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an ideology, and if it fits with the community, the technical expertise attached to that ideology will find easy customers. In our view, communities can learn and draw content for their development strategy from: • their own past, especially if analyzed by path and context mapping; • other places’ pasts, their experiences with boom/bust, and their solutions, if interpreted with the current context in mind; • general ideas and theories on community development on boom/bust (i.e., from academia); • internal discussion and construction of ideas - going beyond discussion as confrontation of existing opinions and deliberation as adding up opinions; and • experimentation, a risky commitment to something new which has to be carefully defined. The first path of learning, learning from the community’s own past, we discussed extensively earlier. Path and context mapping gives insight into existing values and assets, old successes and old failures. They show the local balance between flexibility and rigidity, and the local limits and tools for steering. Path and context mapping show not only the old community and its governance, but also how it learned and adapted. The same analytic process of path and context mapping can serve to discern options for other forms of learning. They can make it easier to observe what could be imported from other places, after some tinkering, and which ideas floating around in academia, media, politics, or grassroots organizations may be worthwhile. The mapping process itself can also improve the quality of discussion, the possibility to learn internally. If short-term perspectives dominate among the actors in a boom/bust town, then, our proposed pre-strategies of building observational capacity and reflexivity can improve this internal learning process. Slowly, we argue, this can produce a better interpretation of self and environment in governance and provide a more realistic and creative way of figuring out which ideas and practices in the external environment might also work internally. It is not enough to see which ideas exist out there; it is crucial to see what can be used or modified, in relation to the goals and the situation of the community. Our recommended analyses can help to do both: to see better what is out there, and to see what can work here. For the mapping of ideas elsewhere, internal and external experts can be helpful. For outsiders, such as consultants, no matter how successful, the internal environment of community governance can never be fully grasped. Path mapping as a community project cannot be replaced by outsider

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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