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Wealth Creation Approach to Community Development

Inclusive Community Development & Sustainable Livelihoods:
The Wealth Creation Approach

Weds. April 17, 2013

The Wealth Creation in Rural Communities framework is a place-based systems approach to rural development that aims to restore, create and maintain wealth in low wealth areas by simultaneously improving economic, environmental and social conditions. One of its leading practitioners, Cornell alum Shanna Ratner, will share its principles, and the transformative opportunities it provides for community driven food systems development and collaborative learning and research.

Shanna Ratner is the Principal of Yellow Wood Associates, Inc. with over 26 years of experience managing complex research and capacity building initiatives, and analyzing rural economic development opportunities. She has worked closely with federal, state, and local governments, citizen groups, and nonprofit organizations in identifying and implementing solutions to a range of economic development challenges. Shanna was one of a dozen members of the Aspen Institute’s Learning Cluster on Rural Community Capacity Building, a member of the first class of Donella Meadows Fellows in Systems Thinking, and is currently a Mel King Fellow at MIT. Shanna holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University

Engaged Learning + Research Seminar

Wealth Creation Approach to Community & Economic Development
Mann Library, Cornell University
Stern Seminar Room 160
(map it)
10:30am – Noon

Ratner will introduce some of the basic concepts associated with the Wealth Creation approach, the role of intermediaries and supporters, where it’s being applied, and common questions that arise in practice. Participatory research opportunities at the level of wealth creation value chains and larger framing questions will be presented. An opportunity will be provided for developing participatory research plans that engage the resources of the University in helping communities find answers relevant to the approach. More info here.

Powerpoint presentation for this event (1.45mb)
Handouts for this event (842 KB)

Community Presentation and Workshop

Food Value Chains: Creating Health & Wealth for All
Borg Warner Room, Tompkins County Public Library

One good example of how the Wealth Creation approach can be applied is through food “value chain” development. A value chain is a business model based on shared economic, social, and environmental values, in which producers, processors, buyers, and others work together to create value. Shanna will provide an overview of how this approach can and is being used to support healthy local and regional food systems. There will be an interactive workshop helping attendees learn how this might be applied here.

Powerpoint presentation for this event (2.95MB)
Handouts for this event (1.05MB)

The Central Appalachian Network (CAN), a grantee of the WCRC initiative, is a network of community development organizations working to build sustainable agriculture and a healthy food system in Central Appalachia


All events are free and open to the public, with refreshments served. Funding generously provided by Cornell Engaged Learning + Research Center, Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming, Cornell Participatory Action Research Network (cPARN), Food Agriculture and Nutrition Group (FANG), New World Agriculture and Ecology Group (NWAEG), Department of City & Regional Planning and GPSAFC. Cohosted by Mann Library as part of its ongoing Connected Minds, Resilient Communities programming, in collaboration with Tompkins County Public Library. Cosponsored by Building Bridges, the Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI), Cornell Small Farms Program, SCNY Food & Health Network, Greenstar Community Projects, and Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network.

Event flyer available here (please post/forward as appropriate). Questions? Contact us at engaged-mann@cornell.edu