Sparking Social Transformation through Cycles of Community-Based Research


  • Gayle Broad NORDIK Institute, Algoma University
  • Jude Ortiz Research Coordinator, NORDIK Institute,



social entrepreneurial ecosystems, community based research cycles, social innovation


For over five years, Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (SEE), a community partnership in Northern Ontario, has been developing a supportive ecosystem for social enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation. This article sheds light on how the SEE partnership has established a broad spectrum of supports and a healthy ecosystem for alternative economies in a northern, rural, and Indigenous region, from an initial focus on youth, with asset mapping and pop-up events, to its current emphasis on regional networking and train-the-trainer programs for economic development officers. This article argues that the partnership’s strong emphasis on community engagement and empowerment, and the cyclical nature of the community-based research methodology has enhanced the sustainability of the ecosystem and leads to systemic social innovation and transformation.


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Author Biographies

Gayle Broad, NORDIK Institute, Algoma University

Research Associate, NORDIK Institute, Associate Professor Emerita, Algoma University

Jude Ortiz, Research Coordinator, NORDIK Institute,

Dr. Jude Ortiz is a Research Coordinator with NORDIK Institute and a visual artist.


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