Citizen-Led Sustainable Change: Innovations in North American Community Development

  • 23 Jun 2013
  • 25 Jun 2013
  • Antigonish, Nova Scotia

What are the most recent innovations in citizen-led community development across North America? How do citizens engage government and the private sector to support their initiatives? What types of partnerships and investments are most effective? These questions are critical as local communities re-examine their roles in creating and sustaining their assets and determining their own futures.

It's time we talked. Development practitioners and researchers, as well as policymakers and funding agencies that support local initiatives, all have an interest - and a say - in the conversation about how citizens can best lead community development. We need to learn from one another's experiences and build a collective platform to continue the conversation and increase its impact on the ground.

Towards these ends, St. Francis Xavier University is convening the forum "Citizen-Led Sustainable Change: Innovations in North American Community Development," to be held in Antigonish, Nova Scotia on June 23-25, 2013.

Who is this intended for?

Whether you are a new or seasoned grassroots leader, a policymaker, a scholar or a student researcher with an interest in innovative community development, this forum is for you. It will also be of interest to those who work in government agencies, private foundations or NGOs and address citizen engagement and community development.

The forum aims to foster an action-focused conversation that produces insights, information and practical ideas for citizen-led development. It will bring together a wide range and balanced mix of development practitioners, researchers and policymakers from across North America, along with intermediaries and funders involved in supporting community-driven social and economic innovations. The rich assortment of participants will help fertilize learning across different perspectives, disciplines and experiences.

Objectives
1. Provide an opportunity for development practitioners, policy makers and citizens to share experiences about citizen-led, community-based development through case study presentations, workshops and open discussion.
2. Lay the foundation for a shared understanding of citizen-led innovation as a basis for further conversations.
3. Identify mechanisms for ongoing discussion, learning and reflection beyond the forum.

Key questions
1. What does it take for citizens to become engaged in the community development process?
2. What socially innovative partnerships between public, private and civil society actors are emerging to embrace citizen-led development?
3. What is the role of local leadership in making innovative and sustainable community development happen?
4. What are the internal and external conditions that support community mobilization and agency?
5. What challenges and value-related conflicts do community leaders articulate?
6. How do communities understand and measure successful development?
7. How are community-driven initiatives sustained over time and how are successful innovations taken to scale?
Save the date for this forum now!

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