“This week on Rural Routes you can hear a conversation with Dr. Ryan Gibson, a geographer from St. Mary’s University in Halifax. One of the questions Ryan is interested in is: “What if rural Canada did not need any more money from anybody in order to have a sustainable future?” He thinks he just might have an answer.”
In this Rural Routes podcast on philanthropy, host Bojan Fürst speaks with Dr. Ryan Gibson, Libro Professor in Regional Economic Development at the University of Guelph and a research member with PhiLab. He asks, “What if rural Canada did not need any more money from anybody in order to have a sustainable future?” Originally from rural Manitoba, Ryan has a deep intrigue and respect for rural communities, rural people and the events that shape their futures. Growing up witnessing the transformations in rural development, agriculture and their influence on communities instilled a fascination and commitment to rural issues.
Beginning with an overview of discussing what exactly is meant by the word “rural,” Ryan explains that sometimes, some conceptions of rural places are a romanticized version that hasn’t necessarily existed in several decades. Defining “rural” is significant because, as Ryan notes, it can influence public policy, rural-urban relationships and other factors that impact the lives of those living in rural Canada. Bojan brings up numbers from statistics Canada that indicate that more people are relocating to rural areas in Canada than ever before. Moreover, Ryan asserts that with the complex nature of an ever-changing rural Canada, it is not possible to use a “one-size-fits-all” approach to problems faced by rural communities. Ryan investigates whether places in rural Canada already have ample wealth that could be harnessed through the philanthropic sector to stop depending on outside intervention (private investment or government support) to promote community development. Rural Routes – Philanthropy