Rural Islands Economic Forum a First!

 

rural islands economic forum a success

 

“This is a critical and essential time for our rural islands and First Nations communities to come together to collectively address long-term community economic health all within the context of climate change.”

 

rural islands economic forum a success

 

The Rural Islands Economic Forum (RIEF), held November 7—8 on Pender Island,  was a grassroots initiative organized as a means for cultivating enduring rural island-wide economic partnerships. Held on pastoral Pender Island, both the setting and topics addresses served to remind participants of the beauty, unique culture(s), and fragility of our rural islands.

The Forum brought together over 120 leaders from 16+ BC and Washington State rural island communities, and 10+ First Nations who have traditional or reserve land on rural islands, for the purpose of advancing enduring local and regional economic resilience and community economic health.

Attendees addressed challenges, shared experiences, explored solutions, and collaborated on the development of an action plan for achieving rural island economic resiliency.

 

rural islands economic forum a success

 

The Forum provided an opportunity to explore ways, with a collective voice, to leverage relationships with government and industry on behalf of rural island community economic sustainability.

The Forum’s goal was to address economic diversification and capacity building in the context of climate change, allowing the opportunity to create the possibility of setting the agenda for community economic well-being throughout BC’s rural islands now and into the future.

Topics tackled during the Forum ranged from green business models to economic development models — options and tools. BC Rural Centre executive director Gordon Borgstrom was a panelist for a session on community investment cooperatives, while the Centre’s communications director, Randy Morse, contributed to a panel exploring trends and opportunities to increase entrepreneurial activity in rural communities.

rural islands economic forum a success