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

Downtown Vancouver Intensive 1 (Oct 1 - 5, 2018)

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.

Economics of Well-being: Instructors Wes Regan and Jeremy Stone

This course establishes the foundations of Community Economic Development. It explores what an economy is, how it functions, and how it contributes to happiness and well-being. It considers different basic models of economic organization such as household economies, sharing economies, neoliberal capitalism, Marxism, and others to understand how different approaches do and do not meet our physical, emotional, and social needs. Through this course we also examine the roles of people in economic development as planners, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, laborers, and beneficiaries. Students will consider what economic models, policies, and programs help or hinder well-being, and how to integrate communities into their own economic development. 

Natural Resource Communities in Transition: Tasha Sutcliffe

Economies based in the extraction and sale of natural resources - such as fisheries, forestry, and mining - are all facing various forms of transition in rural areas. Some are facing the closure of mills or canneries that were primary employers for generations. Others are struggling with environmental or social concerns which are requiring new approaches to extraction. In all of these situations a triple-bottom line approach to rural economic development is necessary. How can new or existing industries meet financial, environmental, and social needs or principles?

This course focuses on strategies for rural economic development as well as case studies of successful implementations. It draws on decades of innovation and testing in the Cascadia bio-region which have demonstrated the merits and limitations of different approaches. 

Although the course provides technical expertise, it also engages with the complexities of sustainable development such as the impact of environmental conservation on jobs and the role of industry in sustainability. Issues like these can be contradictory and have unintended consequences, but they are ever-present within economic development planning.  

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 30 to Dec 4, 2018)

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.

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

(Jan 9 to Feb 12, 2019)

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.

Emerging Economic Theories & Practices:  Instructors Wes Regan and Jeremy Stone

(Mar 5 to Apr 9, 2019)

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, time poverty, etc. We consider this a chance to "course correct" during the program - if we have more urban practitioners we'll incorporate more urban cases, or if there is more of an interest in community currencies we'll do a section on that. This is customized to each cohort and ensures that all students get the instruction they want and need before completing the program. 

Downtown Vancouver Intensive (May 6 – 10, 2019)

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.

Social Entrepreneurship & Enterprise: Instructor Brian Smith

Social 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 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.

New Economy Study Tour: Instructor TBA

The New Economy Study Tour will visit social enterprises and social enterprise incubators in Vancouver. Some of these may be involved with the Downtown Eastside, but we also strive to be inclusive of enterprises and incubators that serve other communities. The focus is on mechanics - how do these enteprises develop, grow, and survive. It also focuses on the enabling environment for social change implementations - what is the right mix of funding, policy support, and community participation that improves the chances for success?

Design Lab for Local Economic Development Projects: Instructor Karen Peachey

(Oct 5, 2018 to May 10, 2019)

This course is changing its focus in response to what we see are the needs and interests of the students in the CED certificate program. This year we are using the Design Lab as over-arching course that acts similarly to a capstone in other degree programs. We are sensitive to two needs of students:

  • The need to convert their learnings into something tanglible they can do in their home communities, and;
  • The need to provide home organizations or stakeholders (who have often funded our students) with a strategy or plan that can be implemented or shared. 
Although the design lab has often focused on social enterprises, we are expanding the focus to include community economic development projects and strategies. For students who want to develop a social enterprise idea, they can use a business model canvas and receive peer and instructor support to flesh out their idea. For students who want to develop a project or strategy, they can use SFU's "CED Project Canvas" and receive the same support to explore and refine that project or strategy. 

The course will begin during the first week of the Vancouver intensive, include periodic check-ins online through the course of the program, and will conclude with presentations and feedback during the last Vancouver intensive. 

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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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