From September 16-18, 2019, EconoUs2019 connected over 400 community leaders across Canada in London, Ontario. The conference was an initiative between two planning partners and co-hosts, Community Futures Ontario and the Canadian CED Network.

Since 2001, CCEDNet has partnered with members across the country to showcase the amazing work being done in different regions, to raise awareness of the impact of community economic development (CED), to examine new ideas, resources and strategies that will make CED practitioners more effective in their efforts, and to connect people who share similar values and vision.

Communities Leading Innovation was the theme for EconoUs2019, which intended to demonstrate how the most transformational ideas are those created and carried by communities.

Download the EconoUs2019 Report



  • Highlights
  • Supporters and Partners
  • Communication
  • Participants
  • Evaluation
  • Participant Feedback
  • Communities Leading Innovation Tapestry




Social Innovation and Social Finance:
Are we asking the right questions

Strategies for Resourcing Innovation

The 21st Century Leadership

Collective Closing by Witnesses


The conference organizers of EconoUs2019 worked hard to implement measures to create ease of access and comfort for all people in attendance.

Here is a list of ways we supported accessibility at the event:

  • A bursary program was available by application to help subsidize the cost of attendance for individuals requiring support for costs associated with registration or transportation
  • Equipment for French-English and English-French simultaneous translation was provided to all registrants at no charge for the duration of the conference.
  • Childcare was made available at the local YMCA, free of charge for conference participants, in order to alleviate barriers to participation for folks who care for children.
  • Rooms at the RBC Place welcomed and accommodated smudging and medicines used for ceremony.
  • A multi-faith prayer room was available on site for anyone needing a quiet space during EconoUs2019. Both gendered and non-gendered rooms were available.
  • Quiet places were created and cared for in the interest of offering participants space for quiet reflection.
  • Sunrise ceremony was available on Sept. 17 and 18 for anyone interested.
  • Gender-neutral and gendered washrooms were both available on site.
  • London is the Forest City! EconoUs2019 aimed toward being a zero-waste event by reducing the amount of garbage we produced, by promoting eco-friendly behaviour changes on site, uplifting green organizations, and by working with local partners to source renewable, recyclable, reusable items for any conference materials. Visit their green initiatives page for more on the RBC Place’s commitment to environment.
  • EconoUs2019 was a plastic free event! Hydration stations replaced plastic bottles of water so participants were invited to bring their own reusable bottles.
  • Waste receptacles throughout RBC Place had compartments to recycle glass, plastic, paper. Food scraps were collected and sent for composting. Leftover food was donated to the local Men’s Mission.
  • Food was locally sourced first whenever possible: The RBC Place team is committed to supporting their neighbours and local farmers and community by sourcing season, regional, and sustainable ingredients. They work with suppliers who are committed to purchasing ingredients from a 100 mile radius, reducing their carbon footprint and supporting local food systems.
  • Dietary needs were diligently accommodated with dignity to the greatest degree possible.
  • Space was available for additional meetings outside of the RBC Place via local organizational partners.
  • The RBC Place is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence and is committed to meeting the needs of people of all abilities in a timely manner. They do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). More information is available on their accessibility and services page.

We know this list was by no means exhaustive, nor did we get it exactly right, but we wished to be transparent and collaborative in our learning process! We appreciated all conference participants’ active collaboration in making EconoUs2019 a conference for all.


EconoUs2019 intended to be a conference that was welcoming for all. We acknowledge that working towards equitable community economic development means addressing marginalization due to systemic injustices and oppression, and that this is lifelong work.

As a conference planning team, we tried to create an event that was as accessible as possible, both uplifting and celebrating participants’ varied identities and life experiences. As we envision and build just and inclusive local economies in community, we also practice these values within the microcosm of the conference.

We were excited to co-create this conference with you! The following suggested community guidelines helped us to collectively create a caring and inspiring space for all.

Respect: Diverse perspectives and experiences are a source of wealth and inspiration. Be curious, challenge yourself to question your perspectives and be open and inviting to what is new or unfamiliar to you. 

Listen: Active listening is about listening to understand rather than to respond. Avoid jargon, acronyms and abbreviations when possible and speak for yourself by using “I” statements.

Share: In facilitated sessions, if you are someone who tends to be more comfortable listening, move your speaking skills along by contributing more. If you tend to speak a lot in groups, move up your listening game. Be mindful of the space you take up in conversations.

Learn: No one knows everything, but together we know a lot! Use this conference space to learn from peers, and build connections to take your learning forward past the event. 


2019 HOSTS