BALTA - B.C.-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance

Other BALTA News (Archive)

This webpage includes archived news about the BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance (BALTA).

BALTA's First International Outing

by Mike Lewis

In the sweltering June heat of Atlanta, Georgia, BALTA co-sponsored with the North American Network on the Solidarity Economy a strategically important workshop on the social economy in Canada.

Organized within the economic alternatives section of the first ever U.S. Social Forum, key organizations and networks from across the U.S. engaged with Mike Lewis and Nancy Neamtan, President of  the Chantier l'économie sociale in Quebec, both of whom are associated with BALTA.  They shared the panel with  Nedda Angulo, a key leader of the national solidarity economy network in Peru (GRESP).  Ethel Coté moderated this workshop, officially representing the Canadian CED Network, another partner in BALTA.

Mike used some of the early work he did on one of BALTA's research projects as the basis for his presentations in two different workshops.

These three Canadians, along with Dan Swinney, a BALTA collaborator from Chicago, and Yvon Poirier from Quebec, were active in giving leadership in other workshops as well.

15,000 people attended the four day U.S. Social Forum.  From the perspective of those working on the social and solidarity economy stream of the Forum, one very important result was the birth of a U.S. national network on the solidarity economy.  Emily Kawano, Executive Director of the National Centre for Popular Economics, spoke for many participants in publicly thanking the Canadians for their contribution.

(From BALTA Bits & Bites, September-October 2007)


Where Community Counts: A Forum on Community Economic Development and the Social Economy in the Global Context.Nancy Neamtan speaks at public event. Nancy Neamtan speaks at public event.

Sean Markey presents at the CIRIEC conference. Sean Markey presents at the CIRIEC conference.

Mike Lewis at the CIRIEC conference. Mike Lewis at the CIRIEC conference.

BALTA student research assistant, Wendy Aupers, at the CIRIEC conferenceBALTA student research assistant, Wendy Aupers, at the CIRIEC conference.

Mike Gismondi and Mark Roseland at the CIRIEC conferenceMike Gismondi and Mark Roseland at the CIRIEC conference

BALTA Co-Sponsored Event Closes International Research Conference

Over 50 people gathered in Victoria, BC, on the evening of October 25 for Where Community Counts: A Forum on Community Economic Development and the Social Economy in the Global Context.  The event capped an eventful week for social economy researchers, the First International CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy.

BALTA co-sponsored the free public forum, along with the Canadian CED Network, the Canadian Social Economy Hub and the Victoria Community Council. BALTA was also a significant presence at the CIRIEC conference, with several BALTA members presenting papers.

Speakers at the forum included BALTA members Nancy Neamtan, President/Executive Director of the Chantier de l’économie sociale in Quebec, and Mike Lewis. Other speakers were Olga Navarro-Flores of the Université du Québec á Montréal, and Rupert Downing and Carol Madsen of the Canadian CED Network. A lively discussion with audience members closed out the evening.

The conference drew approximately 300 participants to hear a very diverse range of papers presented on topics related to the social economy and civil society. The conference was co-sponsored by CIRIEC (Centre International de Recherches et d’Information sur l’Economie Publique, Sociale et Coopérative), CIRIEC Canada and the Canadian Social Economy Hub.

BALTA members and students presenting at the conference included:

Jean-Marc Fontan – “Recherche partenariale en contexte Québecois”

Mike Lewis – “Getting Outside the Social Economy Box: Towards a Solidarity Economy”

Ian MacPherson – “Walking the Walk: the Challenges Confronting the Social Economy in Canada”

Sean Markey, Mark Roseland & Peter Hall – “Community reinvestment and the challenges of scaling up the social economy”

Margie Mendell – “Democratizing Finance: Financial Innovation in the Social Economy: The Emergence of a New Financial Market”

Nancy Neamtan – “Economie sociale face á la globalisation”

Lena Soots – “Supporting Innovative Co-operative Development in Canada: The Case of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Development System”

Jorge Sousa – “Service Learning in the Social Economy”

Seven BALTA student research assistants (Julia Affolderbach, Wendy Aupers, Billy Collins, Zane Hamm, Karen Heisler, Nadine Pinnell, Lena Soots) participated in all or part of the conference. The conference week also provided an opportunity for BALTA members and students to get better acquainted and to discuss several areas of BALTA’s research program.

For conference information.







BALTA Co-Investigator Recognized as Social Economy Researcher of the Month

Dr. Jorge Sousa

Dr. Jorge Sousa, co-chair of BALTA’s Social Economy Research Cluster #3 (Analysis, Evaluation and Infrastructure) was recognized in October 2007 as the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships Researcher of the Month.  Jorge is also associated with the Community-University Research Alliance for Southern Ontario's Social Economy.  In addition to co-chairing SERC 3, Jorge is leading two BALTA research projects in 2007-2008.

Jorge completed his PhD at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.  He is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta in the specialization of Adult Education.  His research interests include: learning styles and social processes in Social Economy organizations; community governance models; building community capacity using audio/visual technology; community development; community economic development; housing policy; popular education and local democracy movements; life transitions of graduate and post-graduate students. Jorge has worked with community-based non-profit organizations in Edmonton and Toronto in conducting research as well as consulting on planning processes relevant to capacity building and development.

Hear an interview with Jorge.


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