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Good leadership, we believe, is capable of navigating the landscapes of risk, necessity, and opportunity that are visible within governance, to help the community reflect on, articulate, and implement visions. Undertaking any of those activities requires careful reading of circumstances and context, a combination and manipulation of formal and informal institutions. Leadership, then, goes beyond power, ideas, persuasion, and negotiation; rather, it is a craft of refined interpretation of external and internal conditions and a capacity to translate and match those conditions with existing institutions, with the potential to devise new ones. As we move forward, we will expand on this line of reasoning and understanding of leadership. • In Pincher Creek, Alberta, strong leadership was an important part of the story of transition from oil and gas dependency to the current focus on wind energy development and, to a lesser extent, tourism. Given the reliance on several industries that were in decline, local leaders started to look for alternative avenues in economic diversification. In this community, timely leadership came from the local economic development board, and then from several municipal government leaders, including the mayor. These local elected officials were instrumental in bringing forward a new vision for economic development that centered on wind energy and tourism development. •

2. Rules, roles, and formal/informal institutions for long-term perspectives With roles come rules; with actors come institutions. We have distinguished between policies, plans, and laws as types of formal institutions. Each community uses all three, but in different combinations, and their use will shift over time and vary based on the issues at hand. Formal and informal institutions supplement each other in shaping long-term perspectives for the community. For a community to manage boom and bust, to survive and thrive, we need long-term perspectives, in governance itself and amongst participating actors. Long-term perspectives are helpful because they serve as frames of reference, to give direction but also to assist in analyzing and reflecting. They help communities adapt to changing circumstances, as they can provide responses that are tied to core values and narratives extending into the future. Long-term perspectives are not only stories present in discussions; often, they are condensed futures embodied in all elements of governance, including actors, institutions, power, and knowledge. 78

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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