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knowledge might work can only be decided by the community itself. This is a matter of analysis and decision-making, and the combination of path/context mapping and strategizing can assist with finding answers. The analysis tells something about a possible path, sometimes about clearly missing knowledge, and the strategy later has its own demands on expert and local knowledge. The answer to the question of the right expertise, in other words, reveals itself slowly. • If analysis of dependencies shows that one sort of expert knowledge dominated in a town to such an extent that alternative understandings and solutions of issues became invisible, then other doors remain open. One can strategize in different directions by slowly working on the institutionalization of other forms of knowledge, and by working on bridges between the dominant expertise and alternative and useful understandings.If eg engineering knowledge dominated and environmental impacts of industry have been neglected in a BC mining town, environmental expertise can be rented for a while (consultants, academics). In some cases, this can lead to bringing this external expertise on permanently, hired into government administration as an internal civil servant. Or, as another example of the diverse ways of seeing and filling in knowledge gaps: an NGO can criticize local government first, leading to a visit from an external environmental consultant and then discussion in council, where some new faces were voted in. A grant enables the town to hire an environmental scientist (a re-labeled ecologist) on a short contract. Her experience allows her to see missing pieces of expertise, and to find a way to build it into new policies. She gets along with the engineers and council and her contract is prolonged. • Knowledge brokers, people with a basic understanding of different fields, and of the community, are valuable in governance. These individuals are bridge builders who can facilitate communication between different expert and interest groups and other community actors. Politicians, government administrators, community organizations, or local media can all play such role — it is not tied to an academic discipline.

Part IV: Boom/Bust:Moving forwards: Strategy-making

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Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

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