December 11, 2008 - News

A light in the economic darkness: Community economic development links social well-being with economic opportunity
The current global economic crisis presents an opportunity to start talking about alternatives to unfettered, free-market capitalism. That's exactly what more than 450 people were doing at Manitoba's sixth annual Community Development and Community Economic Development Gathering, held recently in Winnipeg at St. John's High School. The free day-long conference is the largest of its kind in Canada and was hosted in part by the Canadian CED Network (Ccednet), a national organization that supports community groups across the country as they work to improve their neighborhoods. CED is an umbrella term used to describe initiatives that operate in an ecologically sustainable way to create local economic opportunities and better social conditions for communities (particularly marginalized or disadvantaged ones). "It runs the range of things, from safety to community organizing, empowering people, employment initiatives, housing and business models - all these things together," says Brendan Reimer, Ccednet's regional coordinator for the Prairies and northern territories.