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7. Strategy question 7: How to manage dependencies?

Image: StĂŠphane Lavoie. East Coulee. Drumheller, AB

If the path and context analyses gave us a better picture of the rigidity at work in governance, it can also help actors discern the latent transformation mechanisms and tools available in the community. How things evolved in the past can bring to light the obstacles to change, as well as potential modes of change. Path, goal, and interdependence embody different aspects of rigidity in governance, and grasping their interplay shows ways forward. It does not tell us what we ought to do, but it can reveal what will likely happen to new ideas, stories, actors, or institutions — what strategy elements and developmental approaches are likely to work and be adopted within the community.

In Rosebud, Alberta, a theatre school moved in decades ago, bringing students to the village, typically staying with families. Over time, this changed the character of the place, physically located in a small valley in the fold of small prairie hills. The school started a theatre and people hosting students now started bed and breakfasts for theatre guests as well. Several restaurants, shops, and coffee shops opened, and arts and crafts already practiced were commercialized. None of this was formally planned, or part of an official policy, yet policies played a role in supporting a revitalization, and local government recently decided to renovate its fire hall and encouraged other residents to follow suit in home renovations. The character of the town had changed into an agricultural cum cultural tourist destination, and residents and local government were aware of the path, of dependencies, and of ways to link formal and informal institutions to move forward on that path.

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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