Edmonton Shift Lab
The Edmonton Shift Lab is a unique social innovation lab from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, that is doing ground-breaking antiracism work through a combination of systems thinking, design thinking and Indigenous epistemologies. For the last five years, the Shift Lab has worked with volunteer community members from the human services sector in Edmonton to explore anti-racism approaches that could be impactful and scalable. Fighting racism requires a systemic approach and keen insights into behavioural science. Our findings challenge the established diversity, equity, and inclusion workshop approach and improve upon it through the creation of tangible, actionable prototypes that are being adopted by community partners. These prototypes include a subscription box service, a public safety brochure, a tabletop board game, an app and an educational curriculum for landlords. Each shows promise in making systemic change to the attitudes and actions that contribute to racist behaviours. We have begun collecting and tabulating feedback about what works and what doesn’t, and we are eager to share these observations in the context of systemic design.
Keywords: systemic racism, colonialism, antiracism, oppression