Pond-Deshpande Centre Partners with RE!NSTITUTE to Launch Canada’s First 100-Day Challenge for Construction Sector Innovation

The Pond-Deshpande Centre (PDC) is proud to announce a pivotal partnership with RE!NSTITUTE, a leading international non-profit organization dedicated to driving transformative impacts on complex societal challenges. This collaboration paves the way for Canada’s inaugural 100-Day Challenge, led by PDC. This ambitious initiative will bring transformative changes to the construction sector through rapid innovation and collaborative efforts.

The first iteration of this challenge under the PDC- RE!NSTITUTE partnership is set to convene the right mix of participants, spanning federal and provincial governments, industry specialists, academics, and local communities. The goal is to cultivate innovative strategies that harness the power of immigration to bridge crucial labor shortages in New Brunswick’s construction industry.

In recent years, New Brunswick has seen unprecedented population growth, especially notable over the past five years following a period of decline and stagnation. The province recorded its fastest growth rate in 2021, a trend that has consistently continued into 2022 and 2023. Current labour data indicates that approximately 4.2 per cent of construction jobs remain vacant. Projections suggest that by 2032, the sector will face 8,400 retirements and a surge in new job creation driven by escalating demand.

The Pond-Deshpande Centre’s launch of the RE!NSTITUTE 100-Day Challenge, signifies a critical step in augmenting the construction workforce’s capacity. The project will focus on three primary objectives: modernizing recruitment processes, ensuring workplace readiness, and recognizing international qualifications and skills within the construction industry. The 100-Day Challenge is a strategic response to the acute need for skilled labor in New Brunswick, aiming to capitalize on immigrant talent, enhance the integration of diverse workforces, and fulfill the rising infrastructure development demands.

Beyond the Construction Sector

As New Brunswick’s social innovation organization, PDC looks forward to bringing the training of the 100-Day Challenge methodology to New Brunswick as the first organization in Canada to receive the training. It introduces a swift, challenge-based model that complements our full-scale social innovation lab processes which span multi-years. This paradigm of rapid innovation is timely and pivotal, especially as New Brunswick, the Atlantic region, and Canada grapple with unprecedented challenges in key sectors like workforce, a just economy, and civic engagement.

Statements from the Partners 

Our world is getting more and more complex which means the problems we face as communities are growing and feel intractable. By becoming the first organization in Canada to implement the RE!NSTITUTE 100 Day Challenge, we are adding one more tool into our toolbox in being able to help diverse stakeholders solve big societal challenges.

Katie Davey, Executive Director,
Pond-Deshpande Centre

RE!NSTITUTE is honored to partner with Pond-Deshpande Center on this project. We’ve seen tremendous excitement from the teams that have begun their 100-Day Challenges and the innovative thinking and ambitious goals they’ve set out to achieve. We know that we must transform existing systems so that they incorporate the voices most impacted and create innovations that are collaborative and effective.

Sean Whitten, Chief Executive Officer, RE!NSTITUTE

The New Brunswick construction sector is experiencing critical labour shortages, and the industry has been looking for new and innovative ways to leverage immigration to fill current and future vacancies. Our search led us to PDC, and we’re proud to be partnering with them. We’re honoured to be the first in Canada to employ the dynamic RE!NSTITUTE 100-Day Challenge methodology. Engaging over 30 participants from the construction industry, settlement sector, academia and key provincial stakeholders, we are excited to witness the innovative solutions that will emerge from this collaborative effort over the next 100 days!

John-Ryan Morrison, Executive Director, Construction Association
of New Brunswick
About Pond-Deshpande Centre

As New Brunswick’s social innovation partner, PDC unites diverse voices to address complex problems using social innovation and social entrepreneurship methodologies.


RE!NSTITUTE specializes in challenge-based innovation, fostering quick and effective problem-solving among diverse groups addressing urgent issues.

For further information, please contact:

Rebecca McSheffery Director of Innovation & NouLAB, Pond-Deshpande Centre at Rebecca.mcsheffery@unb.ca

Jennifer Shteiwi – Associate Director, US RE!NSTITUTE at jshteiwi@re-institute.org