As the lab concept gained momentum, the Leadership Council met regularly to define the inquiry of the lab, the purpose, and the objectives. The inquiry that the lab was to explore was defined as “How might we become leaders at attracting, welcoming and retaining newcomers to contribute to the economy of New Brunswick?” In consultation with the NouLAB team and Leadership Council, COLAB Consultants created a developmental evaluation strategy.
Additional funding was secured from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) for the first year of the lab. In addition, private sector sponsorship from McCain, and donations from Imperial Manufacturing, and Venn Innovation.
An initial round of invitations went out to recruit participants for cycle 1, and the NouLAB team began designing a relevant and effective process. This included looking at different types of labs (Social Labs, Social Innovation Labs, Design Labs) and deciding what was most relevant for the challenge at hand. The team looked to other examples of social labs globally and received generous support.