After assessing the outcomes from the first round, the NouLAB team and the leadership council decided to use an accelerated model in order to go deeper. Instead of an open call for individuals, there was a call for people to come with specific topics and challenges that had been identified by the leadership council as
important to immigration in New Brunswick. Two new, more specific calling questions were developed: How might we help newcomers to find meaningful employment and feel part of the New Brunswick community? How might we help employers find talent to grow their businesses?
In April 2018, three teams convened for a one- week process designed by the team at NouLAB. Modelled after Google’s Sprint methodology. The teams focused on: Diversity and inclusion in the Parkton community of Moncton where many refugees live; How to bring more Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) to the province; and Streamlining the process of immigration for employers in New Brunswick. How has the lab evolved?
Involvement from major employers and the federal government were highlights of this round. The three teams that went through this week all continued to work at varying levels on their challenge by evolving the prototype developed during the sprint. To continue to offer support and invest in further innovation and prototype iteration, a NouLAB team member became a partner and coach to all active EIL teams. This blend of coaching, prototype design skills, and implementation support was found to significantly hasten progress. The continued convening support that NouLAB offered functioned to keep teams active and in a prototype mindset , as well as, keep the leadership council informed on any significant hurdles, which they might be able to help teams surmount.
A unique and essential element of the Economic Immigration Lab is the connections facilitated between government and other sectors. Because these longer-term working relationships are somewhat of a new phenomenon, NouLAB has found it important to continue convening partners. The feedback we have had thus far is that this process has been extremely valuable because of NouLAB’s neutrality as a convener. We are bringing stakeholders together for the betterment of immigration on all fronts. Although our leadership consists of the New Brunswick Business Council, the New Brunswick Multicultural Council and the government of New Brunswick, no one partner is in charge, dictating how the findings of lab are used. The organic relationship development serves all parties involved equally.