Developing a Place-Based Approach to Rural Innovation Policy by: Emerging Rural Scholar

Ashleigh Weeden| | @ashleighweedenPhD Candidate, School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, University of Guelph

Does place really matter for rural futures? And if it does, how might we use place to frame the way we support innovation and foresight in contemporary rural policy today while we wrestle with the unknown trajectories of multiple uncertain futures? Ashleigh Weeden is currently completing a doctoral research program that seeks to explore these questions by investigating place-based models of innovation systems in rural contexts and their implications for future scenarios planning to re-imagine rural policy and rural futures. As a PhD Candidate in the School of Environmental Design & Rural Development under the supervision of Dr. Ryan Gibson at the University of Guelph, Ashleigh has been researching key challenges in knowledge mobilization in rural policy and the implications of infrastructure management for economic development as part of this investigation. She recently completed fieldwork in Scotland working with Dr. Jane Atterton and the Rural Policy Centre at Scotland’s Rural College and supported by an RPLC Research & Exchange Mobility Grant and will be completing fieldwork in rural Ontario through mid-2020. To learn more about Ashleigh and her work, please visit

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