Final Note from the Lab Team
Hosting the Local Economic Development Lab has been a transformative experience for program staff, graduate students, and parent organizations Ecotrust Canada and RADIUS SFU. We are proud of the work we’ve done with community over the past three years, and we are incredibly excited about the assets and resources the DTES community now has to move forward. In particular, employment services and social enterprise groups have so much more cohesion than just a few years ago, and clarity in an approach rooted in cross-sector collaboration and systems change.
We are grateful for the trust our partners placed in us, and their leadership in continuing this work. In many respects the idea of a time-bound program was an experiment in itself, seeking to build new strengths and networks without competing for resources with existing community organizations. LEDlab sunsetting in line with the original design is in many ways a sign of success.
In July 2018 the LEDlab partnership between Ecotrust Canada and RADIUS SFU will reach its planned conclusion and LEDlab staff will move on to new positions. Kiri Bird is moving into a full time role with RADIUS SFU as Associate Director. Ara Beittoei will be applying his skills in data analysis and public engagement to climate solutions with a local consulting firm. We all remain committed neighbours in the DTES, with relationships that will long outlast this initiative.
Our webiste will remain active through 2020 and knowledge products will gradually be transitioned to partners’ web archives. We encourage our audience to use and share the publications on our website as much as desired, to support and enhance your work.
This work has been challenging and not always easy, but it’s been extremely fruitful and all of us on the LEDlab team can genuinely say we’ve been changed for the better through this experience. We look forward to continuing to design innovative approaches to complex social and economic challenges in the future and to contributing to social innovation lab practice in BC and Canada.
The LEDlab Team,
Kiri Bird, Ara Beittoei, Shawn Smith, Jean Pogge