SFU CED Course Descriptions

100 Level - Foundations

Course Number

Course Name


CED101 Indigenomics 1: CED and Reconciliation


CED102 Economics of Well-being


CED103 Sustainability of People, Planet and Places


CED104 Locanomics 1: Principles for Community Prosperity


CED105 Rural CED 1: Natural Resource Communities in Transition



Sustainable Leadership 1: Making Change Happen


Resilience 1: Community Economic Resilience



200 Level - Tools

Course Number Course Name Hours


Indigenomics 2: Cross-Cultural Strategies for CED



Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Social Value



Co-operative Economics



Locanomics 2: Strategies for Urban Economic Development



Rural CED 2: Strategies for Rural Economic Development



Sustainable Leadership 2: Organizing Strategies for Social Change



Resilience 2: Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation and Economic Disruption



Financing CED 1: Financing Community Economic Development



Affordable Housing and Social Supports for CED



CED Approaches to Food



Developing CED Accelerators and Labs



BIAs, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Retail Gentrification



300 Level - Professional Practice

Course Number Course Name Hours


Design Lab for CED Project Planning



Design Lab for Social Entrepreneurship



New Economy Study Tours



Emerging Practice 1: Seminars and Cases



Emerging Practice 2: Seminars and Cases



Social Innovation Challenge



Mentorship in CED Planning



Financing CED 2: Grant-Writing Workshop for CED Proposals



CED Career Development Workshop


CED101          Indigenomics 1: CED and Reconciliation

Indigenomics examines the historical and current Canadian context of Indigenous relations in regards to economic thought and highlights the shifting influence and position of First Nations people in the emerging new economy. While provoking insight into the possibility of the Indigenous relationship with Canada and beyond, the course explores the pathway to the threshold of the Indigenous relationship and modern economic development. It examines place-based values and honors the powerful thinking of Indigenous wisdom of local economy, relationships, and human values in the modern context. Indigenomics questions the reality of current thinking and the thought processes that have gotten us to the crisis of the need for a new economy. Indigenomics parallels the characteristics of ‘gold rush’ thinking with the modern economy. It examines how to build the characteristics of accountability and reciprocity.


CED102          Economics of Well-Being   

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, Indigenous 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. 


CED103          Sustainability of People, Planet and Places

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.


CED104          Locanomics 1: Principles for Community Prosperity     

This course begins with a review of current evidence regarding the efficacy of 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 a framework and number of case studies to understand how capital leakages, multiplier effects, import substitution, community-control, and other issues impact economic functioning and the status of livelihoods. 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.


CED105          Rural CED 1: Natural Resource Communities in Transition      

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 and First Nations' territories. 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 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.


CED106          Sustainable Leadership 1: Making Change Happen       

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. The course explores how to develop narratives for environmental and economic change, and serve as a leader in your community. It reviews leadership models at local, Provincial, Federal, and First Nations levels.


CED107          Resilience 1: Community Economic Resilience  

The economic recovery of areas affected by natural and technological disasters is critical to the overall recovery of regions. The return of industries plays an integral part in the production of capital and other resources required by local residents to pursue their own personal recovery. Similarly, in cases of evacuation, the return of businesses and services provides signals to evacuees that their communities may be stable enough to return to. This course therefore explores the fundamentals of resilience by considering the typical impacts that disasters have on businesses, the institutional environment for economic preparation and planning, and the contemporary philosophies and practices of economic resilience.


CED201          Indigenomics 2: Cross-Cultural Strategies for CED       

Building off of Indigenomics 1, this course begins with a survey of cross-cultural economic development strategies, primarily focusing on CED with First Nations. Common protocols and ethical modes of development in a period of (post)-colonialization are explored. Case studies and interviews with Indigenous instructors are used to detail successful community economic development initiatives that have resulted in social empowerment, environmental sustainability, and cultural respect. Discussions of land use, title, consultation, accommodation, etc., are considered in terms of resource extraction industries and current issues in economic development.  Typical CED approaches are critiqued from an Indigenous perspective.


CED202          Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Social Value 

Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship & 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 students explore the concepts, values, and applications of social innovation, entrepreneurship, and enterprise.


CED203          Co-operative Economics    

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 development of local economies and local self-reliance. Utilizing the experience and expertise of co-op developers, this course will explore the options for co-op enterprise and the requirements for effective start-ups.


CED204          Locanomics 2: Strategies for Urban Economic Development  

Locanomics 2 drills down into the specific tools and strategies that community economic developers use in cities to drive policies and markets towards the support of local businesses. This includes discussions of buy-local campaigns, social purchasing agreements, zoning ordinances, placemaking initiatives, community investment initiatives, etc.


CED205          Rural CED 2: Strategies for Rural Economic Development       

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. The course looks at industries including fisheries, forestry, mining, tourism, agriculture, tech, small town retail, and arts/culture, and provides tools for grassroots economic development in those areas.


CED206          Sustainable Leadership 2: Organizing Strategies for Social Change  

CED is an approach to development that requires community participation. Involvement of community members and organizations in a range of initiatives and processes is a critical part of a healthy community economic development approach. This course explores the benefits and risks of community involvement. It also introduces a range of involvement levels from communication to consultation to participation in planning, problem solving and decision making. Participants will be encouraged to consider the most appropriate approach to involving the community for their workplace or project. The course also deals with practical issues such as communication techniques and facilitation of group process.


