Governing innovation and knowledge sharing to increase adaptive capacity of forest industry in Quesnel, British Columbia

Partner: Forestry Initiatives Program, City of Quesnel

The British Columbia forest sector is under pressure to meet changing global demands, to improve benefit flows from forests to local communities. Innovation towards advanced engineered products and new bio-products becomes increasingly critical for realizing the full potential of forestry in the province. In Quesnel, British Columbia, efforts to stimulate innovation and diversify actors in local forest industries can be challenging for emerging locally-driven small forest enterprises that have limited capacity and resources. Building an inclusive forest industry comprised of an “ecosystem” of existing large forest enterprises and locally-driven medium and small forest enterprises in the landscape therefore involves strengthening networks of knowledge and innovation, supporting reconciliation processes with First Nations, and encouraging local investment.

Our collaboration with the Quesnel Forest Initiatives Program seeks to gain a deep understanding of Quesnel forest industries and to identify conditions that foster learning and innovation among actors. To meet the objective, we will apply participatory approach to social network analysis (SNA) in Quesnel. Relevant actors will be involved to identify their position in the social network and their influence in the knowledge sharing process. Results from this process will help large enterprises, locally driven small enterprises, decision-makers, and other actors to learn about the underpinning social network and points of leverage to achieve successful and resilient forest industries.

Funding: MITACS Accelerate Fellowship & Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant 2020-2023