CSEHub E-Bulletin - Vol 4 No 1 - May 09

Welcome to the May 2009 edition of the CSEHub E-Bulletin. The Canadian Social Economy Hub was initiated in 2005 as part of the National Research Program on the Social Economy, and is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Our goal through the E-Bulletin is to provide updates on events and projects within the CSEHub and its six regional research centres (nodes) across Canada. For additional information, please visit: www.socialeconomyhub.ca


We’ve Moved: The Canadian Social Economy Hub has changed locations on campus at the University of Victoria. We have moved into a new building called the Technology Enterprise Facilities, and it is located near the community garden and closer to the bus loop than our previous location – come and visit: Technology Enterprise Facilities, University of Victoria, 2300 McKenzie Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, V8P 5C2 Room 214.

New Staff at the Hub:  We said goodbye to Lindsay Kearns, the Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator for the Hub in April; she went off to new adventures in Australia.  Ashley Hamilton-MacQuarrie has joined the hub to replace Lindsay.  Ashley is a geography graduate from the University of Victoria and has experience ranging from photojournalism to environmental education. Over at CCEDNet, Matthew Thompson has moved on from being the Knowledge Mobilization Specialist to become CCEDNet’s Regional Coordinator for Ontario. Joel Legassie has taken his place, and has a background in history and journalism, and will be starting his PhD at UVic this fall.

Mid Point Review: This year was the mid point of SSHRC’s five-year funding for the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships.  Each node and the Hub completed a mid-term review for SSHRC, and participated in an interview with the adjudicating committee. The following is an excerpt from the March 31, 2009 SSHRC letter to the six nodes and the Hub:

“Overall, the committee was highly satisfied with the quality of the work conducted by the Canadian Social Economy Hub and the six regional nodes, recognizing the high level of collaboration between the National Hub and the nodes. Furthermore, the committee praised the National Hub and the regional nodes for their exchanges and partnerships with universities, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, social economy organizations, as well as the public and private sectors. The committee judged that the centres are increasing the employability of students and practitioners in the area of social economy by providing excellent training opportunities. It considered that the National Hub and the regional nodes have produced results and developed innovative knowledge mobilization activities that can inform decision-making and improve the performance of organizations and enterprises in areas that are important to the social economy in Canada. The committee encouraged the regional nodes to work closely with the National Hub and to continue producing outputs that enlighten the development of social economy policies at the national level. The committee was particularly pleased to note that the researchers had undertaken work with Aboriginal communities and that some others were working on women’s issues and it underlined the importance of these two approaches.”

The nodes and hub have posted their mid term review on their individual websites, or they can be found on at: www.socialeconomyhub.ca under reports.


Voyage to Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan is a mystery to many people in North America. This landlocked and mountainous country is surrounded by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China, and holds a rich and varied history from Muslim, Mongol, and Russian influences. The country was under Soviet control for about 70-years before it achieved independence in 1991. In December 2008, CSEHub Manager Annie McKitrick and SFU Sessional Instructor Debbie Dergousoff had the opportunity to venture to this intriguing country with generous help from a CIDA grant. Their goal was to study womens’ entrepreneurship, with the focus of building Social Economy networks within this transitioning economy. To read more about their trip, visit our website, or click here.

Government Dialogue and Research Showcase: On November 25th, over 70 government representatives and Social Economy researchers convened in Ottawa to hear presentations and engage in dialogue regarding the relevance of Social Economy research and current government initiatives and policies.  Presentations were led by representatives from each regional node of the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships, and explored findings from specific projects in which they have been involved.  This one-day event provided an excellent opportunity for participants to develop connections between policy and practice in Canada’s Social Economy.  Visit the CSEHub’s website for podcasts and slideshow presentations from this gathering. For the program, click here.

Social Economy Stories: CCEDNet, as a CSEHub partner, has completed the pilot phase to the Social Economy ‘stories’ and has published the initial six stories online. This project seeks to develop the personal face of Canada’s Social Economy through interviews with actors within the sector. CCEDNet will be developing this project to represent more voices and greater diversity in the Social Economy.  This will not only serve to promote Social Economy development but will also create linkages between the work of various Social Economy actors and expand understanding of how the sector is transforming Canadian society.

