‘Real Life’

It happened. What they said would happen when we left Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations That Matter (AoH). The facilitators said that the openness, emergence, creativity, connectedness and other un-nameable experiences would be dulled in the ‘Outside World’, that I would have to do The Work to regain some of the ‘Real Life’ we had been guided towards over those four months three days at the end of January.

Well now it’s February 27th and I realized that not only did I not submit my Reflection but the ‘Outside World’ of work and home and appointments and…


The work of connecting and working across divides — a weighty subject, and one worth tackling. This was the theme of the Art of Hosting training held between January 30th and February 1st, 2019 in Fredericton, New Brunswick and was chosen in light of today’s divisive issues, spanning from the individual to the transnational. In the local context, New Brunswick recently elected a minority government supported by a populist party that has used bilingualism as a wedge to divide opinion on the issue. This has naturally created more fissures in the landscape of a province that is officially bilingual and…


The seventh Relating Systems thinking and Design conference (RSD7) in Turin, Italy was held over four days, October 23rd to 26th, 2018. It is a conference that brings together a wide variety of academics, designers, practitioners, students and people interested in systems change. The one thing they seem to have in common is a desire to change the ways things are. Designers are inherently tinkerers, they are people who see things as they could be, not necessarily as they are. They also see what is behind the scenes. Many of the topics at RSD7 were about the philosophies beyond the…


In 2017, I was selected amongst other candidates to participate at the first cycle of the Noulab Economic Immigration Lab (EIL). As a newcomer who arrived in Canada in 2012, I assisted in numerous meetings about immigration and how to make it better but I rarely saw a concrete result. That was the main motivation to participate in the Economic Immigration Lab.

This project was presented to me as I was a key player. That, it was up to me if I wanted to make some changes or at least help. Nobody would tell me to stop and I would…


Economic Immigration is an issue in New Brunswick. Many newcomers will come for work, stay for about two years, and then move on, out of the province. NouLAB hopes to address this complex issue through its social labs, which work to build “shared understanding among affected stakeholders” to develop real-world, testable prototypes.

Lauren Sears became involved as an experimental addition to the first cohort of social lab participants, seeing as she came to the program from outside of New Brunswick. She would join participants ranging from first voice contributors — Immigrants or “New-New Brunswickers” — to those in the private…


We are literally and figuratively wrapping up the first cycle of the Economic Immigration Lab. It is the end of the final workshop, and we’re taking down the graphic recordings of the whole process, collecting up the post-it notes and clearing away the various pieces of flip-chart paper that scatter the room in the Venn Innovation Centre in downtown Moncton. The first cycle of the EIL began and ended here — in Moncton, on the banks of the Peticodiac River. The Petitcodiac most likely derives its name from a Wolastoqiyik word, ‘petakuyak’, meaning ‘sound of thunder’ referring to the sound…


The Petitcodiac River’s tidal bore

The rising tide floats all boats. The theme of this workshop was in reference to the launching of the teams and their prototypes into the next phase of working outside the lab proper. After three workshops, one conference, and fieldwork investigating the system, interviewing potential users and developing solutions, teams returned to sum up their lab experience and have a last chance of learning from the entire cohort. In the welcome, Lewis re-emphasised the importance of this work to the future of the province, and Amanda shared what support is available after the wrap of the final workshop. Rose then…


University of New Brunswick Campus

It had only been two and half weeks since the end of the Rapids workshop when the Economic Immigration Lab reconvened in Fredericton at the UNB campus. On the Saint John river once again but at a place where the water flows much clearer. The workshop was held at the Student Union Building on the top floor with a wonderful view across the city and over the river. …


Workshop 2, The Rapids. Held in Saint John on the Bay of Fundy, where the Saint John river enters the ocean, the Rapids workshop references the reversing falls that churn and swirl as the world’s highest tides go in and out of the estuary. The ideas and actions are set to mix and influence each other as the fresh and salt waters do. There was much to do and little time to do it in. …


In response to the pressing need for a change around the process and expediency of a new wave of immigration to New Brunswick, a social lab was developed for building prototypes around attracting, welcoming and retaining newcomers. On September 11th 2017 over 30 participants gathered in Riverview, New Brunswick to begin working on building new approaches to the issue. This is a synopsis of the three day process.

There were great expectations on the behalf of the facilitation and leadership teams to begin the Economic Immigration Lab (EIL). A great deal of planning had gone into this day, when a…

NouLAB

New Brunswick’s Social and Public Innovation Lab // Le laboratoire de l’innovation publique et sociale du Nouveau-Brunswick.

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