Researchers from five countries – Brazil, Canada, South Africa, Uganda and the United States – met in Rio de Janeiro to plan the Better Futures Network.
The meeting was co-sponsored by Carleton University’s Centre for Community Innovation (CCCI).
Carleton’s Vice-President (Research and International) Kim Matheson, Senior Advisor Katherine Graham, CCCI Senior Research Fellow Ted Jackson, and CCCI Associate John Saxby participated in the planning meeting hosted by the Brazilian social mobilization network COEP and supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, the Office of the President of Brazil, and Furnas, the Brazilian electricity company.
According to Carleton, the purpose of Better Futures Network is to gather and disseminate knowledge about policies, models, and cases produced through partnerships and social innovation that promote full citizenship rights and decent work for all, address climate change, increase access to affordable food and water, reduce violence against women, and build youth leadership capacity for a changing world.
At the meeting, representatives of community organizations in northeast Brazil presented the results of partnership projects in information technology, climate change, youth leadership and small enterprise, among other areas. There were also presentations that focused on waste management co-operatives in Sao Paulo, small agribusiness incubation in Uganda, hydroponic enterprises in the Caribbean, and the Community First (CFICE) project based at Carleton. The meeting highlighted the importance of creating appropriate government policy in response to community needs and capabilities as well.
The network will officially launch in early 2014 and will include individual members and associated networks based in all regions of the world. It will be coordinated by COEP and CCCI.
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