CED207          Resilience 2: Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation and Economic Disruption 

Contemporary human society is dealing with a dizzying array of hazards from climate change and 100-year weather events to terrorism and technological failures.  Similarly, consolidation of economic ownership and control, the increasing mobility of capital, and the liberalization of trade relationships are presenting major challenges for regional and local economies to remain sustainable. Even though our ability to respond and recover from disruptions of all kinds is continually increasing, the demands and costs for managing shocks are increasing as well. This course provides specific tools and approaches for implementing economic resilience initiatives, and helps practitioners, planners, and organizational leaders to identify their roles in increasing resilience in their own communities.


CED208          Financing CED 1: Financing Community Economic Development      

Every community and CED enterprise confronts the challenge of raising funds. The goal of this course is to provide students with the insight and knowledge required to put together a financing package for their projects. The course will focus on commercial and non-profit financing approaches (mainstream and alternative sources of debt and equity, venture capital, etc.). The essentials of balance sheets, income statements and cash flow projections will also be covered in order to understand how to position profitability or losses in discussions with financing authorities. Special focus will be paid to financing social purpose activities and Indigenous businesses.


CED209          Affordable Housing and Social Supports for CED          

A community’s housing stock has a major influence on its economic, social and environmental health. Current population trends, an overall decline in investments in affordable housing, significant rises in housing costs and the resulting decrease in quality of life in urban and rural communities are important factors in building housing models for the future. This course provides an overview of different planning approaches to affordable housing, such as the integrated design process and taking stock of existing housing assets and deficits. Students will also learn how to measure the social, economic and environmental outcomes of different types of housing and how various social supports contribute to, or detract from, economic outcomes.


CED210          CED Approaches to Food   

Food is the essence of life, and as such it plays a central role in most economies of the world. In areas like Western Canada food is the basis for many enterprise and CED projects from Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in First Nation territories and salmon smoking on the coasts, to rural farmers markets and food trucks in major downtowns. This course therefore explores food production and sale as a critical component of CED planning strategies, and considers the environmental, financial, policy, capacity-building, and marketing necessities for developing sustainable business environments for food.


CED211          Developing CED Accelerators and Labs  

Entrepreneurship is a key aspect of community economic development, and there is a growing movement of organizations that are forming to support the testing of business ideas and incubation into market-ready ventures. This course surveys the environment of accelerators and labs in Western Canada, considering the strengths and weaknesses of various organizations. It also uses SFU CED's LEAP! accelerator program as a case study for successful accelerator development in rural communities and First Nations territories.


CED212          BIAs, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Retail Gentrification  

In cities neighborhood commercial corridors are the essence of urban street life. They imprint the look and feel of a neighborhood, but they also provide many of the daily necessities for all the people that live adjacent to them. For lower-income areas, neighborhood revitalization strategies can be a mixed-blessing. While they may improve the aesthetic quality or the business mix of the area, they can also drive retail gentrification which may displace both the locally-serving businesses and the very inhabitants that populated the neighborhood traditionally. This course considers commercial corridor revitalization and critically analyzes the roles of Business Improvement Associations (BIAs), local Chambers of Commerce, community development corporations, and other organizations in the reshaping of neighborhood business districts. Tools for revitalization are examined and critiqued.


CED301          Design Lab for CED Project Planning /

CED302          Design Lab for Social Entrepreneurship  

The SFU CED Design Labs are core components of the certificate program and often serve as capstones for the certificate experience. We recognize two realities for students in the program: the need to convert their learnings into something tangible 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 considered for implementation. 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 Design Lab courses are longer than typical courses, and can be combined with CED 307: Design Lab Mentorship to further guide the process of design.


CED303          New Economy Study Tours

The New Economy Study Tour is a walking field study that visits four social enterprises in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The social enterprise scene in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is one of the most mature social economies and the densest cluster of social enterprise in North America. It is fiercely place-based; co-evolving with the neighborhood and an un-recognized innovation zone.


CED304          Emerging Practice 1: Seminars and Cases          

This course gives students a chance to examine current issues, emerging ideas, and case studies of local living economies. The focus of the course is on real practitioners and how they address common issues in the practice of community economic development. Live seminars in-person or virtually are used to introduce practitioners to students and build networks.


CED305          Emerging Practice 2: Seminars and Cases          

This course gives students a chance to examine current issues, emerging ideas, and case studies of local living economies. The focus of the course is on real practitioners and how they address common issues in the practice of community economic development. Live seminars in-person or virtually are used to introduce practitioners to students and build networks.


CED306          Social Innovation Challenge          

The course is a workshop designed to test students’ skills and knowledge formed throughout the duration of the program. It is a series of collaborative exercises and presentations designed to bring course materials, tools, approaches, and resources to bear on real community economic development projects that you are working on in your community. Students will work to inform, critique, and evolve several real community economic development projects to the point of being implementation-ready, and pitch those to potential investors or partners. Seed grants are provided to winning pitches at the end of the course.


CED307          Design Lab Mentorship      

The mentorship course is an additional component to be paired with one of the design labs. Depending on the delivery of the certificate program, the mentorship course may be added to focus more attention on the development of a CED strategy or social enterprise idea.


CED 308         Financing CED 2: Grant-Writing Workshop for CED Proposals

Almost every CED professional will write a grant proposal at some point in their career. Because our work is often with communities that need support, we must pursue financial resources from governments, foundations, and corporations. This one-day grant-writing workshop provides best practices in narrative development, project budgeting, program design, and other important aspects of a good grant proposal. Take-home resources will be provided.


CED 309         CED Career Development Workshop        

At the end of any educational program students are often left wondering: what next? This course examines the contemporary market for CED certificate holders, and explores the different types of organizations, businesses, and institutions that are likely to hire CED graduates. Alumni are invited to discuss their personal experiences and provide suggestions for network development, resume enhancement, and job searching. Resume reviews are conducted, and tips for job-seeking are shared.