Our Work


Opportunity For All Youth

Employer Coalition to Tackle Youth Unemployment


Nearly one million young Canadians (aged 15-29) are neither in school nor working. Of these opportunity youth, 391,000 are actively seeking jobs. At the same time, 30% of businesses in Canada cannot find the talent they need. How might we bridge the gap between Canada’s largest untapped source of talent and employers seeking talents from new sources and in new ways?

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Recover: Edmonton’s Urban Wellness Plan

A Collaborative Effort to Promote Urban Wellness


Recover is an initiative led by the City of Edmonton focused on finding solutions to improve wellness in Edmonton’s five core urban neighbourhoods. These neighbourhoods include a concentration of people experiencing homelessness, mental health and addiction challenges, as well as the agencies that support them. Recover is convening an inclusive social innovation process for residents, businesses, people with lived experience, agencies, multiple levels of government, and partner organizations to work and live together in new, more collaborative and inclusive ways. How might we improve quality of life and inclusion for everyone in the urban core, and eventually for residents citywide?

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Innovation Partnership: Procurement by Co-Design

A New Procurement Approach for the Healthcare Sector


The future of health depends on innovation — from individual well-being to the broader system that supports it. Technological breakthroughs are essential to keep medical science and practice moving forward. Progressive approaches to the delivery of health services benefit more lives by accelerating the application of those breakthroughs.

What if those who deliver services and those who create the breakthroughs were to join forces?

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Municipal Innovation Exchange

Smarter Procurement for Smart Cities


Civic innovation and technologies can help cities advanced smart cities ambitions and deliver better services and experiences for their communities. How might municipal procurement be designed to increase impactful innovation procurement? How might we increase innovation adoption within and between cities?

Public sector procurement can be a barrier to innovation when it involves onerous paperwork, inflexible processes and rigid problem definitions and scopes of work. Vendor requirements can also become barriers for small and medium enterprises, and ventures. The City of Guelph has demonstrated that procurement can also be a lever for innovation when it is used as a civic accelerator to embed innovation vendors within government contexts to develop local solutions with the potential to scale regionally and globally.

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Redesigning Regulation for the Sharing Economy

Co-Design for Effective Regulation


The rising popularity of the sharing economy is not only disrupting existing markets, like transportation and accommodation, but it is also forcing governments to rethink regulation for these and other affected markets. It’s an issue that is being fiercely discussed in the media, in everyday conversations and in city councils across the globe. Many strong opinions and solutions have been brought forward, but do we really know what’s going on? Regulation remains elusive as it is a complex problem without an easy solution.

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Innoweave Explore and Experiment Module

Building Capacity for Social Innovation Labs across Canada


Organisations across the country are tackling a variety of society’s most complex problems, from addressing chronic disease to community policing to reducing rural domestic abuse. Working on complex problems requires a particular set of tools to increase creative and experimental thought, co-design solutions with users, and test assumptions and prototypes. The Innoweave Explore and Experiment Module was created to build capacity for these social innovation tools within emergent lab teams, across Canadian organisations.

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Promoting Social and Emotional Wellbeing in K-12 Education


Social and emotional wellbeing is key to promoting positive mental health in children and youth, and yet is not meaningfully recognized priority in educational systems across Canada. How can schools better support and promote the social and emotional wellbeing of Canadian youth?

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Ontario Tender Fruit Lab

Toward a Resilient Tender Fruit Economy in Ontario


Canadians increasingly understand that a resilient and sustainable food system must address not only the economic wellbeing of producers, retailers and consumers, but also environmental impacts and human health outcomes. Local, diverse and ecologically sustainable food initiatives are multiplying across the country, including eco-certification, regionally focused restaurants and food markets, and healthy supply chain strategies that link informed consumers to local producers.

The last few years have generated a proliferation of social innovations that are bringing about change in the food system. Yet we still have a long way to go to create an environmentally sustainable and healthy food system for everyone involved, from producers to consumers. We believe that supporting the Future of Food is an important and timely issue in Canada and elsewhere.

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Labs for Systems Change 2014

A Global Conference for Lab Practitioners


Labs for Systems Change is a conference with over 45 of the world’s leading lab practitioners and thinkers to share, develop and capture knowledge of global lab practices. The conference provides a platform for those interested in public + social innovation labs and lab practitioners to gain a better understanding of what constitutes a good lab and learn new approaches. Through this gathering, we are also exploring opportunities for a global learning network of leading labs. This event follows earlier lab conferences that happened the previous year at Mindlab (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Kennisland (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

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