Welcome to the Living Guide to Social Innovation Labs. This is a work in progress, and may always be. It is also available in French!

What is this? This is a living compilation of social innovation lab theory, templates, and tools to help address complex system problems. It is being developed in collaboration with members of the social innovation lab community. How do I use it? This is a centralized information hub and set of tools for anyone to use. The theory, templates and tools are sorted into three sections: (1) Seeing, (2) Doing, and (3) Being. Some tools have more useful contexts than others - we encourage you not to use this guide too rigidly, but rather as a resource to inform your work. That is, hack it apart and see what works for you and what doesn't (and share your learning here, too!).

Work in progress - feel free to share your ideas and content!

This guide is not intended to be a static document, but rather a piece of collective infrastructure where developing knowledge from the Canadian labs field can be deposited. It's intended as a shared learning resource where anyone can contribute.

We chose to publish it on GitBook for its integration with GitHub - the platform that powers the Open Source movement. If you've got something to add to the Field Guide, click on Share my content at the end. This links you to a google folder where you can upload your own ideas, templates, and tools where they will be incorporated into the Living Guide to Social Innovation Labs.


Much of the content you will find in this guide was originally created for the Explore and Experiment module for Innoweave, a program of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. Explore and Experiment is a capacity building program for new lab teams and other organizations wanting to use lab approaches to solve complex societal problems. The program was delivered by MaRS Solutions Lab. This guide includes many of the tools and approaches that the Solutions Lab team uses in its work. This guide would not have been possible without the support of the McConnell Foundation.

Thanks to our community <3

We wish to thank everyone contributing to this work in progress.

Our first shout out goes to Ben Weinlick and Aleeya Velji for contributing content from their Social Innovation Lab Field Guide, published here. The field guide was written by Ben and Aleeya as Think Jar Collective and used for MacEwan University and Mount Royal University Social Innovation Certificate courses.

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