Future of Innovation

Finding the silver (coast) lining…

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been hitting the tourism industries hard, one family from rural Newfoundland has taken this forced time inside as an opportunity to enhance their creativity – emphasis on create. When families were told to social distance and stay inside as much as possible, the family began to harvest a fraction of abundant seaweed to create a unique skincare line. Not only did this innovation allow the family to support themselves financially through this economic downturn, but it is an excellent example of Canadian resilience. Read more >>

Making the best of the food surplus…

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the agricultural businesses both nationally, and internationally. While there have been issues in terms of crop and animal processing, a federal grant has been created to ensure that the hard work of our rural farmer does not go to waste. As of July of this year, a federal initiative known as the Surplus Food Rescue Program has been initiated, and aims to repurpose surplus goods from the agro-business community for populations in need. Read more >>

Policy reforms & utilizing rural…

Policy Options Politiques has been focusing energy to constantly update the world on anything and everything related to the COVID-19 pandemic through The Coronavirus Pandemic: Canada’s Response segment. With constant concerns on what is to come of policy design, and contemporary points of concern, this informative forum ensures to maintain any pertinent information on future development. A recent post specifically notes how rural communities have been an untapped resource for the Canadian economy for decades; with many changes still to come in terms of pandemic recuperation, it is important to recognize the potential of rural communities now. Read more >>

Food security & policy change…

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing every country and nation to enact new innovations to policy reform, and a front-running component of these reforms cover sustainable development. Due to the shaky standing of the agro-food business’ across the country, the Building Back Better Post-COVID-19 Task Force has been acknowledging how every community, urban or rural, is in need of implementing change for a better future. Aside from food insecurity due to agricultural uncertainty, it is also the time to revaluate where the health of the public is lacking, which communities are in need of nutritional education and assistance etc. Read more >>

Supporting innovation…

With the workforce constantly changing due to the unprecedented times we’re facing, the Future Skills Centre of Canada has put in over $1 million to support the Canadian Remote Access for Dementia Learning Experiences (CRADLE) program. This program in particular focuses on providing online training for personal support workers, which additionally enhances the care that individuals living within homes. Read more >>

Innovations for COVID-19 sustainability…

This CBC COVID-19 News Segment has been looking to rural innovations as creditable points of reference for other small communities. While we are still adapting to the life changing global pandemic, it is important to look to the communities who have been implementing innovative work standards. This small, multi-platform series called Transformation discusses what individuals have been doing in order to adapt to the new normal. Read more >>

The Globe & Mail Webinar: RDI Blog…

Throughout the month of May, The Globe and Mail conducted two webinar segments discussing some questions and concerns having to do with the postsecondary education adjustment to digital structures. The following reports were written by RDI Research Assistant Nicole Breedon and briefly outline the content that was discussed, as well as some remaining questions for the future. You can find them on the RDI Blog here!

The COVID-19 Intervention Challenge…

An online virtual mini-conference with students spanning across the country was held through April 29th – May 2nd. The COVID-19 Intervention Challenge (CIC) was formulated as a forum for individuals to pitch their ideas on how we can take steps forward to enhance experiences in adapting to the pandemic life, how to better design strategies such as testing facilities, and how an interdisciplinary approach tied in with communication is paramount in creating a more sustainable future. Read more >>

Rural Futures: RDI Blog…

“There is no crystal ball for the future and – spoiler alert – there is no single future. Yet we are finding ways to collaborate on a global scale for good, across government and corporate boundaries, they were impenetrable only eight weeks ago. Are we seeing a rise of the public good again?” Read more about policy design, and infrastructure innovation for the future on the RDI Blog!

Turning to local markets…

Consumer habits have been an interesting topic in regards to how Canada is adapting to the restrictions on food processing plants. Many smaller communities are looking to local farmers and markets as a source of renewable food security, and in doing so has shed light on the importance of supporting organizations within home town communities. While there are concerns for how sustainable this shift in consumer trends really is, it calls the need to reevaluate what sustainable work might look like, and what changes might need to be implemented to strengthen food security in the future. Read more >>

Broadband funds…

It is no surprise that with the current state of emergency, there is continuous pressure to enhance Broadband access across rural Canada. CRTC data suggests as few as 40.8 per cent of rural households have access to high-speed broadband. With many individuals transitioning to working from home, or needing the Internet as a resource to keep up to date with the state of emergency we’re facing, it is crucial that steps are taken to develop environments with equitable resources for everyone. CBC & The Hill Times are two of many platforms that have been aiming to address these concerns, and bring awareness to how the government is strategizing change.

