Academic Research

Components of The Meaningful Work Project are being incorporated into Alla Guelber’s graduate thesis in the Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University. Have a look below for more on the academic research component of this project.

Alla presents her thesis idea on campus at Royal Roads University, summer 2010

How can I/we create meaningful work that encourages creativity and innovation? How can a community of practice where practitioners feel supported and encouraged in creating their own meaningful work be strengthened? How can we align our values and our work in the transition to a green economy?

Faced with these burning questions, my own frustrations with finding the kind of satisfying and rewarding work that I wanted to do, and growing interest in trends toward ‘green jobs’ and ‘social innovation’, I wanted to create the space to explore different perspectives and work toward solutions.

In the fall of 2009, in a course on educational program design in my Master’s program in Environmental Education and Communications, I developed a program for a three-day residential workshop called the Meaningful Work: Green Jobs + Social Innovation Retreat (MWR #1). The workshops followed a dialogue model, inviting special guests who are experienced social innovators, business and not-for profit leaders and community activists to interact directly with a diverse mix of participants.

The Meaningful Work Project includes two distinct yet connected components:

  1. The practical, hands-on experiential workshop called the Meaningful Work Retreat.
  2. Academic research exploring the lived experience of the ‘ecopreneurs’ who are actively exploring the way they are creating their own meaningful work.

As a researcher deeply embedded in this action research project, I explore my own quest toward seeking meaningful work while developing an educational program that allows participants to explore their own challenges and successes.

For more information on the academic research phase of this project, please contact Alla.