In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in a variety of processes referred to as “labs.” Put very simply, labs are intense meetings of diverse groups of people who are searching for break-through solutions to serious problems. The SiG partnership is devoting a great deal of energy to lab processes recognizing their potential to affectpositive social change either more quickly or more effectively than isolated efforts would achieve on their own.
The development of a Social Innovation Lab methodology is underway, combining elements of other lab approaches with new elements particular to the work of social innovators. The proposed SI Lab will intentionally focus on broad systems change to address the root causes of complex social / ecological problems. This focus on transformation across scales requires new approaches to the implementation of ideas, including forms of prototyping and simulation.
Dr. Frances Westley is one of the world’s leading experts on social innovation. As the Director of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) at the University of Waterloo, she leads an active research team that is exploring the dynamics of howchange happens in complex, linked social and ecological systems.
Frances Westley, best-selling co-author of Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed, shared her new insights on this emerging field of work.
Watch Bryan's presentation at MaRS recorded for their Global Leadership Series
Helsinki Design Lab (HDL) uses strategic design to uncover the “architecture” of large-scale social challenges and develop more holistic, complete solutions for improvement.
HDL is an initiative by Sitra, The Finnish Innovation Fund, to advance strategic design as a way to re-examine, rethink and redesign the systems we’ve inherited from the past. Innovative and generous with their findings, HDL has become a highly respected global leader in strategic design for social innovation.
The MaRS Global Leadership Series brought Bryan Boyer from Helsinki Design Lab to discuss how they operate and how their successful Studio Model works. Through case studies, they talked about new ways to apply strategic design methods here in Canada.
Social innovation has no end point. We do not find the permanent solution to the complex problems that face society and our environment. Thus, we strive to increase our understanding of and our capacity to respond to such problems in continuously innovative ways.
Dr. Frances Westley, best-selling co-author of Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed, share new insights into understanding complexity and transformative change, and the critical dimensions of “maybe.” presented a tthe University of Victoria and the University of Vancouver in September and explored the following concepts:
*The importance of resilience concepts―strategies for both increasing and decreasing pockets of resilience within our social systems
*The potential of social innovation design labs for supporting system change
*The connective role of institutional entrepreneurs and their relationship to the inventiveness of social entrepreneurs
Frances Westley is one of the world’s leading experts on social innovation. As the Director of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) at the University of Waterloo, she leads an active research team that is exploring the dynamics of how change happens in complex, linked social and ecological systems. The WISIR staff and faculty team has launched the Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and is educating and networking professionals from all sectors across Canada, to work together for significant innovation on our shared, systemic challenges.
The 2011/2012 SiG Social Impact Series examined the latest thinking by the SiG leadership team on social innovation and its related topics. A complete list of these webinars can be found on our SiG National site by clicking here.
A conversation with Vickie Cammack (SiG@PLAN), Tim Draimin (SiG National), Al Etmanski (SiG@PLAN), & Cheryl Rose (SiG@Waterloo)
People engaged in systems change recognize they are dealing with complex, interlocking systems which can’t be controlled but can be shifted and influenced. They look for patterns across the social, economic, and political landscape. They use their deep understanding and trusted relationships to connect innovative ideas and initiatives with the broader context. In this way, they create an environment where social innovation can flourish.
This track was for people who want to become more effective in implementing systems change. Drawing on the new research, practical experience, and case examples of Canada’s Social Innovation Generation partnership, we learned and applied frameworks, concepts, skills, and tools for social innovation. In the process, we had the opportunity to develop strategies for system-level impacts in areas that matter deeply to each of us. We also enhanced our understanding and skills in these areas:
Understanding complex systems and recognizing patterns
Sense-making and do-it-yourself public policy
Connecting people, passions, ideas, and initiatives