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A few things mentioned before we would like to bring back. Our study of AB and BC communities, and our theoretical stories, can be useful to break the grip of despair over limited control, we think. First of all, a community is more than a local government. Governance includes a variety of players, governmental and non- governmental. The powers of a community are to be found in its individual actors (e.g. a big company), and in its coordinative possibilities in governance. If a town governmnet has no money, others locally, or via their networks might have it. If there really is no money, it might not be necessary, as people might contribute time, knowledge, things, voluntarily— land can be donated, buildings, land use rights. New actors and new sorts of actors can be created to enhance the autonomy and degree of control of government and of the community (through governance). New organizations can be erected which can reinforce collective identities, their stories, their idea of the future. Or to access more resources, or to control something the government or one other actor cannot control by itself. Governance is about coordination by means of institutions: policies, plans, laws. Those can be changed to a certain degree, meaning that new tools of governance, and hence new degrees of control can be created. And the limits over the creation of those tools can also be stretched. If we include informal institutions in the tools of governance, the pallet of ways to enable strategies, and to stretch up autonomy, in order to pursue yet unknown strategies, is enlarged even more. Strategies do not have to be all on paper, or on paper at all. A variety of actors and institutions can contribute to a vision, made more possible than a government by itself, and more than when using only formal institutions. Networks spanning beyond the community, and between players in the community, informal coalitions, parallel stories about assets and identities, all can help to mobilize resources and increase autonomy of the community. If we say we are a forestry community, get a grant from a forestry organization or ministry, and combine this with other resources towards a strategy that de facto stretches up the identity and economic activities, then we are using informal institutions towards reinvention. If we find ways to rally a strong local coalition around a smaller issue, and use this to bring in an investment which opens the door to a broader spectrum of futures, we find the same power of informality to make the control problem more manageable. If we on the other hand believe too much in the force of formal institutions, and try to push very hard for comprehensive planning as very ambitious visioning leaning on all sorts of formal institutions, then we tend to make our vision too rigid, and not fully embedded in the

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Boom and Bust: a guide

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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