Meeting the Needs of Rural Youth through Community Innovation: Development of the Fusion Youth Activity and Technology Centre from 2005 to 2013
This thesis describes the development of the Fusion Youth Activity and Technology Centre located in a small rural community in Southern Ontario from a social innovation perspective. Social innovation is the driving force behind the mobilization of limited resources that result in this facility that strives to engage and empower youth across all socio-economic demographics through varied after school programming. While the facility provides extensive after-school programming for youth, it also functions as a community hub serving not only the youth clientele but the community as a whole. Semi-formal interviews were conducted with individuals intimately involved with the development of the facility. The interviews were analyzed across six categories selected for their relevance in terms of the viability of the Fusion Youth Activity and Technology Centre. The description reveals the value of social innovation in meeting the challenges present in the lives of rural youth.