Description of prototypes

How to use the prototype descriptions

The prototype descriptions listed below provide detail on the prototype, the status as of March 2020, the team and any relevant public documentation.

If you are interested in being connected with any of the prototype teams to learn more or just to make a connection please email: and a NouLAB representative will put you in touch.

Prototypes: What has EIL created?

One of the most tangible and visible outputs of the lab are the prototypes. In the lab, multi-sectoral teams are formed around a focus area, an idea, or a leverage point, where they can make a systemic change and improvement to the immigration system of NB. Their ideas for how to do this best are built into a prototype. 15 prototypes were developed through the 3 years of the lab, with some continuing and some elements of others being integrated into programs in government, agencies and private enterprise.

Promising ideas and prototypes developed in EIL require support to continue on beyond the lab workshops. They can be supported through a variety of mechanisms:

  • Mentoring and coaching from the Leadership Council

  • Partnership with organizations with complimentary mandate

  • Access of up to $5000 from NouLAB’s prototype fund, to develop, test, and iterate

  • Investment by key organizations and/or departments

  • Sustained coaching and supports from NouLAB

Prototyping is about making an idea or concept tangible – whether that’s through writing, drawing, storytelling, sculpting, digital mockups, or some other approach. Prototyping is also not just about the act of making something real, but also about learning something from this process – most commonly in social labs, this is about either testing feasibility, or putting it into people’s hands to get feedback on the idea, or test demand. - Roller Strategies

Value of Prototypes

Whether the prototypes continue being tested and refined beyond the lab, or if they “fail early” and discontinue, the prototypes developed in the EIL have provided value in multiple ways:

  1. They continue to take action after the lab: Prototypes continue beyond the lab, taking a novel approach to addressing root causes of the challenges facing immigrant attraction and retention. These prototypes are promising enough to attract partners, funding, and implementation support outside of the lab.

  2. They validate existing initiatives: Teams develop prototypes in the lab that replicate what already exists or is in development elsewhere, without knowing it. The ideas generated by a diverse and multi sectoral prototype team validates the direction and strategy of other immigration initiatives.

  3. They provide new insights: Not all prototypes continue, but they often provide new insights or nuance to a challenge that was not previously known.

  4. They have significant ripple effects: Individuals lead effective immigration change initiatives inside and outside of their organizations related to their prototype, and augmented by the lab experience.

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