Food Secure Canada National Assembly: At the 2008 Food Secure Canada National Assembly in Ottawa, CCEDNet Research Assistant Matthew Thompson coordinated a workshop entitled ‘Roundtable on Community Economic Development/Best Practices and Policy in Canada's Food Systems’ on behalf of the CSEHub. Ethel Cote and Liesel Carlsson acted as facilitators. This roundtable explored how community economic development (CED) can be applied to local food systems. The facilitators led discussion around best practices in CED approaches relating to local food systems and how these practices are being applied across Canada.

World Social Forum 2009: converging of networks to face the global crisis 

The World Social Forum took place in Belem, Brazil from January 27th to February 1st, 2009. One hundred and thirty-thousand representatives from civil society organizations, research groups, and non-governmental agencies attended.  A major focus of the Forum was people-centered responses to the world economic crisis, led by organizations involved in the social and solidarity economy. The World Social Forum organizers created a dynamic space for dialogue, networking and collaboration in Belem, including major themes around Indigenous People’s leadership and solidarity, ecological sustainability, and responses to the global economic crisis. Rupert Downing, Co-Director of the Canadian CED Network had the opportunity to attend the forum. His presentation, ‘Community-Led Research to Strengthen the Social Economy’ illustrated the Canadian perspective of community economic development, community resources, building community economics, and building a social economy. For more information about the forum, visit the forum website. For a copy of Rupert’s presentation, please visit this page on the CSEHub’s website.

U.S. Solidarity Economy Network: Rupert also presented at the first national gathering of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network that took place from March 19-22n. Nearly 400 organizers and activists gathered at the University of Massachusetts, and the overall theme was 'Building Another World.' To learn more visit this link.

Metropolis Conference: The 11th National Metropolis Conference took place from March 19-22, 2009 in Calgary. It brought together researchers, policy-makers and community practitioners to explore the frontiers of research and practice in six policy priority areas:

•    Citizenship and Social, Cultural and Civic Integration
•    Economic and Labour Market Integration
•    Family, Children and Youth
•    Housing and Neighbourhoods
•    Justice, Policing and Security
•    Welcoming Communities: The Role of the Host Communities in Attracting, Integrating and Retaining Newcomers and Minorities.

On Saturday March 21st, the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnership coordinated a workshop on ‘The Social Economy and Successful Integration.’ The presenters outlined the participation of immigrants, refugees and members of cultural communities in social economy organizations. They illustrated how the target groups are involved in social economy organizations in the Atlantic region, Manitoba, and Quebéc. The workshop also reported on current and future research questions to establish how the social economy can be an innovative took to increase the access of immigrants, refugees and cultural communities to socio-economic integration. For more information, please visit the metropolis website, or visit the CSEHub website for papers, and audio presentations.

TELELEARNING SESSIONS: Telelearning Sessions are organized to bring Canadian experts working or researching topics within the Social Economy together to share their ideas and answer questions from other interested participants. These are exciting networking opportunities, and chances for people to learn about current ideas and strategies. Here are a few examples of successful sessions that have taken place this past year. Please visit the CSEHub website for a complete listing of past sessions, including: podcasts and background reading materials.

Session 14: Procurement and the Social Economy: The Canadian Context, May 13th, 2009
•    What is the impact of different purchasing policies on community development?
•    What challenges do governments face in developing ethical purchasing policies?
•    How does ethical trade fit in as a component of the alternative response to the global economic crisis?

Telelearning Session 13: Microfinance in a Canadian Context, March 10th, 2009
•    What is the significance of microfinance programs in the Canadian context
•    What is the need for microfinance programs?
•    Under what conditions do microfinance programs thrive in Canada?
•    What are the challenges faced by Canadian microfinance programs?

Telelearning Session 12: International Microfinance, March 3rd, 2009
•    What is the difference between international and domestic microfinance?
•    Under what conditions do international microfinance programs thrive?
•    What are the challenges faced by international microfinance programs?

