The initial spark for the Economic Immigration Lab happened during NouLAB’s Academy program, an introductory workshop on social innovation labs. At this workshop, Alex LeBlanc, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Association and Adrienne O’Pray, CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council found themselves talking about the dire need for immigration to the province, and a new approach to solving this challenge. Alex, Adrienne, and the NouLAB team became the convening team, and started the planning of the Economic Immigration Lab.
The first step was to bring significant stakeholders to the table. An advisory group known as the Leadership Council (LC) was formed, with a purpose of making connections, fundraising, and help shape the lab’s objectives.
Funding and willpower was committed from PETL, ACOA, McCain, and Imperial Manufacturing and the stage was set for the first year of a 3 year lab on economic immigration. The plan was to have two “cycles” of the lab per year - a cycle being one cohort of lab participants going through the lab process to develop prototypes.