CSEHub E-Bulletin - Vol1 No1 - April 2006

Welcome to the first bulletin of the Canadian Social Economy Hub (CSEHub). Over the next five years, the CSEHub will be sending out bulletins on a regular basis providing updates on the work of the CSEHub and its Nodes.

What is the Canadian Social Economy Hub (CSEHub)? CSEHub LogoFunded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), this five-year research project is collaboration between practitioners and research centres across the country. The support for the Social Economy was announced in February 2003 by the then Liberal Federal Government. The funding for research on the Social Economy was only one of the governments announced initiatives in support for the Social Economy. The Hub is situated at the University of Victoria and is sponsored by the BC Institute for Cooperative Studies in partnership with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet). The Hub is staffed by a project officer and functions in both official languages. Over the next few years, the CSEHub website (http://www.socialeconomyhub.ca) will be stocked with a wealth of documents on the social economy and provide links to the all the major contributors to the discussions on the Social Economy in Canada and Internationally. Check it out.

The BC Institute for Cooperative Studies: BCICS LogoBCICS is the home for the Canadian Social Economy Hub. It is located in University House 2 on the University of Victoria campus. Under to the direction of Dr. Ian MacPherson, BCICS has spent the past six years working to develop Co-operative Studies as an academic field. BCICS applies the ethical values of the international co-operative movement – honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others – to this pursuit. To achieve this mandate, BCICS collaborates with credit unions, other co-operatives, post-secondary institutions, governments, individuals and communities interested in co-operative development in British Columbia and around the world. BCICS has a popular website richly populated with co-op information: http://bcics.uvic.ca. BCICS also houses the Dr. Suren Saxena Library – a library dedicated to the co-operative movement. Visitors are always welcome.

Two New Nodes announced: Northern NodeAt the end of March funding for two new Nodes was announced by SSHRC – BC/Alberta and the North. Congratulations to Mike Lewis of the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal and Chris Southcott of Lakehead University who spearheaded the proposal for their nodes. The BC Alberta Node (BALTA) is centered at the Centre for Community Enterprise in partnership with Royal Roads University. The Northern Node is centered at Yukon College and will be doing research throughout northern Canada including the three territories and parts of Quebec and Ontario. This Node will also link across the Arctic through the University of the Artic. BALTA NodeWith the announcements of the two new nodes, there is now a research centre in each part of the country. These research centers are headquartered in a variety of setting ranging from the University of Toronto to smaller universities like Mount Saint Vincent University and include a college – Yukon College and a community economic development organization, the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. Each of the Nodes is exploring the Social Economy from different perspectives. In the coming months, this Bulletin will highlight different aspect of the research on the Social Economy and the work of the Nodes.

Canadian Social Economy Hub Committees: The CSEHub has a number of committees to facilitate its work. Each Committee has representation from each Nodes and partner organizations. The Portraiture Facilitating Committee’s mandate is to establish common, ongoing directions for researchers as they pursue different ways in which to map out the social economy. This Committee is looking at indicators and typology for defining the Social Economy and helping researchers exchange survey instruments in both official languages. It also identifies areas of research that are needed in order to get a complete picture of the Social Economy. This summer a Co-op Education student at the University of Victoria student will be researching the role of mutuals in the Social Economy.

Research Chair on the Social Economy: Canadian Research Chair on the Social Economy Since 2000, the Government of Canada funds research professorships in universities across the country. These prestigious positions are called Canada Research Chairs. These Chairs are very competitive and are awarded after a comprehensive peer review process. The purpose of the program is to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. The Social Economy is fortunate to have such a Chair based at the University of Québec in Montreal. This Chair was created in 2003 and is researching social innovations in the Social Economy. The research aims to understand the contribution of the Social economy to the renewal of communities and democratization of their development. The research is organized in three major themes: a. Evaluation, b. Governance, and c. Financing and development of organizations. The Research Chair on the Social Economy works closely with two other Quebec research centers – the Centre for Research on Social Innovations and the Alliance of University Researchers and Communities on the Social Economy. For more information please visit the website of Dr. Marie J. Bouchard, Canada’s Research Chair on the Social Economy, at www.chaire.ecosoc.uqam.ca

Want to know more about Social Enterprises, Check out these resources: The Canadian Social Enterprise Guide published by the Enterprising Non-Profits Program (ENP). The Enterprising Non-Profits Program is a funding partnership that supports the planning of enterprises run by non-profits and co-operatives. The Guide is available at an accessible price by contacting seguide@vancity.com The website for the Centre for Community Enterprise www.cedworks.ca has lots of resource materials on community enterprises and community economic development. This site also houses Making Waves a quarterly magazine whose purpose is to discuss the principles and practice of economic development that is expressly geared to rebuild the hope, pride, and power of endangered or deteriorating communities. It is published by the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal (CCCR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building creative, inclusive and sustainable communities in Canada.

Did you know that: The website www.socialeconomy.ca is the website of the BC Social Economy Roundtable. The website contains information on the Round Table and a paper prepared for it on the definition of the Social Economy by John Restakis of the BC Co-operative Association (BCCA). In this paper John stresses that understanding the principle of reciprocity is fundamental to understanding what the social economy is and the role of social enterprises within it.

To contact us Canadian Social Economy Hub Project Officer: Annie McKitrick secoord@uvic.ca This Bulletin will appear every 3 weeks. To subscribe send an e-mail to info@socialeconomyhub.ca