Short, intense residencies combined with part-time online courses over 8 months.

Downtown Vancouver Intensive (Oct 2 - 6, 2017)

Indigenomics: Instructor Carol-Anne Hilton

Indigenomics examines the historical and current Canadian context of Indigenous relations in regards to economic thought, highlighting the shifting influence and position of First Nations people in the emerging new economy.

Indigenomics examines place-based values while honouring the powerful thinking of Indigenous wisdom in the context of local economics, relationship-building and humanity, exploring concepts of accountability, reciprocity and reconciliation.

While provoking insight into possibility of the Indigenous relationship both in Canada and beyond, the course explores the pathway to the threshold of the Indigenous relationship and modern economic development.

Indigenomics questions the reality of current thinking and the thought processes that has got us to the crisis of the need for a new economy. Indigenomics compares the characteristics of ‘gold rush’ thinking with the modern economy.

Participants will examine a partnership between a municipality and First Nation for the purpose of community economic development.

Particpants will gain access to the Indigenomics toolbox for change agents.

View a sample course outline.

Locanomics: Principles & Practice for Community Prosperity: Instructor Michael Shuman

This course begins with a review of current evidence regarding the efficacy to different approaches to economic development. The review concludes that what works best for community prosperity are economic development policies and strategies that focus on increasing the number and quality of locally-owned businesses. The bulk of the course will offer you a framework and number of case studies that are proven to deliver the most benefit, and can be applied without seeking resources external to your community. The goal of this approach is to ensure that economic power resides locally to the greatest extent possible, sustaining vibrant, livable communities and healthy ecosystems in the process.

View a sample course outline.

Sustainability of People, the Planet and Places: Instructor Sean Markey

An economic system that defines development in terms of material consumption will fail and is failing. Intellectuals and grassroots organizers alike are redefining economic development to mean the pursuit of genuine well-being.

The thrust of this course is develop your ability to simultaneously think and act towards economic, social, cultural and ecological objectives. It is based on the key concept that many of our most critical global issues (e.g., climate change and peak oil) are rooted in local, day-to-day problems (e.g., inefficient land use patterns). It follows that enlightened local decisions about these issues will be of global as well as local benefit.

View a sample course outline.

Live Web-Conference Courses (every Tuesday 10:00 am - 12:00 pm)

Live Web-Conference Courses (every Tuesday 10:00 am - 12:00 pm)
Live Web-Conference Courses (every Tuesday 10:00 am - 12:00 pm)

Making Change Happen: Instructor Anne Docherty

(Oct. 31 to Dec. 5, 2017)

In this course you will acquire a proven model for making change. We present a Community Organizing Model that draws from the work of Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal, Joan Kuyek, Marshall Ganz and Eric Shragge and has been tested and refined by the Storytellers’ Foundation in the Gitxsan Territory for over a decade. You will learn how making change is fundamentally about relationship building and working with people.

You will be introduced to strategies for building inclusion, social capital and effective campaigns (fundraising or political and everything in between). You will gain insight into how this approach to making change is a basic building block for local or regional economic self-reliance. Community organizing is the only method for making change that challenges existing power structures.

By the end of this course, you will have convened a group and increased your social capital.

View a sample course outline.

Seminars and Case Studies

(Jan. 9 to Feb. 13, 2018)

This course will give students a chance to examine key ideas and case studies of local living economies from across North America. Students will influence the topics which may include basic minimum income, steady state and closed loop economics, inequality, local investment funds, land trusts, the scarcity myth and time poverty.

Design Lab for Local Economic Development Projects: Instructor Nicole Chaland

(Mar. 6 to Apr. 10, 2018)

The purpose of this course is to focus and accelerate the startup of intra-preneurial and entrepreneurial local economic development projects. The overarching goal is for participants to learn how to determine whether his or her business idea is viable and has community support. Successful entrepreneurs solve problems for customers. Successful community economic development practitioners solve problems with their community.

There is a minimum of 2-3 hours of pre-work each week where you will think about your project, the problem you solve, your customers/stakeholders, and other components of your model. There will also be a set of real world activities that will take time to do well, such as talking to community members, potential customers, researching partners, and testing ideas.

Students must come to class with an idea for a project that will accelerate the transition to local, sustainable, just economies. Students can decide to use this class to launch a new social venture start-up or a community-based economic development project.

Downtown Vancouver Intensive (May 7 – 11, 2018)

Co-operative Economic: Elvy Del Bianco

This course explores opportunities for establishing co-operatives to create and sustain community resources for employment, financing, natural resource management, marketing, and services (housing, transportation, media, health, home and child care). Topics include co-op types and principles, choosing a model that fits the purpose, and supporting the developmental process.

New Economy Study Tour: Led by Wes Regan, Director, CED Program

The New Economy Study Tour will visit five social enterprises in the Downtown Eastside. The social enterprise scene in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is one of the most mature social enterprise economies in North America and is fiercely place-based; co-evolving with the neighbourhood.

Social Innovation Challenge: Instructor Jeremy Murphy

The Challenge gives you a ‘living laboratory’ experience where you will rapidly prototype a real project idea from start to finish. It is offered as an alternative and as a critique to common planning processes. This is a capstone project and participants will draw upon course materials such as a theory of change, a value proposition, articulation of how the solution challenges existing power structures, a financial model, storytelling, and how the initiative contributes to creating a new narrative of the economy that doesn’t fit into existing paradigms.

Participants will pitch real world projects from their communities to the cohort to work on throughout the two-day period. The Challenge will launch 2 - 3 local living economy initiatives.

View a sample course outline.

Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Enterprise: Instructor Brian Smith

Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise has garnered a lot of attention in the past few years. Social enterprises such as Potluck Catering, A-Way Express and Mission Possible provide meaningful employment and a place of belonging for people who experience mental illness, social exclusion and homelessness.

Social entrepreneurs, such as Mark Brand of Save-On-Meats, are testing new ways to deliver social impact or shared value, which the Harvard Business Review defines as  “…creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.”

As more organizations pursue shared value and blended returns, the landscape between non-profits and business is becoming more dynamic. In this course you will explore the concepts, values and applications of social innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise. You will also examine your role as either an entrepreneur or intrapreneur in developing a local ecosystem to support social entrepreneurship.

By the end of this course you will have completed either an analysis of your local social venture ecosystem, a profile of a social entrepeneur or a business model canvas.

View a sample course outline.

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The SFU Program gave me a deeper understanding of the role of Economic Development in Sustainable Community Development. I now know that you cannot have one without the other.

Kelly Starling
Director of Economic Development, Brazeau County

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