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1. Knowledge When talking about boom/bust communities in the Canadian West, knowledge used to inspire strategy has to include several categories:

• Knowledge of the issues This refers to either knowledge of the cycles of boom and bust themselves, or of the particular effects of the cycles that prove most problematic. This we call initial problem knowledge, linked to initial ideas of assets and solutions. What is the community’s initial understanding of the reasons and relevant effects of boom and bust?

• Self-knowledge Path and context analysis gives insights into the elements, drivers, and transformation mechanisms in governance, its unique mode of reproduction, its unique balance of rigidity and flexibility. These insights enable us often to redefine problems and possible solutions. Assets may look different. Potential governance tools, and how they may help the community, may look different. Narratives defining the community, the good community, good tools of governance, will offer further direction for strategic content and procedure.

• Knowledge of learning capacity and coordination

capacity in the community

This is an aspect of the self-knowledge mentioned above, a set of insights that should come out of path analysis.

• Knowledge of the community context Community contexts will include dependencies on other scales, other actors, resources, institutions, narratives. If we look more broadly, and especially later in the process of self-analysis, we can also learn from the experiences of other communities dealing with similar issues.

• Knowledge of the expertise landscape Mapping the landscape of expert knowledge, assessing theories and concepts of community development, planning, and policy can inspire local strategy. However, incorporating expert voices into local strategy should follow wider reflections on the community context. Caution is needed as early reliance on one or two external experts may hinder self-analysis, and meaningful selection of locally beneficial sources of knowledge. In Part V we provided an overview of some influential approaches to development (expert perspectives) which can inform local strategizing, which can be a source of content for it.

Part VI: Analyzing and strategizing revisited

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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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