by Daimen Hardie on October 13, 2014

#CFIconnect brought together community leaders from across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia with our Tanzanian partners last week in an effort to strengthen collaboration among change-makers in the Maritimes and abroad.  The event followed a week of internal visioning and strategic planning for Community Forests International in which we laid the groundwork for our next 5 years of growth.


"I'm here because I believe community can change the world like nothing else, and CFI is a perfect example."

Thaddeus Holownia, Professor & Head of Fine Arts, Mount Allison University

In keeping with guidance first provided by our mentor Harold Jarche and echoed throughout the #CFIconnect event – mainly to ‘share everything’ with our partners and to practice ‘working out loud’ – we offer a brief summary of the #CFIconnect harvest:

What excites you about the future of the Maritimes?

  • strong local food movement
  • rise of First Nations leadership
  • mainstreaming environmental movement
  • survival of traditional knowledge and values
  • good, cheap land

What are the opportunities to work together, build community, conserve the environment, and build a green economy?

  • tech-based communication platforms
  • sharing everything and speaking the same language
  • self-financing and community-based investment mechanisms
  • taking risks
  • walking the talk of collaboration
  • creating the demand for a green economy

What do we need to bring these opportunities to life?

  • passionate people
  • support network for taking risk
  • arena to meet face to face regularly
  • a culture of openness and open-sourcing our resources
  • rebrand the rural and craft a compelling story to create rural rock stars
  • get political
  • brag about and leverage what we've got
  • unite farmers, fishers, & foresters
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