Rural Routes Podcasts: Creating knowledge mobilization meta-tools for rural development

Lay Summary 

Over the past number of decades, social scientists have produced a wealth of knowledge and ideas about various aspects of rural Canada. They have also been very active in organizing robust research and community of practice networks such as the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and, most recently, the Rural Policy Learning Commons. Given the wealth of knowledge and the depth of thought that exists within and outside the academic community related to what it means to "live rural" today in different contexts, from rural remote, aboriginal and northern, to those rural areas adjacent to large urban centres, there is a need to bring those conversations to larger audiences in order to provide better value to the Canadian public, exchange ideas and knowledge across jurisdictions, and provide access to ideas and knowledge that can transform rural policies and rural conversations in Canada.

The Rural Routes audio program will provide knowledge mobilization and development support communications vehicle for researchers and community champions, policy makers, rural residents, and social and economic development practitioners interested in a wide range of rural issues. This project will consist of a series of broadcast-ready episodes structured as 30--45 minute weekly interviews that examine some aspect of rural life-ways. The program will be distributed free of charge through a variety of private and NGO partnerships in Canada and abroad. The project will be hosted on the CRRF website and as a free-to-subscribe podcast available to educators, community groups, scholars, and other interested individuals. A copy of each episode will be deposited in the Memorial University of Newfoundland Research Repository. The podcast will be promoted through the robust social media presence all of the partners have on a variety of platforms.

The project will run twelve months from the time announced. Over the twelve-month period, 15-20 episodes will be generated based on a variety of rural themes. Each show will require dedicated research and preparation time. To facilitate the collection of information for each episode, interviews will be conducted with researchers at four key events taking place: one event in each Halifax, Guelph, Toronto, and Whitehorse.

The overall goal of this initiative is to disseminate existing rural research and knowledge about rural Canada in an accessible and engaging format that can be easily shared at no cost to knowledge users.

The podcasts can be accessed through the following link:

The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development
Ferriss Hodgett Library
School of Arts and Social Science
Social Sciences And Humanities Research Council Of Canada
Newfoundland and Labrador
Rural Development
Rural Health
Industry Sectors 
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports and Related Industries
Start date 
1 Apr 2016
End date 
1 Apr 2017
Lead Organization 
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development
Partner Organization 
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation
Support Organization 
Brandon University
Rural Policy Learning Commons