In October 2017, I drove to Guelph to attend my first seminar as a participant in Class #17 of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program. This program, run by the Rural Ontario Institute, is a 19-month executive leadership development experience for people who want to shape the future of agriculture and food industry and make a positive difference in rural communities across Ontario. The curriculum includes a series of eight seminars across the province, a North American Study Tour, and an International Study Tour. Study topics include government and political systems, marketing and economics, environmental impact, national and international trade, communication and organization skills, decision making, consumer and social issues, media relations, agri-food trends and society and globalization and the dynamics of change. Continue reading Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program: An Opportunity Like No Other
Small communities have particular needs and assets when it comes to building strong economies. This was the topic of conversation at the June 28-29 Teeny Tiny Summits, which drew over 200 volunteers, staff, local councillors, and support organizations.
Participants were treated to an inspiring dialogue with keynote speaker Peter Kenyon, a social capitalist and community enthusiast. Over the last four decades, Peter has worked with more than 2000 communities all over the world seeking to facilitate fresh and creative ways that stimulate community and local economic renewal. Continue reading Teeny Tiny Summits Create a Big Impact!
The first-ever “Teeny Tiny Summit” was held on March 30, 2016 in Seeley’s Bay. The summit was dedicated to community economic development in Ontario’s smallest places and was coordinated by the Township of Leeds and 1000 Islands, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Teeny Tiny Places have the following characteristics:
- Rural geography
- Villages or hamlets with populations under 1000
- No economic development staff
- No strong drivers of economic growth
- Stable or declining population
You’re a small community in rural Ontario. You have a stable or declining population, no downtown core, no economic development officer and no strong drivers of economic activity. Give up, right? Not so fast…
Economic development is a means to an end goal, which is community well-being. And Teeny Tiny Places can improve community well-being as much as any other place. They simply work on a different scale and with a different toolkit. Continue reading Too Small for Economic Development? 5 Strategies for Teeny Tiny Places.