CSEHub E-Bulletin - Vol 2 No 1 - February 07

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.

Update on the CIRIEC Research Conference: Over 250 abstracts received! In response to the recent Call for Papers, CSEHub has received more than 250 abstracts for presentations at the First International CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy! These submissions represent research initiatives taking place across six continents in three languages: English, French, and Spanish. Hosted by the Canadian Social Economy Hub, the conference will take place from October 22-25, 2007 in Victoria, BC, Canada. The title of the conference is “Strengthening and Building Communities: The Social Economy in a Changing World” and it will highlight the position of co-operatives, foundations, credit unions, non-profit organizations, and social economy enterprises in building and strengthening communities in a variety of contexts and cultures. Online registration for those interested in taking part in this exceptional event will be available March 1st. For more information, please see the conference website.

New website: The Ethical Purchasing Forum Bringing together co-operatives, businesses, activists, faith groups, academics, indigenous organizations, farmers, labour groups and politicians, the Ethical Purchasing Forum aims to enhance ethical trade in and around Victoria, British Columbia. In order to meet this goal, the website facilitates the development of action plans for creating policy at both municipal and institutional levels, the raising of public awareness, and the promotion of locally-based regional alternatives for ethical trade through co-operative means. Anyone can post their ideas and announcements about such issues, simply by registering with the Forum. For more information, please visit the Ethical Purchasing Forum website.

The Global Microcredit Summit 2006 From November 12 to 15, 2006, Halifax, Nova Scotia played host to the annual Global Microcredit Summit. With 2,000 delegates from more than 100 countries, the Summit assessed the progress that has been made towards its goal of reaching 100 million poor families. It also launched the second phase of the Campaign with two new goals: Working to ensure that 175 million of the world’s poorest families are receiving credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the end of 2015, and working to ensure that 100 million of the world’s poorest families move from below US$1 to above US $1 a day by the end of 2015. Documents and discussions can be found on the Global Microcredit Summit 2006 website.

The 2007 National Community Economic Development Conference The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet), in partnership with local host Futures in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Youth (FINALY!), are organizing the 2007 National Community Economic Development (CED) Conference. The title of the conference is "Bring It Home: Building Communities on a Rock Foundation" and it is taking place from April 19th to 21st, 2007, in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Participation is expected from five hundred practitioners of community economic development and social economy initiatives, as well as civil servants and academics. Highlights from the program include workshops on such topics as Aboriginal CED and Youth CED, as well as exhibitions of local social enterprises. Registration will begin soon; please see the conference website for more information.

The Federal Cabinet shuffle and the Social Economy On January 4th, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government announced a new cabinet for the 39th Parliament. Of special interest to proponents of the Social Economy are the appointments of Jean-Pierre Blackburn as Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Monte Solberg as Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Peter Gordon MacKay as Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Rona Ambrose as Minister of Western Economic Diversification, and Tony Clement as Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario. The Liberals reacted with a similar shuffling of their shadow cabinet. The current arrangement of the Opposition Caucus has Marcel Proulx for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Mike Savage for Human Resources, Ruby Dhalla for Social Development, Jean-Claude D’Amours for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Sukh Dhaliwal for Western Economic Diversification, Carolyn Bennett for Seniors, the Disabled and the Social Economy, and Ken Boshcoff for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario. For more information, please see the website of the Prime Minister’s office and that of the Liberal Party.

Building Sustainable Cooperative Futures Conference Up to 150 young co-operators from around the world are expected to gather at the University of Guelph, May 23-26, 2007, as the Ontario Co-operative Association hosts the Fifth Annual Building Co-op Futures Conference. Issues to be discussed include Renewable Energy, Conservation, Organics and Food Supply, and Ethical Trading. Proposals for workshops are currently being accepted. For more information, please see the conference website.

Node Profile: The Social Economy in Atlantic Canada The Social Economy & Sustainability Research Network serves as the Atlantic Node of the Canadian Social Economy Suite, and is located at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Director is Dr. Leslie Brown, with coordination by Noreen Millar. The activities of the Node are divided among six Sub-Nodes:

  • Mapping and Policy Analysis
  • Inclusion & Empowerment in the social economy
  • Food Security and CED
  • Natural Resources and Livelihoods
  • Financing & Measuring Performance in the Social Economy
  • Communication Practices & Tools

For more information on recent activities and initiatives undertaken by the Social Economy & Sustainability Research Network, please see their website.

Next Telelearning Session! Food Security and the Social Economy Since this past October, CSEHub has been organizing a series of phone-in lectures and discussion forums in French and English. The goal of these telelearning sessions is to increase access to information regarding the Social Economy beyond the borders of institutions and the Internet. The next session will be in English and will take place on February 22, 2007, on the topic of Food Security. The speakers will be Dr. Heather Myers, from the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, and Debbie Field, Executive Director of FoodShare in Toronto. The session will consist of a five minute welcome, a ten minute presentation by each of the two speakers, followed by a thirty-five minute discussion. It will begin at 12:30 pm Eastern Time (9:30 am Pacific Time). Call in information will be given upon registration, along with background papers and PowerPoint presentations. To participate, please register by calling 1-(250)-472-5338 or emailing telelearning@socialeconomyhub.ca with your name, location, and work or volunteer position. There are a limited number of phone lines available for the session – so register soon! Those who missed participating in past telelearning sessions can still benefit from the discussion: they are available for download as mp3 files from the Social Economy Telelearning webpage.

Presentations from the Social Enterprise Conference are on CSEHub Website! From January 28 to 31, 2007, the Second National Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Called "Building Social Enterprise”, the conference aimed to provide an opportunity for those involved or interested in social enterprise initiatives to deepen their understanding of the field, to develop new and tangible skills relating to social enterprise development, and to explore emerging policy and sustainability issues in the field, as well as to provide an occasion for sector development through networking and mentorship building. CSEHub presented a workshop on the Tuesday afternoon of the conference, focusing on the research projects of the Suite as they relate to social entrepreneurship in Canada. The CSEHub PowerPoint presentation is now available from the CSEHub website.

“Understanding the Social Economy” booklet is now available in French! The Canadian Social Economy Hub has compiled a collection of case studies to illustrate the Social Economy in Canada in to a booklet called Understanding the Social Economy: The Diversity of the Canadian Experience. This booklet has now been translated into French, and is available from the CSEHub website alongside the English version. Featuring profiles of such diverse organizations as Santropol Roulant in Montréal and the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op in Saskatoon, it is an excellent introduction to the Social Economy for both researchers and the public at large. To download the booklet as a PDF file in either language, please visit the Understand the Social Economy webpage.

Contact the Canadian Social Economy Hub Project Officer: Annie McKitrick secoord@uvic.ca This Bulletin will appear on a regular basis. To subscribe, send an e-mail to info@socialeconomyhub.ca

E-Bulletin Editorial Committee Lindsay Kearns Annie McKitrick Robin Puga