Canada is home to what might be the most diverse social innovation lab ecosystem in the world. Social innovation lab practitioners are working tirelessly across a wide range of intractable issues that are important to Canadians – including reconciliation, sustainable energy transitions, poverty reduction and civic participation. With the increasing popularity of labs in recent years – and their proliferation at universities, within governments and in communities across the country – the time has come to showcase and share this work!
On June 26th, you’re invited to join RADIUS SFU, SFU Public Square and SFU Continuing Studies for a evening of storytelling with Canadian lab practitioners. These systems change leaders will share stories about the insights, new solutions, and tangible and intangible impacts their work is having on shifting resource flows, mindsets, and culture. Labs for Social Change will showcase the diversity and impact of the social innovation lab work being done across Canada, and create a space for the lab-curious to learn from more experienced practitioners.
- Looking for strategic approaches to address complex problems?
- Engaged in collaborative or multi-stakeholder initiatives?
- Interested in social innovation or social change?
If you answered “yes”, or even “maybe” to these, we’d love to see you at Labs for Social Change: Stories of Impact for the Lab-Curious!
Labs for Social Change will be the public kick-off event before CONVERGE: Canadian Lab Practitioners Exchange, an invite-only gathering of 100+ of Canada’s leading lab practitioners taking place at SFU on June 27th and 28th. If you are actively running a social innovation lab, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about CONVERGE.
Labs for Social Change: Stories of Impact for the Lab-Curious will take place at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue on traditional, ancestral and unceded Coast Salish territory.
Boldness Project – Indigenous Child Welfare, Winnipeg, MB
Diane Roussin is a dedicated community leader and a proud member of the Skownan First Nation. Diane has worked tirelessly for over two decades with organizations and projects that respect the ability and the right of Indigenous families, children and individuals to care for themselves and thrive. Most recently, she became the Project Director for The Winnipeg Boldness Project, a research and development project focusing on improving outcomes for children in the North End of Winnipeg through social lab processes. Diane holds Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work degrees. She is a cherished member of a large extended family and a loving mother of two daughters whom she adores.
Natural Capital Lab / GTA Housing Action Lab, Ottawa, ON
John Purkis is a sustainability expert, facilitator and systems change specialist. He works with all orders of government, businesses and other organizations to generate and implement bold visions for a sustainable future. He designs and facilitates transformational change processes with organizations both in Canada and around the world. Recently, as the Director of The Natural Capital Lab, John lead a group of approximately 40 senior level innovators to explore barriers and policy changes required at a federal, provincial and municipal scale to integrate natural capital into decision making and accounting practices. John also co-managed the GTA Housing Action Lab and was a member of CMHC’s Sustainable Community Planning Committee.
John holds a BSc in Environmental Science from Brock University (1995) and a graduate Diploma in Institutional Administration from Concordia University (2000). He also completed independent studies in business at Concordia University (1996-1997). He enjoys woodworking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and photography
Local Economic Development Lab – Economic Inclusion, Vancouver, BC
Kiri Bird is a process designer, strategist and facilitator of collaborative systems change initiatives. Kiri is founding Manager of the Local Economic Development Lab (LEDlab), an initiative of Ecotrust Canada and RADIUS at Simon Fraser University. LEDlab is a place-based social innovation lab in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which incubates community-driven solutions for a more vibrant and inclusive local economy. In 2016 LEDlab was the recipient of the RECODE-Cities for People Civic Innovation Award, and in 2018 the City of Vancouver’s Healthy City for All Leadership Award. Kiri has a background in communications, community engagement and economic development both locally and internationally. She holds a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management and Planning from Simon Fraser University, and is passionate about addressing inequities and advancing happiness, well-being and resilience in cities.
City of Vancouver Solutions Lab, Vancouver, BC
Lindsay Cole is currently leading the creation of the Solutions Lab at the City of Vancouver – a place where breakthrough, transformative solutions to some of the city’s most complex problems are being sought. She’s worked on a variety of exciting projects with the City, including leading the planning and public engagement process for the award-winning Greenest City Action Plan. Prior to joining the City, Lindsay co-founded and co-directed Sustainability Solutions Group, a workers cooperative consulting company doing climate change and sustainability work. Lindsay splits her time between Vancouver and Roberts Creek, and in addition to her work life she’s also an active volunteer in community economic development, a PhD student, and the parent of an incredible 9 year old.
J. W. McConnell Family Foundation
Darcy Riddell leads the instructional team for SFU’s Social Innovation Certificate program and is the director of strategic learning for the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. She has spent 20 years advancing sustainability and social change as a campaigner, strategist, process designer and facilitator. Darcy completed a PhD in social innovation/social and ecological sustainability at the University of Waterloo, where she researched strategies for catalyzing and scaling innovation in complex systems.