The Social Dynamics of Economic Performance: Innovation and Creativity in City-Regions; Newfoundland and Labrador Project Preliminary Findings

Hall, Heather (2010) The Social Dynamics of Economic Performance: Innovation and Creativity in City-Regions; Newfoundland and Labrador Project Preliminary Findings. Project Report. The Harris Centre.

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This report is based on the preliminary findings presented at the Newfoundland and Labrador ISRN Team workshop on February 18th and 19th, 2010. The Innovation Systems Research Network (ISRN) project is part of a $2.5 million Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada – Major Collaborative Research Initiative (SSHRC – MCRI) exploring the social dynamics of economic performance in fifteen cities across Canada. This research has three major themes: (1) the social dynamics of innovation; (2) talent attraction and retention; (3) and governance and inclusion. The Newfoundland and Labrador section of this project is led by Dr. Rob Greenwood, Director of the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial University. In St. John’s, Ann-Marie Vaughn, Dr. Josh Lepawsky, and Dr. Rob Greenwood, assisted by Crystal Phan and Seamus Heffernan, conducted a total of 76 interviews within a variety of sectors, creative workers, and government and community actors across the three themes. Dr. Reeta Tremblay is leading the research for all three themes in Clarenville, Corner Brook, and Labrador West with the assistance of Ken Carter and Byron Rolls. The keynote address, by Dr. Greg Spencer, provided an overview of the national project and the implications this research has for smaller cities and rural areas. The following day, the Newfoundland and Labrador Research Team including Ann-Marie Vaughn, Dr. Rob Greenwood, Byron Rolls, and Ken Carter presented on the preliminary findings with time set aside for lively debates. The workshop concluded with a five-member panel discussion on the implications of these findings involving Dr. Greg Spencer, Dave Peddle, Nick McGrath, Lisa Browne and Bruce Gilbert. Several debates emerged over the two-day workshop including one focussed on economic diversity versus specialization and which is more applicable for smaller cities. Other debates centred on the experiences of “CFAs” (come from aways) and the need for strategic collaboration. The overall message from the workshop suggests that although this project has interesting insights for smaller cities, the creativity and innovation script depicts large cities like Toronto as the norm. However, all in attendance were hopeful that the Newfoundland and Labrador project will help change this perception.

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Item ID: 171
Keywords: Small cities, Social dynamics, Innovation, Talent attraction, Retention, Governance, Inclusion, Economic development, Regional development
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Divisions > The Harris Centre
Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: February 2010
Date Type: Publication
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