RESEARCHER OF THE MONTH: In an effort to provide accessible insight into current Social Economy research, CSEHub regularly asks a Social Economy researcher a few key questions about their work, and records their responses. These mini-interviews are then posted on the CSEHub website, along with a short biography of the researcher and any relevant links to the projects or institutions with which they are associated. If you have suggestions for a social economy researcher that you would like us to interview, please email sekm@uvic.ca. Here are a few examples of recent researchers of the month:

Peter Hall is an Assistant Professor in the Urban Studies Program, and Associate Director of the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Hall’s work bridges the disciplines of geography, planning and economics. He is motivated by a concern with equity, and is especially interested in the role of the local public sector in shaping the geography of economic activity and opportunity. His current research addresses three topics related to development at the local, urban and regional scales:  Seaports, Logistics and Port Cities; Local Labour Markets and Employment; and Community Development.  He is currently collaborating with Dr Pamela Stern in a SSHRC-funded ethnographic study of citizen engagement in community and economic development in the Northern Ontario town of Cobalt. For more information about this project, click here. 

Raymond Dart is an Associate Professor in Business Administration, and also Principal of Peter Gzowski College at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, where he teaches Entrepreneurship, Organization Analysis, Nonprofit Organizations and Qualitative Research Design. He both consults and researches widely in the nonprofit sector with a particular focus on ’social innovation’ (i.e. clever approaches to societal and environmental problems solving), social enterprise, and environmental organizations and sustainable development. He has recently published in the journals Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly and Nonprofit Management and Leadership and is part of the Social Economy SSHRC group based in Ontario and led by Jack Quarter and Laurie Mook.

Darryl Reed is an Associate Professor in the Division of Social Science at York University and the Co-ordinator of the Business&Society Programme. He has a PhD in political economy and public policy (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, ’95) and a PhD in social ethics (University of Southern California, ’97). He has studied in Germany as an Adenauer Fellow (Frankfurt, 1989-90), has taught at the Budapest University of Economics (1994-1995) and was the Sir Ratan Tata Visiting Fellow at the Management Centre for Human Values at the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta (1997-1998). He has a wide range of research interests in the field of Business and Society, including corporate governance, community economic development, business ethics and development ethics. He has published in a number of business and economic ethics journals including the Journal of Business Ethics, Business Ethics Quarterly, Business and Society, Business Ethics: A European Review, and the International Journal of Social Economics. He also sits on the editorial board of several journals in the field.

THE SOCIAL ECONOMY STUDENT NETWORK: Networking students for a better society

The Social Economy Student Network (SESN) serves as a forum for student academic dialogue, knowledge sharing and education on the Social Economy. The SESN links students to one another from across the globe and fosters the reciprocation of knowledge and information-sharing among members. The Network exists to bring together students interested in such topics as: social justice, the marginalized, social enterprise, and environmental issues. Through intellectual and diverse peer networks within and beyond the academia, we aspire to create a solid foundation for a healthy and just society. The SESN is undertaking two major initiatives in 2009:

  1. Launching a new Social Economy Student Network website, which will identify and feature various social enterprise, student research and personal initiatives that serve to strengthen the social economy.
  2. The Student Conference on the Social Economy May 26th at Carleton University. This interdisciplinary student conference, ‘Innovation&Sustainability in a Changing World – Exploring the Social Economy Alternatives’ aims to network students, academics and practitioners, and offer participants a better understanding of issues and research about the social economy. The conference will include twelve student presentations in both French and English, and a keynote address during the conference luncheon banquet.  For more information contact Neil Nunn - Social Economy Student Network Coordinator at neilnunn@uvic.ca or check the website.

In April 2009, The Canadian Social Economy Hub invited proposals for research scholarships from students and young practitioners (under 30 years of age) working in the Social Economy.  This scholarship program is intended to promote original research by “emerging leaders” in the Social Economy that will advance knowledge for the sector, and advance the capacity of successful candidates to further strengthen the Social Economy in their academic and practitioner sectors. This scholarship will provide up to $3,000 per recipient towards salary replacement, national/international travel, or other actual costs of conducting research and producing a research report for publication by CSEHub. Winners will be announced in June, 2009.

