What is the future of rural economic development? How can communities with low population densities and typically high distances to density carve out a place in the ever-interconnected and globalized world? How can technological and transportation innovations be utilized to sustain and revitalize rural regions? What is the role of all stakeholders in this new reality for rural economic development?

These questions are fundamental to the future of rural regions. Rapidly changing technological, political and other conditions, yesterday’s solutions or assumed solutions are now being aggressively challenged. Changing senior government priorities and resources availabilities are pressing governments, communities & civil society organizations to reconsider their roles in the area and regional development agenda, and pressing for innovative approaches to governance. Community leaders, economic development practitioners, government policy makers, businesses, and researchers are striving to find answers to build and sustain vibrant rural regions.

This initiative focuses on building networks across rural economic development practitioners, policy makers, businesses, and researchers in Ontario and Ireland. The initiative will facilitate linkages between Community Futures organizations in Ontario with Leader groups in Ireland to generate knowledge sharing of successful practices, create an invaluable network, and identify seminal questions required to advancing rural economic development in this new rural reality.

Project Funding

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada