Business growth, improving local health services, and retaining youth and newcomers are all critical challenges facing rural areas on both sides of the Atlantic. While the size of the challenges varied, the need and urgency of response were consistently mentioned. For some observers in the 2015 international comparative rural policy summer school in Ireland, where Brandon University sent five learners, the need for local leadership could not be more clear. Business leaders, service leaders, civil society leaders, are all needed, and so is a training program. Such a program will move beyond sectors, public, private, non-profit, and skilled up individuals with knowledge and experiences to address root causes, use a systems approach, utilize local assets, and strive to realize a triple bottom time. Some would want to include economic growth practices that incorporate duty ethics, which combines social justice principles and human rights in business decisions and local development strategies.
- Brandon University
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