An Emerging Community of Practice for Canadian Social Innovation Labs
Darcy Riddell, Director of Strategic Learning for the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation recently shared her thinking on the Foundation blog. She has a PhD. in Social Innovation/Social and Ecological Sustainability (www.sig.uwaterloo.ca), where she researched disruptive innovation in complex systems, with a focus on linking and scaling impacts, and the role of individuals in transforming systems. Darcy also just launched a brand new Social Innovation Certificate program at SFU.
“Social Innovation labs offer one promising entry point for collaborative work aimed at the roots of wicked social problems. At their heart, labs offer a structure to use where no one institution or sector can solve a complex challenge alone, and where no single solution or intervention is likely to work.
Labs provide a container for ongoing experimentation and learning – so new insights and interventions can be developed, and great ideas from elsewhere can be tested and adapted.
When undertaken with the discipline and commitment to achieve implementation, labs can extend their impact to a system level.”
“Social Innovation Labs thrive when they ensure the people most affected and those who have the power to make change are part of the process.
Labs in general involve phases including: convening representatives of a given system, researching and reframing the systemic roots of problems, identifying promising ideas, prototyping interventions, and then iterating, implementing and scaling the social solutions that are generated.”
Read more on the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation blog.
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