About NEST

Network for Economic and Social Trends: Western Social Science Research and Policy

The past several decades have been marked by many important social and economic trends, including a slowdown in economic growth, rising inequality, and increasing immigration and ethnic diversity. As a result, Canada and the United States are at a cross-road in terms of their social and economic prospect. New research is needed to develop policies and practices that will support sustainability, well-being and economic growth in the twenty-first century.

NEST produces world-class research of relevance to social and economic policy and practice to promote economic security and growth. Housed in the Faculty of Social Science, NEST generates evidence-based policy and practice-relevant research through a multidisciplinary approach with a goal to influence social and economic policy and practices in Canada and North America more broadly.

The goals of NEST are to use advanced data creation, management, and analytic techniques to provide theoretically driven and evidenced-based research that will inform social and economic policy and practice. Our research focuses on issues related to educational attainment, poverty, inequality, immigration, diversity, population change, local government, political behaviour, urban affairs, and community development. NEST also aims to train the next generation of policy and practice researchers through mentorships, fellowships, and the Master in Research for Policy and Evaluation. 

Believing that synergy across traditional boundaries leads to innovation, NEST provides an intellectual and physical environment designed to encourage and facilitate multidisciplinary and collaborative activities in scholarship and training across Departments in the Faculty of Social Science, as well as knowledge transfer that ensures that research findings have impact locally, nationally, and internationally.

NEST is an umbrella organization for all eight Western Research Centres in the Faculty of Social Science which set its agenda and provide its governance.