Ian MacPherson’s Work: Since October 2008, CSEHub’s Co-Director Ian MacPherson has been busy writing papers about co-operatives and the Social Economy, and presenting at conferences and universities in Canada and across the globe. Below is a list of papers he has presented at conferences over the past few months. Please visit the links below for more information about the individual conferences.

•    “A Source for many Streams: Robert Owen’s Impact on Canada”, Robert Owen and Today”, Annual Conference, United Kingdom Society for Co-operative Studies, New Lanark, Scotland, October, 2008.
•    “International Co-operation towards Sustainable Development: The Possibilities and Challenges for Co-operatives”, CIRIEC Congress, Sevilla, Spain, October 2008.
•    “Co-operatives, Social Economy and the Northern Canadian Regions”, Northern Ministers’ Senior Advisors Conference, Vancouver, October 2008.
•    “The National Hub of the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships and the Co-op Sub-project”, Colloquium on the Northern Node of the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships, Ottawa, November 2008.
•    “The Social Economy and Economics: Perspectives from a non-Economist”, Annual Meeting, Association for Social Economics, San Francisco, January 2009 (to be published in a forthcoming issue of Journal of Socio-Economics).
•    “Co-operatives and the Social Economy in Canada”, Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, Beersheva, Israel, March 2009.
•    Le Sfide della Cooperazione, a series of twenty lectures on the international co-operative movement and the Social Economy, past, present, and future, University of Trento, Italy, April 2009.

During this period Ian has also written several papers on the co-operative movement and the Social Economy. Of note, is the text for A Century of Co-operation – a book honouring the centenary of the Canadian Co-operative Association, to be released in June, 2009.


Carleton Social Sciences and Humanities Federation Congress: This year’s Congress will be in Ottawa at Carleton University from May 23-31. The Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships is involved in two of the associations - The Canadian Association of for Studies of Co-operation (CASC) and the Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (ANSER).  There are a number of public events planned by these two associations, including a progressive dinner bus tour on May 27.  This tour will travel to local businesses for different courses of the meal, and to hear about different social economy enterprises in Ottawa. Cost:  $50.00 per person.  Register at http://www.cvsrd.org/eng/se_registration.html. For more information visit their website: http://www.fedcan.ca/congress2009.

National Summit 2010: The Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships is participating on a steering committee designed to aggregate a collection of practitioners, researchers, and innovators to meet in May, 2010.  They hope to develop a strategy to significantly strengthen the foundations for a broadly based movement within the Canadian Social Economy. They also hope to deepen relationships, and weave together the community of people who are committed to building an economy that is ecologically, socially and economically vibrant and responsible. While the priority at this juncture is to mobilize the actors in the civil society; they fully recognize the tremendous leadership of the vibrant, committed core of actors in the private and public sectors. Organizations that are participating in the Steering Committee include: the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet), Canadian Cooperative Association (CCA), Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité, Chantier de l’economie sociale, Causeway, Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité, Social Enterprise Council of Canada, Enterprising Non Profits, Canadian Centre for Community Renewal, BC-Alberta Research Alliance on the Social Economy, and the Women’s Economic Council.  Mike Toye from CCEDNet, Nancy Neamtan from le Chantier and John Anderson from CCA are providing the leadership for this initiative. The National Summit will be held at Carleton University in Ottawa from May 31 to June 2, 2010.


Social Economy and Sustainability Research Network

Quebec Node
L’Alliance de recherche universités-communautés (ARUC) Réseau québécois de recherche partenariale (RQRP)

Southern Ontario
Social Economy Centre, University of Toronto

Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario
Linking, Learning, Leveraging: Social Enterprises Knowledgeable Economies and Sustainable Communities

Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada

British Columbia and Alberta
BC-Alberta Research Alliance on the Social Economy

Edited by Ashley Hamilton-MacQuarrie with help from Annie McKitrick and Joel Legassie. Please contact Ashley at 250.472.4976 or sekm@uvic.ca with any questions.