Imagining Canada’s Future: Insights from the University of Guelph, a SSHRC Regional Event

Together with members of the Research Impact (RIR) partnership from Laurier, Carleton & York, the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship (ICES) at the University of Guelph, has secured funding for a SSHRC Future Challenges regional event.

This collaborative venture involves  four local events (one for each institutional partner), to be held on sequential days, all in the third week of March and all four events address the SSHRC Future Challenge “What knowledge do we need to thrive in an interconnected landscape and how can emerging technology help leverage that goal and its benefits?”

The UofG event will take place on Tuesday, March 18 from 4-6pm at Innovation Guelph.

Event Details:

Helen Hambly“Tackling A Wicked Problem: Digital Development in Rural Ontario”

The challenge of overcoming the digital divide between rural and urban areas has been the topic of a multi-layered community-university research partnership with highly practical interactions involving municipalities in Eastern and Southwestern Ontario. Many rural communities realize that 21st century revitalization will involve socio-economic opportunities that are mediated by the Internet and mobile technologies. However, many public, private and civil society stakeholders agree that rural broadband is a ‘wicked problem’ defined as “the persistence of a status quo of divided interests, even in the face of the benefits to everyone from a change and the considerable risks to everyone from a lack of change.” This panel discusses the challenges and the opportunities of rural broadband deployment in Ontario, with comparisons to other communities across Canada who unite to in what some have called the “new Canadian dream” of digital inclusion and intelligent development.

Panel: Helen Hambly (Project Leader), Wilson Halder (MSc Candidate, SEDRD), Laxmi Pant (Post-Doctoral Researcher), Geoff Hogan, IT Director, Grey County (project partner), Campbell Patterson, City of Kingston/CPC Associates (project partner)

For more information and to register for the event, please see the event registration page or contact

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