Build capacity for innovation

Beyond developing and testing prototypes, the lab also builds the capacity of individuals to innovate, so that no matter what the project, their work on immigration can better serve NB. The ripple effects of this built capacity will have immeasurable impact. The lab is a professional development opportunity on an individual level, and this itself holds great value.

THE LAB TEACHES:

  • Systems thinking

  • Design thinking

  • Working in complexity

  • Prototyping

  • Leadership practices

  • Effective team practices

90% of lab participants agree or strongly agree that the lab provided an innovative process for working on the immigration challenge of NB.

“We are too often rushed to identify solutions quickly to issues. This process allowed us to take more time and collaborate and fully explore a very concise issue and identify and create a solution for that issue”

“I’m very happy I got to participate from this experience, it provided me with excellent tools to face any challenge that I will always have present with me.”

“We need to work on a narrative for the local population to feel that they play an important part in making our community more inclusive. We need to bring them into the process of integration for immigrants instead of just letting it be the work of government, non-profits, and civil society committed to inclusion. The day-to-day lives of local persons can also include ways to demonstrate a genuine interest for getting to know immigrants. I proposed the theme for the Cultural Expressions Festival's ten year anniversary as "We are all ethnic" because it is important that everyone feel that they can celebrate their ethnicity, but more importantly, that everyone HAS an ethnicity, not just people of colour or visible minorities. That category of the "other" that people of colour usually fall under, the way the word "ethnic" is used, can be a bit insulting because it creates an Us/Them mentality. So this lab certainly made me be bold enough to push the line, based on some of the things I heard, some of the people I met, and the conclusions that we need to treat everyone's background equally if we are going to come together as a community.”

78% of lab participants say that they have adopted the lab’s approach to problem solving into their work and other projects. This approach emphasizes gathering diverse perspectives before generating potential solutions.

“My colleagues themselves aren't very diverse, so it is hard to get those types of diverse perspectives, but we are working to make City Staff more culturally diverse, and the decision-makers (I think) are on board with starting the process.”

“I didn't know much about the current situation in NB before participating in the lab. I found the process itself to be very effective for collecting data and bringing stakeholders to the table. Participating showed me how I can contribute to the work being done.”

65% have adopted a user-centred approach to solving challenges in their work.

“Newcomers have much to say, we often aren’t listening and too wrapped up in our own agendas to see what is directly in front of us.”

“If you want real answers start building trust, relationships, focus groups and start including immigrants in higher numbers ..it really makes a difference.”

“We are doing it, starting small, but eventually with cultural competence training, that ability to work with different cultures will be enhanced.”

“I gained an increased understanding that a poor experience in immigration processes has on individuals and their families - those "people stories" are the ones that stick with you.”

“I already try to do this but the lab gave me better tools.”

45% have adopted prototyping as a method for learning and solving a problem in their work.

“I feel more confident in my ability to contribute to an innovation process (as a critical, pessimistic, non-creative, ha!)”

“Recognizing that some of the paths that we thought we were taking weren't the ideal ones or the ones that we really wanted, so by retracting and starting again we are now sure that we looked at many options and chose the one that really could accomplish what we want to do. Trial and error and no regrets.”

“We simply do not have the time to do prototyping. When you are underfunded and under resourced there is little time for experimental programs.”