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

Other BALTA News

BALTA Presentation in Helsinki

Dr. Noel Keough
Dr. Noel Keough

Scandinavia is becoming a popular destination for BALTA researchers. Last September-October, Mike Lewis and Pat Conaty were in Sweden to present at the CIRIEC International Research Conference on the Social Economy and other meetings. Noel Keough of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design was in Helsinki recently to give a presentation on BALTA Project A7 – Co-op Housing Futures: A Spatial Design Research Approach. The presentation was given at a joint collaboration between the Nordic Conference on Activity Theory and the Fourth Finnish Conference on Cultural and Activity Research.



BALTA Priorities Shift to Dissemination and Engagement in 2010-2011

With BALTA’s multi-year funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ending in 2011, the focus of attention will shift towards greater attention on dissemination of research results and engagement with various sectors of the social economy regarding how to use those results to support the sector.  BALTA will be employing a wide range of strategies to accomplish this:  conference presentations, workshops, publications to popularize the research and make it more user-friendly for particular audiences, books, tele-seminars, targeted meetings, media outreach, etc.

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BALTA Co-Sponsors Symposium on Working in the Social Economy

Dr. Jorge Sousa
Dr. Jorge Sousa

The symposium took place in Edmonton on April 27, bringing together over 70 participants.  SERC 3’s co-chair, Jorge Sousa of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education, organized and moderated the symposium.

Topics addressed in the presentations and discussion included:

  • Key trends and issues impacting on the sector.
  • An overview of BALTA’s mapping research on the social economy sector.
  • Attraction and retention – positioning the sector as a choice employer.
  • The public policy context for social economy employment, including funding cutbacks.
  • Innovations in non-profit sharing of services.
  • The Community Disability Services Recruitment and Retention Campaign and initiatives to promote diversity in the workplace..
  • An overview of the Alberta Non-Profit/Voluntary Sector initiative and workforce strategy.

The symposium was co-sponsored by the Work and Learning Network, the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, and Alberta Employment and Immigration.

BALTA Holds Second Symposium

BALTA researchers and members gathered in Calgary on November 24-25, 2009, to share the results of BALTA research to date, learn about recently inaugurated research projects and discuss future directions for BALTA.  BALTA’s members were joined by several students working on BALTA research projects and representatives of other organizations with an interest in the social economy.

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BALTA Presentations in Sweden

Dr. Jorge Sousa

BALTA members Mike Lewis and Pat Conaty attended the 2nd International CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy in Östersund, Sweden, on October 1‐2, 2009.  The conference attracted over 300 participants and more than 160 papers were delivered.  Mike and Pat delivered a paper on “The Great Transition: Navigating Social, Economic, Ecological Change in Turbulent Times”.  Their session was well attended (approx. 60 ) and participant comments included: “refreshing”, “challenging”, “outside of the box” and “inspiring”.

Mike and Pat also attended several workshops and meetings in Stockholm and Östersund with social economy representatives, Transition Town members, government representatives, bankers, researchers, students, journalists, farmers and others that included discussion of the CIRIEC paper and its themes.

Mike and Pat are developing a book to deepen the analysis presented briefly in the CIRIEC paper.  The enthusiastic response to the paper to date is indicative that the book should draw wide interest.  The paper has already been translated into French, Spanish and Swedish.

English version of the paper
French version of the paper
Spanish version of the paper
Swedish version of the paper

 BALTA’s First Post‐Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Sean Connelly
Dr. Sean Connelly

Dr. Sean Connelly, recently awarded his doctorate by Simon Fraser University, will be working for BALTA as a one year post‐doctoral researcher.  Sean’s research will examine the
linkages between the social economy and sustainable community development, including a specific focus on re‐localizing food systems.  Another of Sean’s roles will be to assist in synthesizing the research from various research
projects and identifying significant common themes that emerge.






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