The Holy Grail--Next Steps

My research/practitioner team just met over the weekend in Kingsburgh, Nova Scotia to discuss what we thought we should be doing over the next year. Kingsburgh is a very beautiful place, an old fishing village about an hour and a half from Halifax, with very reasonable accommodation right on the ocean, a magical part of this country. It exemplifies some of our problems, however, as many of the old fishing homes have been beautifully renovated and there are huge seasonal homes ranging from 2.5 million to 5 million dollars. But what is a community, if everyone is ‘from away’ and only there two or weeks of the year?

 But I digress, so what did we decide to do. After brainstorming for many hours, we decided to focus on novel governance models, based on our assumption that there are many brilliant innovations happening across our country. So starting this January 2013, we will start a series of real-time e-Dialogues and webinars that bring together the four of us (Dale, Newell, Foon and Herbert), with leaders from three bleeding-edge case studies in each theme that we think is important to sustainable community development. We have named this new project, The Solutions Agenda, and in 2015 we will be publishing this agenda, that will complement our Policy Agenda for Canadian Municipalities and our Action Agenda for Rethinking Growth and Prosperity that we just finalized this past weekend, to be published next week.

 We also decided we should begin documenting our own attempt at establishing new ways of doing research through our research/practitioner partnership. How does the partnership work, what does it contribute to both players, what have we learned and how could it be replicated? The question of scaling up is a critical question for both social innovations and small businesses.

As usual, the Holy Grail of research throws up more questions than answers, that’s why you keep doing it. So stay tuned for the Solutions Agenda announcements through this blog and other media, as we slowly roll out the themes—the first one for January 2013 is Food. In the meantime, if you have a favourite local market or local food innovation that you think we should be discussing in January, email us, let us know your nomination and why? Make a difference to our research and make it richer by sharing your knowledge.

 Can’t believe the summer is over.


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