All individuals and societies face challenges - be they environmental, economic, cultural or social - and must respond to change. How each prepares for and responses to these challenges is often as important as the solution that is implemented. Resilient communities recognize the importance of addressing issues of sustainability, inclusion, social justice and equity as they strive to create solutions.
Developing effective preparation and response mechanisms requires an approach that focuses on the role of communities in building local, national, and ultimately global resilience. The Coady Institute’s approach starts with ordinary citizens and their local organizations and aims to acknowledge their existing capacities and potential; strengthen their ability to organize to use these assets to address problems for themselves, see possibilities, seize opportunities within volatile environments, and use their initiative as leverage for external assistance as they require.
Over 150 community development practitioners, policymakers, researchers and funders from the U.S. and Canada met to share insights and explore 11 case studies of successful citizen-led and community-driven developments in both countries during a major forum hosted by StFX’s Extension Department and the Coady International Institute.
The forum, entitled Citizen-Led Sustainable Change: Innovations in North American Community Development, took place June 23-25, 2013 at StFX’s Gerald Schwartz School of Business and the Coady Institute.
Case study authors and community leaders gathered to share best practices among a wide range of development practitioners, researchers and policymakers from across North America, along with intermediaries and funders who support community-driven social and economic innovations.
For more information on the case studies, please click here.