CRC Newsletter - Spring 2014

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Issue 18, April 2014

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Solutions Agenda


New Video Releases





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Welcome to Issue 18 of the Community Research Connections Newsletter

Spring is finally here, and a lot has been happening over the last six months. I am pleased to announce a new research partnership with the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD), involving the integration of virtual collaboratory spaces with their face-to-face community collaboratories. The first step in our new partnership will be to co-design a series of e-Dialogues starting in September on Revitalizing the Social Sector.

We will also be launching a new e-Dialogue platform as part of another larger virtual project, which we are calling Changing the Conversation. Some people argue we need to begin certain conversations. We believe there has been ongoing dialogue over many decades about the ecological impacts of our decisions, however, the global dominance of one story (growth) has shrunk the space for civic dialogue and diverse perspectives. We need to re-enlarge and create a systemic space for continuous dialogue and engage diverse people in what is important for sustaining our communities. We are story tellers and we develop and refine our meaning and purpose through our stories. Changing the Conversation will be an open source space available to practitioners, non-government organizations, civil society groups, researchers and the private sector to engage in civic dialogue around critical social issues. This space will have the capacity to host virtual real time e-Dialogues and lead virtual peer-to-peer learning exchanges through the use of Web 2.0 technologies.

We won't be publishing another newsletter until September 2014, so my best wishes for a glorious gardening and summer season.

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Mental Health - Solutions Agenda e-Dialogues

Join us and tune in to our fifth e-Dialogue of the Solutions Agenda, April 23rd, 10:00am - 12:00pm PDT or 1:00pm - 3:00pm EDT. Mental illness is pervasive in Canada and affects everyone, either personally or through family, friends and colleagues. However, many people still attempt to suppress what they are feeling, avoiding treatment or confiding in friends and families to avoid the stigma of mental illness, so care is difficult. Psychologist and theologian, Marcia Webb, suggests that “[a]s a society, we shy from reminders of our frailty. If persons with mental illnesses are conceptualized as separate – as invisible within, or as intruding upon – mainstream society, then mainstream society may deceive itself and imagine that mental illness does not reflect universal truths about the human condition.” This conversation brings together a diverse group of researchers and practitioners to discuss the issues affecting mental health and solutions for improving mental well-being in communities.

This session will be moderated by Professor Ann Dale, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development, and the research panel includes:

Jodi Mucha, Executive Director, BC Healthy Communities;
Paul Allison, Gardener, Research and Lecturer, Royal Roads University;
Dennis Foon, Screenwriter, Playwright and Novelist;
Peggy Taillon, President & CEO, Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD);
Svjetlana Kovacevic, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation;
Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Healthy Communities;
Rebecca Foon, Planner with Sustainability Solutions Group;
Yuill Herbert, Co-Director, Sustainability Solutions Group, and
Rob Newell, Research Associate, CRC in Sustainable Community Development program.


Visual Explorations

Over the last six months, our library of data pictures and interactive graphs has grown and now contains a series of visual representations of our meta-analysis of 55 CRC e-Dialogues and 53 CRC case studies. These visualizations illuminate key ideas and relationships that have emerged through 10 years of discussions and studies on sustainability and community innovation. We encourage you to visit our website and explore,

  • word clouds revealing the prevalence of concepts within the CRC case studies and e-Dialogues,
  • concept area maps examining the themes of Place, Innovation, Resilience and Anticipatory Governance and displaying the importance of key concepts extracted from the research, and
  • meta-data conceptual relationship visualization exploring relationships between concepts and allowing for greater understanding of potential complementary actions.

In addition to the CRC meta-analysis, we have also conducted a meta-analysis on the Meeting the Climate Change Challenge (MC3) case study data to elucidate common drivers and barriers to community climate action. MC3 visuals include,

  • word clouds showing the key concepts that emerged through case study community data and displaying these concepts by their relative strength,
  • raindrop plots exploring patterns, similarities and differences among case study communities, and
  • conceptual frequency curve identifying common concepts and ideas in each of the community case studies (and the research as a whole).

Latest Video Releases

Earlier this year, we released Sustainability Blooming, a new video on HEADTalks. As the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development program enters its final year, we reflect on the ideas and discoveries that have emerged over the last decade. This video captures the main points of what we have learned in our exploration of how to edge forward toward a sustainable future. The flower motif in this animation maps the CRC website, and we encourage you to visit the interactive version to learn more about sustainable community development.


Cooperatives Research

In November 2013, the results of Cooperatives and Sustainability: An investigation into the relationship, a partnership project between the Sustainability Solutions Group and Community Research Connections, were presented at the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) annual conference in Cape Town. The project conducted a global scan of cooperatives to investigate the relationship between the cooperative model and sustainable development. This research employed a unique methodology to compare key concepts distilled from seminal literature on sustainability to (firstly) the cooperative principles and (secondly) websites and annual reports from various cooperatives around the world.

Prior to the conference, we also investegated cooperatives through the Solutions Agenda project to complement and inform the research. Outcomes from this investigation include an e-Dialogue that can be downloaded from here and an animation that can be seen here.



CRC is committed to contributing to research in social science and sustainability. Below is a list of recently published and submitted works.


Newell, R. & A. Dale. (2014). Mapping the complexities of on-line dialogue: An analytical model. Forum: Qualitative Social Research 15(2), 2.

Newell, R. & A. Dale. (2014). Community Indicators: Winnipeg, Canada (The Peg) . Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development program. Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC.

In press

Dale, A., L. Newman, R. Newell & K. Burnett. (in press). Patterns of our Footsteps: Rhythms, diversity, and topophilia in urban landscapes. International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

In review

Newell, R. & A. Dale. (submitted). Meeting the climate change challenge (MC3): The role of the internet in climate change research dissemination and knowledge mobilization. Climate Change Communication & the Internet

Newell, R. & A. Dale (submitted). Social Media and Research: Mobilizing Knowledge and Building On-line Community. The Social Science Journal



"We are working towards a shared vision of the future for health among all the world's people. A vision future in which we develop new ways of working together at global and national level."

- Gro Brundtland

Three pre-conditions for successful collaboratories--a diverse team, design an iterative process and create a systemic space.


Share your community's story of sustainability with us.

You can share your story with on the CRC Blog or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter
Please tell us what is working and how you are overcoming barriers to make a sustainable plan a reality



If you have a case study in sustainable community development that you would like to contribute to our library,  contact us at

Visit our case study library and share your community's innovations.


Community Research Connections Newsletter
Editor: Robert Newell
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