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Welcome to the bulletin of the Canadian Social Economy Hub (CSEHub) for the National Research Program on the Social Economy (funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council). Over the next five years, the CSEHub will be sending out bulletins on a regular basis to provide updates on the work of the CSEHub and its Nodes.
First International CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy an overwhelming success! From October 22 to 25 of 2007, the Canadian Social Economy Hub hosted the First International CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria. More than 340 participants from 34 countries attended the 38 presentation sessions, which each featured a panel of researchers and practitioners sharing their knowledge about the Social Economy in a variety of contexts. In addition to these chaired discussions, there were speakers during lunches and plenary sessions, and further research projects were presented as poster displays during a casual reception hosted by VanCity. The conference organizers also hoped to further the Social Economy by buying as many goods and services from Social Economy organizations. Saskatchewan Interpretation Services provided the conference interpretation, a co-operative based out of Regina, that have been providing conference interpretation services in English, French, Spanish and German. We arranged for the Hotel to serve Fair Trade Coffee from Level Ground Trading, a Victoria based coffee, sugar and dried fruit company. Bags for the conference were bought from the Canadian Cooperative Association in honor of Canadian Co-op week. Each conference participant received a gift of his or her choice from a Social Economy Organization. Gifts included pottery from JustWork – a pottery and gardening social enterprise in the Commercial Drive area of Vancouver, a fused glass candlelight from InsideArt – a co-operative that works with prison inmates, books from the BC Institute for Cooperative Studies, smoked salmon from Malcolm Island, a hotbed of co-operative ventures. The conference gala dinner was held at the Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre in Duncan and snacks were provided by the International Women’s Catering Co-operative in Victoria. For more information on our supplies, please go to their websites or contact us. There was insufficient time to speak with every fascinating person or learn about each of their Social Economy initiatives; despite this unavoidable consequence of holding such a large conference, it is the hope of the organizers that the event has served as a launching-point for new international relationships and collaboration. For those who missed attending as well as those who want more information on the research that they heard about, documents from the presentations are now available on the conference website. This includes abstracts in three languages, full papers, and ower Point presentations, all as PDF files that are ready to download. This was truly an international conference with more than half of the participants coming from countries outside of Canada. CIDA and IDRC provided bursaries for participants who came from the Global South. We were fortunate in being able to provide bursaries to students, young researchers, practitioners and more established academic researchers, from Africa, Central and South America and Asia. Meetings were held to encourage networking among participants from the various continents.
Where Community Counts: A Forum on Community Economic Development and the Social Economy in the Global Context. Over 50 people gathered in Victoria, BC, on the evening of October 25 for Where Community Counts: A Forum on Community Economic Development and the Social Economy in the Global Context. The event capped an eventful week for social economy researchers, the First International CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy. BALTA co-sponsored the free public forum, along with the Canadian CED Network, the Canadian Social Economy Hub and the Victoria Community Council. BALTA was also a significant presence at the CIRIEC conference, with several BALTA members presenting papers. Speakers at the forum included Nancy Neamtan, President/Executive Director of the Chantier de l’économie sociale in Quebec, and Mike Lewis. Other speakers were Olga Navarro-Flores of the Université du Québec á Montréal, and Rupert Downing and Carol Madsen of the Canadian CED Network. A lively discussion with audience members closed out the evening. (From the BALTA newsletter)
An update on the Social Economy Student Network The CSEHub initiated a pilot launch of the Social Economy Student Network (SESN) in June 2007. Students who attended the Student Community-Based Research Workshop held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on May 28, 2007 were invited to log onto the Network website, create a member account and “test” the Network’s functionalities. Since then, recent additions to the Network have been made including a “job postings” section and an “upcoming events” section that provide in-depth details and links to job listings, calls for papers and conferences/workshops on the SE taking place across the globe. The Network is currently being translated into both French and Spanish and a Workshop/Conferences section is being created that will enable members to read papers, view video presentations and browse pictures from events that were hosted by the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships and the SESN. Furthermore, the Network has recently “gone global”. An international Student Workshop on the Social Economy, Linking Communities of Study&Practice: The Social Economy in a Changing World, took place at the University of Victoria on October 22, 2007. Janel Smith, Coordinator for the SESN, organized the event in conjunction with the First International CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy. Approximately 50 students attended the Workshop from North America, Europe and Latin America. Speakers included: Dr. Budd Hall, Dr. Jutta Gutberlet and Dr. Jo-Anne Lee from the University of Victoria, Dr. Jorge Sousa of the University of Alberta , Joy Emmanuel from the British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies and graduate students Debbie Dergousoff, Lena Soots and Alison Sum. Janel and Robin Puga presented on the SESN at the Workshop. We are grateful for the support of Coast Capital Credit Union for this workshop. The “official” launch of the Network to CSEHub’s partners is scheduled for December 2007.
