The North Coast Innovation Lab (NCIL) is a place-based initiative for people who are invested in the future of Prince Rupert to work together on tangible projects and initiatives that build a resilient economy as a tool for community well-being. Forthcoming student Project Coordinators provide capacity to the efforts of the NCIL through action-research, project prototyping/piloting, social innovation methodology application & understanding, and community learning activities and presentations reflecting the efforts and outcomes of the NCIL.
The two internships proposed in this application are for research and feasibility project coordinators for the North Coast Innovation Lab (NCIL) in Prince Rupert, BC.
In addition to research and feasibility around potential projects that will a) grow the local economy for fish and marine products, and b) enhance coworking and resource sharing, the internships will also explore, at both systems and ground levels, how social innovation strategies of economic development and community building can be applied in the rural, northern and coastal context.
Ultimately, the NCIL hopes to spark a systemi
Energy poverty is an issue that impacts many First Nations communities in British Columbia. Despite significant appetite from communities to develop clean energy solutions, many do not benefit from the available financing programs. This research seeks to understand what barriers exist for First Nations communities in accessing energy financing, as well as to identify some best practices from other jurisdictions. The project will use this information to propose innovative community energy financing options that could be applied in the B.C. context.
This research aims to identify the challenges and opportunities that exist within and amongst First Nations communities for creating culturally appropriate and resilient housing models and local economies. It will build understanding around what is required to transform the current housing system from one that uses external labour, resources and businesses to one that promotes local livelihoods, value-added businesses and local resource use within a First Nations culturally focused bioregional economy.
Nova Scotia forests boast the second highest private ownership rate in Canada, with almost 3 of 4.5 million hectares owned by 30,000 woodlot owners and private corporations. Because of this, forest management practices vary widely. Though the Nova Scotian forests traditionally consist of large, mature, unevenly aged trees that support both important biodiversity and a thriving forest sector, mismanagement of these forests for decades has led to a decline of the forests and the rural communities that depend on them.
Vancouver’s inner city is experiencing disproportionate levels of poverty and is under strong development pressure, with concern that few of the associated benefits are being captured by local communities and economies. An appetite exists for innovation in economic development but current community capacity to explore and support these ideas is limited. RADIUS SFU and Ecotrust Canada are developing a social innovation lab methodology and framework that works with community to design, test and launch new approaches to sustainable economic development.
In the past, Canada’s fisheries have been improperly managed, which has led to overfishing and general downturn of fisheries economics. Because of this, the federal government has mandated that all fisheries be monitored to ensure that the proper regulations and quotas are being followed. Recently, the onus for this monitoring has been transferred to the fisheries themselves and they are finding it costly and overwhelming. Ecotrust Canada is designing a new, less expensive and more user-friendly monitoring system and is currently testing it out in Northern BC as well as in Maine.
Social impact bonds (SIB) have the potential to fund proven social innovation projects that governments have to date, for a variety of reasons, been reticent to fund. Through a SIB, private investors fund innovative social intervention work that is carried out by a non-profit. If the non-profit achieves certain social outcomes previously agreed upon by the three parties, a portion of the public savings from early intervention are given to investors as a return on their initial investment.
This research project aims to investigate the potential of a Vancouver Island Model Forest. A model forest is a partnership-based process for working towards sustainable development of a forested landscape. We will arrange a stakeholder meeting to establish a common understanding of the concept and see if there is commitment from stakeholder groups to procees with development. By interviewing key forest stakeholders we will try to identify the common needs and possible areas of collaboration on the Island.
The internship will involve further research, development and the implementation of up to four of the recommendations provided in the previous internship term, as outlined a recently completed report to Ecotrust Canada, titled ‘Draft Summary Report, ‘Forest Stewardship Council Group Certification Program: Next Steps’ (December 2012). The first step will be to work on the development of a proposal of services that Ecotrust Canada could provide to FSC Canada. This will involve identifying what services are needed, and how EC could deliver them while maintaining alignment with their mission.