“Communities in Appalachia and Wales can play a really important part in the movement for rethinking what we mean by economic development.” — John Gaventa
John Gaventa started a video exchange between coal miners in Appalachia and Wales in 1974. The After Coal project owes a huge debt to his groundbreaking work. Gaventa is currently director of the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
We were lucky to catch him in Virginia last week and record an interview for After Coal. Here is a glimpse at his thoughts:
“Change is an inevitable part of mining communities. This doesn’t mean that we give up on these communities. It means we need to think about using local strengths to create a different kind of sustainable economy. The question is not: Coal versus no coal. The question is: How do we use community assets such as leadership, experience, resilience, and skills to create something different.”