CONVERGE: Canadian Lab Practitioners Exchange

RADIUS SFU is excited to present CONVERGE: Canadian Lab Practitioners Exchange!

Canada is home to what might be the most diverse social innovation lab ecosystem in the world, with labs in place addressing a wide range of intractable issues that Canadians care deeply about.

As RADIUS shifts its focus towards building social labs around key problem areas, we are thrilled to present CONVERGE – a gathering of 80-100 active social innovation lab practitioners and key ecosystem enablers taking place in Vancouver, BC on June 27th and 28th. CONVERGE will give participants the opportunity to connect as a practitioner community, surface and explore patterns and models in the field, and collaborate generously.

Social innovation labs have been increasing in popularity in recent years, with a proliferation of labs being established at universities, within governments, and in communities across Canada. However, most labs operate independently of each other, and as a result, there is a high degree of improvisation and a lack of coordination for greater systems change. In this fragmented state, Labs may be unintentionally recreating past work or struggling to ramp up and learn from others.

Hence, we feel it is time to converge. We believe that in order to get the best results from these projects and to support a growing ecosystem of systemic designers and leaders, practice building is needed. Modelling the very foundational values of labs, our approach in designing this exchange is rooted in abundance, transparency, convening labs across sectors and issues, and a commitment to growing impact in the field.

CONVERGE aims to:

  • Deepen relationships and trust amongst lab practitioners, laying the foundation for an active pan-Canadian community of practice;
  • Create a space for lab practitioners to add value to each other’s work;
  • Make visible the diversity and impact of social innovation labs in Canada;
  • Build a shared set of tools, practices, language, knowledge, and expertise across the lifecycle of a lab; and
  • Identify key problem/opportunity areas where Canadian labs can better align for increased coordination and impact.

CONVERGE invites those who are:

  • Lab practitioners with deep experience in the field (2+ years)
  • Early stage practitioners who need training, input and support
  • Funders of social innovation labs/ecosystem enablers
  • Key systems change facilitators, evaluators, social R&D practitioners, communication strategists, and other professionals working at the ‘edges’ of labs

CONVERGE has been made possible thanks to our partners:

If you are actively running a social innovation lab, please reach out to to learn more about CONVERGE.
Lab-curious? We’ve got something for you too! In the coming days we’ll be posting information about our June 26th public labs showcase, Labs for Social Change: Stories of Impact for the Lab-Curious