Next Occasional paper – Social Entrepreneurship in Canada As the second in the Canadian Social Economy Hub Occasional Paper Series, CSEHub will soon be publishing “Becoming a Social Entrepreneur in Canada / Enquête auprès d’entrepreneurs sociaux” by Jean-Marc Fontan. The Canadian Social Economy Hub in partnership with ARUC, the Québec node, did this report for the Strategic Policy Research Directorate, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development Canada. This in French with a bilingual literature search and is a preliminary exploration of the concept of “social entrepreneurship” through interviews with persons who see themselves as social entrepreneurs. Becoming a Social Entrepreneur in Canada will be available from the CSEHub website in January of 2008.
New CCEDNet website The Canadian Community Economic Development Network has revitalized their presence on the Internet with a completely redesigned website. Still located at the same address, the new site is features bold photographs and simple navigation. There is introductory information about Community Economic Development as well as CCEDNet itself, and various tools such as links to relevant news articles and listings of other organizations and projects that are involved in building locally-based and sustainable economies. The website increases accessibility for learning about the role that CED plays in the expansion of the Social Economy in Canada; see for yourself!
French telelearning session on the Social Economy in Manitoba and Quebec On September 27th, CSEHub hosted a phone-in lecture and discussion forum in French on the topic of Community Economic Development and Social Economy policies in Québec and Manitoba. The featured speakers were Dr. Marguerite Mendell (Associate Professor and Vice-Principal of the School of Community and Public Affairs in Montréal) and Kemlin Nembhard (Government of Manitoba). The goal of these telelearning sessions is to increase access to information regarding the Social Economy beyond the borders of institutions and the Internet.
Brett Fairbairn Named University of Saskatchewan Provost and VP academic Well-know co-op academic Brett Fairbairn has been named the new Provost and Vice President academic by the University of Saskatchewan. He will replace Michael Atkinson, beginning July 1, 2008. Dr. Fairbairn is currently head of the History Department and chair of University Council, and was, from 2000 to 2004 director of the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the university. His research and teaching are focused on the history and interdisciplinary study of democracy, social movements, and co-operative enterprises in Canada and around the world. His paper for the recently held CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy can be viewed here.
New BALTA newsletter The British Columbia-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance (BALTA) has launched BALTA Bits and Bites, a newsletter focusing on their projects and related initiatives. The inaugural edition features a column by Mike Lewis, the director and lead investigator of BALTA, about the critical issues facing the organization, as well as an article that outlines the new BALTA program of research projects. There are also pieces about mapping the Social Economy, co-operative development in Nova Scotia, and the new Social Enterprise Fund in the city of Edmonton. To read BALTA Bits and Bites for yourself, please download it from the CSEHub website or go to the BALTA website.
Upcoming Conferences: This is the time of year when the call for papers and preliminary information on conferences scheduled for the Spring 2008 hit our e-mail inbox. Here are the websites of upcoming conferences that relate to the Social Economy: CUEXPO - May 4-8, Victoria ACFAS and the CIRIEC Canada conference - May 5-7, Québec CCEDNet National Conference - May 21-24, Saskatoon SSH Congress - May 28-June 7, Vancouver ANSER - June 4-6, Vancouver CASC - June 5-7, Vancouver CIRIEC International Bi-Annual Congress - September 22-24, Seville (Spain) If you know of other conferences that we should be promoting through our website, please let us know.
E-Bulletin Editorial Committee Anita Dhanoa Lindsay Kearns Annie McKitrick Janel Smith