A case study from a social and public innovation lab in New Brunswick, Canada
Lewis Muirhead and Rosamund Mosse
NouLAB, Alternate Future Design | Evoke by Design
In September 2017 the first multi-year standing lab undertaken by NouLAB was launched on the topic of Economic Immigration. Along with the more traditional Social Innovation Lab methodologies such as design thinking, systemic design and Social Labs structures as defined by Hassan (2014), Jones (2014), and Westley et al. (2015), NouLAB employed the participatory practices of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter (AoH) to design and facilitate lab sessions.
The Economic Immigration Lab has run for 18 months, and two full cycles. NouLAB has identified the linkages between the AoH approach and the systemic principles of design. Of specific interest is how multi-stakeholder participants’ learning and capacity is effectively enabled by the philosophy holding space, encouraging an atmosphere of psychological safety, experimentation, and learning,
addressing root causes of problems not merely symptoms.
Keywords: Social Innovation Labs, Art of Hosting, Participatory Practices, Public Sector Innovation, Systemic Design