Theory of Change

If we convene diverse, multi-stakeholder groups and support them through a social innovation lab process we will a) build individual capacity for innovation, b) enhance our understanding of complex problems affecting New Brunswick, and c) produce promising, novel ideas ready for the next stage of development.

A. Human-centred design

Human-centred design directs problem solving at the root of issue, helps to dispel assumptions about “what should be done” and “what works and doesn’t work”, and focuses solutions towards the people most impacted by the problem. Iteration and feedback through rapid, low-cost/low-risk experiments prototype emerging ideas.

B. Theory U

Theory U is based on the premise that individual change is necessary in order to move towards systems change. Teams unpack their assumptions, values and beliefs about the issue, and recognise their role in perpetuating the systems they seek to change, before acting to create possible paths forward.

C. Systems and complexity lenses

Systems thinking shows the interconnectedness of issues, and how stakeholders interact and uphold any given system (and thereby implicated in the problem and its solution). Complexity orients the teams to the appropriate solutions frame for the kinds of challenges they are tackling. Together a complexity and systems analysis helps to reveal potential leverage points, bottlenecks, and roadblocks.

D. Art of Hosting

Art of hosting is a suite of participatory processes for enabling meaningful conversations and creates a safe container where teams are more likely to take risks, have empathy for one another, and communicate effectively across differences.