Extension. Gray will talk about why, to keep pace with today’s connected citizens, your University, Extension system, Governmental agency, or non-profit must become a connected organization.
Being connected means being deeply engaged with faculty, staff, partners, and clientele, changing how work is done, how you measure success, and how performance is rewarded. It requires a new way of thinking about your organization: less like a machine to be controlled, and more like a complex, dynamic system that can learn and adapt over time.
Connected organizations have the advantage, because they learn and move faster…While others work in isolation, they link into rich networks of possibility and expand their influence.
eOrganic now has more than 90 webinar recordings -on topics ranging from Brown marmorated Stink bug and late blight to organic farming financial benchmarks and National Organic Program updates- available at: http://www.extension.org/