Social Innovation Lab Guide

Social Innovation Lab Guide

The Social Innovation Lab Guide is a direct output of the grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Designing and Testing a Social Innovation Lab.

Since 2007, the team led by Dr. Frances Westley at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR), in collaboration with many colleagues, including those within the Canada's Social Innovation Generation (SiG) partnership, have been generating and sharing new knowledge about how significant change happens in the world. WISIR's interest in the possibility of processes that catalyze real and durable innovation has driven a number of years of exploring the potential of 'Labs'.

The Social Innovation Lab emphasizes not only imagining high potential interventions but also gaining system sight, redefining problems, and identifying opportunities in the broader context with the potential to tip systems in positive directions. It is a three-step process of developing, testing and instigating innovation strategies. It requires the right starting conditions, an investment in research and skilled facilitators. It also makes use of computer modeling to proto-typing interventions in complex systems. Like other processes for convening multi-stakeholder groups working on complex challenges, it is best suited to the early stages of making change.

This guide is offered as a resource to peers, colleagues, practitioners, leaders from all sectors, and concerned citizens - all who have and/or will participate in change-making processes. One hope for this work is that these ideas on Social Innovation and these recommendations for new practice will result in greater sense of agency for those who work on what often seems like impossible aspirations for a different, better world. Probably our greatest hope is that these ideas help to transform the impossible into the possible.

To download a PDF copy of the guide please click here Social Innovation Lab Guide