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In 1989 Simon Fraser University became one of the first educational institutions in North America to offer programming in Community Economic Development (CED), and has continued to prepare multiple generations of practitioners for environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economic development at the neighborhood, municipal, and regional scales. Since 2001 SFU has offered the Certificate Program for Community Economic Development (CED Program) to hundreds of students in dozens of cohorts drawn from around the world, with a particularly active concentration of students drawn from BC and Alberta.
SFU’s CED program is considered a leader in CED across Canada, and our content is both progressive and unique compared to peer institutions. The CED Program differentiates itself from traditional economic approaches and is rooted in theoretical and embodied resistance to traditional capitalism and growth machine development. However, we also recognize that many communities rely on existing economic structures and resource extraction, so we teach a spectrum of approaches from incremental to transformational. As practitioners ourselves, we recognize that different students have different needs when they return to their home communities.