The urban-rural divide in Canada describes disadvantages for rural communities in terms of economic growth, population density, income distribution, career opportunities, quality of life, etc. Yet while the global pandemic resulted in unprecedented job loss in 2020, rural areas have seen the fastest overall employment recovery.
Furthermore, while only 18% of the current population in Canada lives in rural areas, research conducted by Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship predicts that rural areas will achieve rapid population growth in the coming years. As a result of COVID-19, employee and job seeker’s preferences are changing and Canadian’s are choosing greener spaces over big cities. This will foster rural communities with more diversity and lead to greater employment and training opportunities for the future of work.
We encourage you to check out the organizations listed above and watch the recording of the session to form your own opinion on what stands out for you.
Here is our summary of key takeaways from the session:
1. What comes to mind when you think about ‘building future ready communities’?
2. What is the most memorable “success story” you’ve experienced when you think about how your organization/group has contributed to ‘building future ready communities’?
Lessons Learned and Considerations for Future
3. Any words of wisdom, calls to action, or questions for consideration you’d like to pose to our audience?
4. What would be your biggest piece of advice to individuals in Canada trying to start and/or advance their careers and navigate the future of work?
BONUS QUESTION 1: How do we create space in rural communities to attract, keep, and/or bring back talent?
Audience Question: What are some of the barriers to accessibility faced by northern communities?
6. What are some resources, books, Ted Talks, or podcasts, that have been instrumental in shaping your view on the future of work?
What stood out from the discussion was the importance of learning from and with communities, and collaborating across sectors to work towards a shared goal. We need to be vulnerable, be brave, and be willing to put ourselves out there. We all have a role to play in terms of us being a part of a community, and we all need to do our part to make the community stronger. There is still work to do and lessons to be learned, but we are not alone.
Guiding discussion questions:
About the panelists:
Lynda Brown, Alumni Team Lead, SOI Foundation
Lynda joined SOI Foundation in 2019 where she provides leadership to the Alumni Team. She comes to SOI with experience in program development and team management as a former Manager of Youth Programs at Inuuqatigiit Inuit Centre. She is strongly connected with the Ottawa Inuit community and has worked mainly with Inuit youth. As an RCGS Fellow, Lynda dedicates her time both professionally and personally to promoting Inuit culture and advocacy for youth.
Launched in 2000, the SOI Foundation has led more than 35 expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic and places in between. Each incredible journey raised the bar on their mission to engage youth, further their knowledge of the polar regions, increase diversity among our participants, and encourage cross-cultural collaboration to support a healthy and sustainable future.
Their vision for the future builds on their success in experiential learning and youth engagement to now develop new programs that include land-based, community-based, and virtual learning opportunities. Additionally, the SOI Foundation is broadening its support of youth beyond experiential learning to offer new opportunities and resources for mentorship, professional development and community service. Their goal is to inspire and foster sustainability leadership throughout every phase of their educational and professional development programs.
The SOI Foundation is now recognized globally as a leader in youth engagement, with a legacy focused on changing lives and the world.
Jennifer Whelan, Executive Director, CBDC Emerald
With over 10 years of professional experience, Jennifer has honed her leadership, fundraising, and highly acute administrative skills. She brings her experience and expertise to her role as Executive Director for CBDC Emerald, a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs in the creation of small businesses, as well as the expansion of existing businesses, by providing financial and technical services.
As the Executive Director for CBDC Emerald, Jennifer has been recognized for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in nonprofit support services. Honored for Excellence in Nonprofit Support Services, she contributes to the nonprofit sector through professional and philanthropic endeavors
CBDC Emerald is a not-for-profit community-based organizations run by volunteers from the local business community who firmly believe in improving the economic viability of their communities. Located throughout rural New Brunswick, the 10 CBDC offices are there to help potential and existing entrepreneurs living in rural communities access capital and other business resources. They are high risk niche lenders who do not compete with conventional lenders, but work with those entrepreneurs who have difficulty securing capital through traditional sources.
Becky Tucker, Communications Associate, Campus Planning & Community Engagement, Nova Scotia Community College
Becky is a Communications Associate at Nova Scotia Community College where she leads communications for One Nova Scotia and facilitates regional projects and partnerships for NSCC.
Joining the College in 2019, Becky has facilitated the development and delivery of MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia, playing a central support to the five participating teams and backbone organization managing the project. In addition to her experience in communications and working with senior leadership and external stakeholders, Becky has a dedicated interest in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the role they have in providing all Nova Scotians with a greater quality of life.
When she’s not drafting communications and connecting with stakeholders, Becky can likely be found training for an upcoming run, or baking.
Nova Scotia Community College
Nova Scotia Community College is transforming the province. Through their network of 14 campuses, they provide Nova Scotians with inclusive and flexible access to education and the specialized, industry-driven training for today and tomorrow’s workforce.
NSCC believes the future of the province lies in the power of learning, which is why they care about the success of every student – in education, in career and in life.