Concern for rural citizens…

Though there are many financial aid packages put in place to ensure people are able to acquire what they need through these trying times, many rural seniors who are on low income are still struggling to stay afloat. How are people going to balance needs between healthcare expenses and cost of living through an extended quarantine? Read more >>

Takeaways from COVID-19…

“So, looking beyond the unprecedented social and economic shutdowns and punishing recession we are experiencing today, what are some of the early lessons for Canada to act on post-pandemic?” Among the devastating effects and tremendous tolls of COVID-19 in Canada, many are choosing to see areas for improvement regarding social structure, city planning, equitable resource access etc. Read more >>

Inequality sparking need for change…

It has become alarmingly clear how different regions and populations face different levels of risk and concern regarding the ongoing pandemic. There are many areas of Canada that have limited access to healthcare, as well are not accommodated with the same amount of resources to combat the effects of COVID-19. This is a significant fault in terms of sociological and economic infrastructure and design, however, many are seeing it as an opportunity to identify these vulnerabilities and plan for a better future. Read more >>

Restarting the economy…

In some regions, ongoing cases of COVID-19 have either plateaued or decreased, which has lead to many organizations wanting to reopen and kickstart processing and development with regards to the Canadian economy. Lumber processing in particular has gained a lot of momentum in making claims to the need to continue work, specifically acknowledging the demands for paper products across the country, and new strategies that may aid in a successful start up. Read more >>

Concerns on food supply & demand…

Depending on where you are in Canada, concerns for food security vary. New Brunswick in particular is currently at a crucial point where food security in the months to come are a paramount concern. Although the province is not in detriment just yet, there is a need to ensure their food demands will be met in the time to come. Read more >>

Agri-business innovation for the future…

The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) has recently announced their plans to intact a new food hub in eastern Ontario in the years to come. Plans to build a federal slaughterhouse will meet the needs of regional and national markets, while taking part in both the processing and distribution of their products. With innovation such as this, there may be a paradigm shift in how agriculturalists will construct their facilities in the years to come. Read more >>

Health equity in rural communities…

The University of British Columbia (UBC) was planning to hold the Rural Health Equity Conference this May, however due to the ongoing pandemic the conference has been postponed to 2021. Nonetheless, the university is still calling for abstracts to be sent in for consideration. The conference will be focused on community action for health equity, and relational, integrated knowledge translation. With the goal to spark dramatic and innovative transformations to rural infrastructure in terms to access to health, UBC additionally wants to aid in the formation of partnerships for transformation research. Read more on the conference here!

Mental Health: a priority of rural communities…

The Journal of Rural and Community Development focuses on research of and within small town communities around the world. One article in the latest issue discusses the disadvantage rural communities are in with regards to mental health resources, and should be acknowledged as a point of interest for the future. Additionally, the authors note what strategies they believe would be beneficial in this sect of concern. Read more >>

Vital Signs: inclusion & innovation…

The Community Foundations of Canada is an organization that utilizes evidence-based community assessments to promote inclusivity & sustainable development in order to reform infrastructure policies. The Vital Signs Initiative was enacted in order to better understand the needs of a community by interviewing citizens. These personal interactions have allowed for a deeper understanding on where communities could be improved with regards to equitable prosperity. Vital Signs Initiative >>

The OECD: innovation & development…

Can we build a better tomorrow? Not if we continue with business as usual. The Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) focuses their efforts on facilitating environments for remodelling of contemporary policies, and innovation for sustainable living. Read more >>

SWIFT action to a well-connected future…

Living in a dynamic world, we are finding more and more that access to online resources is valuable beyond convenience. With infrastructure varying across geographic locations, the Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) organization is channeling efforts into “[investing] in digital equality.” This includes expanding high-speed Internet coverage, and subsidizing network providers across the rural Southwest regions of Ontario. Yes, this organization focuses their efforts throughout the regions of Ontario; however, it invokes awareness to the need of equitable opportunities in regards to Internet access. Check out the SWIFT webpage here!

Food for thought: current events through the virtual-tabloids

Feds commit $1.1B for COVID-19 vaccine, clinical trials, immunity research

“With increased testing and further understanding of the virus deemed necessary before reopening the Canadian economy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is spending an additional $1.1 billion for a national medical and research strategy to address COVID-19.” As of April 23, 2020, prime minister Justin Trudeau has announced a new budget put forth to aid in the research efforts to find the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more >>

Health Canada approves new rapid COVID-testing kits

In times of crisis, the ability to adapt and create more efficient strategies for healthcare systems and practitioners is an absolute necessity. With the time sensitive concerns of identifying and diagnosing cases of individuals who have contracted COVID-19, Health Canada has signed off on a revolutionary testing method that has the ability to show results within mere hours of sampling. Carly Weeks is a journalist for The Globe and Mail, and has focused her invaluable efforts in keeping Canadians well informed on current points of concern, and adaption strategies put forth by Canadian facilities. Read more >>

Calm Before the Storm

In Carly Estes’ “Calm Before the Storm” segments, a variety of leading healthcare system concerns are addressed with hopes to raise awareness, and incite evolution in current policy design.With rural communities being at a significant disadvantage in terms of healthcare resources needed for COVID-19 response, rural healthcare systems are creating adaptive plans of action. Read more >>

Telemedicine Arrives in the U.K.

With contemporary concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more hospitals are being forced to quickly adapt with the goal to reduce the risks of spreading the virus. Benjamin Mueller is a U.K. correspondent for the New York Times, and has been working tirelessly to keep the world up to date on the adaptions and on-goings within the U.K. healthcare system overseas. His piece discussing telemedicine, and the benefits this adaption has allowed for in terms of reducing risk of exposure to coronavirus, should be acknowledged and considered as a tactic for rural communities moving forward. Read more >>