- Create a centre where citizens, community leaders, and researchers can collectively explore, share knowledge and learn about the social, economic and environmental outcomes of their ideas and initiatives.
- Catalyze solutions by building networks and facilitating interaction within the fields of health, planning, infrastructure, environmental management, public policy, and ICT.
- Work with communities to understand, interconnect and sustainably manage their core operational systems such as public health and well-being, transport, communication, food, water and energy.
- Promote collaborative community partner research.
- Build human capacity within communities to innovate and enhance community potential.
Create an incubator for students and emerging scholars to develop community-centered research, mentored by senior academics and community leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
The following are suggestions for touchstones against which activities conducted through the CHEC Initiative can be measured to ensure the unique character of this community oriented initiative.
- Research results are intended to shed light on issues of concern to the local community.
- Research will be conducted with the members of the local community primarily involved as participants.
- Research will be conducted and transmitted to the public in ways that make the results useful in community decision making.
- Entrepreneurialism in its broadest sense: practical, efficient and appropriately innovative solutions should be encouraged.
- Researchers and community residents will learn together and from each other. The results of research will be expressed in easily understood forms and shared in a timely way with community members.
- Efforts will be made to include the broadest range of local citizens, especially those who may not have been included previously.
- Social media will be used to interact with members of the public but will also be studied, evaluated and critiqued.
- When used, technology should be viewed as an enabler and not an end in itself.
- The actions of members of the university and community partners should be a model for the kind of behaviour implied in these operating principles.
- Projects conducted through the centre should act where possible as an incubator where students and emerging scholars can be mentored by experienced researchers and community leaders from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
- Any and all projects undertaken as part of CHEC will be in the spirit of reducing hazards to the environment and human health, promoting energy consciousness, sustainability, social equity, cultural sensitivity and conservation.