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Research Themes and Sub-Node Research Cluster Descriptions

Project Description  | Governance  |  Related Social Economy CURAs

Research Themes & Sub-node Research Clusters
Sub-nodes coordinate research activity around one or more of the five themes of the project, bridging to other sub-nodes through mechanisms such as overlapping members, steering committee meetings, workshops, newsletters, the internet, and dissemination events. 

Key themes of the research are organized into six research cluster sub-nodes:

coordinated by Dr. Luc Thériault, University of New Brunswick


Sub-node1 has two main areas of research. The first is to capture a portrait of the social economy of the Atlantic region, in as many of its facets as possible; to learn what needs the Social Economy addresses, what, if anything, makes it distinctive or innovative, the degree of interconnectedness among its facets, the implications of these connections, and the characteristics of social economy organizations in the region. This theme is generally referred to as "mapping".

The second main area of research within Sub-node 1 is the "policy" area - investigation of questions of government policy regarding the social economy: how different understandings of the social economy are reflected in government policy, what needs are not being met, what changes are needed in the regulatory environment, what indicators can be developed to aid in policy development, etc.

coordinated by Dr. Irené Novaczek, Institute for Island Studies,        

University of Prince Edward Island

Sub-node 2 will be looking at issues of inclusion and empowerment in the social economy. UPEI faculty in Island Studies, History, Anthropology, Nursing, Psychology and Philosophy will collaborate with PEI community organizations that work to advance the well-being of low income people, single mothers, seniors, aboriginal people and others who tend to be marginalized in society.

coordinated by Dr. Patty Williams, Mount Saint Vincent University

Sub-node 3 is focused on issues of food security. Food security is the ability of individuals to obtain sufficient, nutritious, personally acceptable food through normal food channels. The research carried out in this sub-node will be deeply rooted in Participatory Action Research (PAR). Team members will work to develop specific research questions collaboratively, and to effect positive change in the partner organizations and their communities. A variety of methodologies are anticipated, through which partners will take action, make changes, develop learning tools and explore strategies for public engagement.

coordinated by Dr. Omer Chouinard, Université de Moncton

Sub-node 4 will be addressing issues related to community management of natural resources and energy, such as what works, how, and why; what inputs are needed to overcome obstacles and build capacity, how community needs can be identified, and how the appropriate strategy to address those needs (i.e. market, public or social economy strategies) can be selected.

coordinated by Dr. Sonja Novkovic and Dr. Judy Haiven,

Saint Mary’s University

Sub-node 5 will be looking into the financial structures of the social economy, asking such questions as: what can social accounting, co-operative accounting, social auditing, and other techniques contribute towards a better understanding of the work and contributions of social economy organizations, where do social economy organizations obtain the financing that they need, how can social economy organizations attract financing, and what do social economy organizations contribute towards financing the social economy?

coordinated by Ms. Penelope Rowe, The Community Services Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Dr. Ivan Emke, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Communication, both internal and external, plays a significant role in the success or failure of a social economy venture. Sub-Node 6’s primary research will investigate how to connect and encourage knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer within the social economy sector, looking at issues such as how social economy actors can best communicate, technology as an equalizer vs. technology as a barrier, and what our team can contribute by developing and modeling communication processes and technique


In addition to research that is being conducted by the Sub-nodes, there are student theses and other projects being conducted through the Atlantic Node office.

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