We help teams better understand problems and help them test innovative solutions

NouLAB works with groups to develop new approaches to long-standing issues. We connect individuals across sectors and departments to harness collective intelligence.

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“We act like systems in creating large system problems, but we act like individuals in trying to solve them.”


Eric Trist

British scientist, Founder of the Tavistock Institute for Social Research in London
“I attended the NouLAB Academy session…from the beginning, I was struck by the strategic and measured approach of the facilitators, not to mention their seamless teamwork. Their balance between “teaching” new material, collective activities with all attendees, and work time for individual groups, was spot on. This effective facilitation provided the necessary support for the difficult but necessary work required of the attendees.”

Garrett Richards, PhD

Assistant Professor, Environmental Policy Insitute, Grenfell Campus, Memorial
“Through the Economic Immigration Lab process we were able to access networks, finding the people for our webinar series. Knowing what was the most important information to share, we could develop really good content based on that knowledge. The people in NouLAB were a huge resource for us, their skills and capacity to host events and processes.”

Adrienne O’Pray

Executive Director, New Brunswick Business Council


Whether you are facing challenges with an existing service, or are creating a completely new program and don’t know where to start, our team can help.


provides a comprehensive understanding of an issue and potential strategies to address it.

NouLAB can help:
– Create space for multi-stakeholder teams to work together more efficiently;
– Engage multi-stakeholder groups in the creation of a common vision;
– Connect your team with others in the community, public, or private sector who could help move your project forward.


shows the interconnectedness of issues, and how stakeholders interact and uphold any given system.

NouLAB can help:
– Identify stakeholders and their place within the broader system;
– Highlight points within the system that have high potential to affect change;
– Create strategies to evaluate impact that acknowledges external influences.


integrates the needs, values, capabilities, and constraints of people being designed for into the design process.

NouLAB can help:
– Understand problems from the perspectives of the people most impacted by them;
– Test existing services and/or new ideas to identify opportunities for improvement;
– Co-design solutions with the people who will ultimately use them.


We are a team of passionate problem solvers and will work closely with your team to understand the problem you are trying to solve before recommending a path forward, which may include:

Strategic Planning  Capacity Building  Project Support  Innovation Lab Service Design

Social Labs

Social Labs are built on the assumption and experience that an increasing complexity in the problems we face compels us to find new ways of solving them. These solutions are more comprehensive and more readily owned if they are co-created by the stakeholders impacted by the challenge.

There are millions of laboratories around the world dedicated to the natural sciences and technology, receiving trillions of dollars in funding. How many laboratories around the world are dedicated to addressing social issues? Social labs include strategies for addressing complex social challenges. They have three core characteristics: they are social, experimental, and systemic.


Social labs start by bringing together diverse participants to work in a team that acts collectively. They are ideally drawn from different sectors of society, such as government, business and community. The integral participation of diverse stakeholders, as opposed to teams of experts, defines the social nature of social labs.


The ideas and initiatives developed in social labs go beyond dealing with symptoms and address the root cause of why things are not working.

Social issues are collective action problems where some form of capital is being depleted. In a challenge like poverty, we see a decline in multiple forms of capital: for example, a set of skills becoming redundant, a lack of funding to support entrepreneurship, and so on. Successful social labs can re-generate different forms of capital, in order to address the most complex challenges.


Social labs are not one-off experiences. They’re ongoing and sustained efforts. The team takes an iterative approach to the challenges it wants to address—prototyping interventions, incorporating feedback, and managing a portfolio of promising solutions.



We have compiled a list of resources for you to use in your ongoing work. This could be after you have participated in a lab/workshop/engagement with us or to find out more about our approach to work.

Facilitator Guide

Here you can find a description of the tools we use. Many are borrowed, some we created. Please credit where credit is due.


Systemic Design Guide

Follow the Rabbit Field Guide: The Alberta Colab developed this resource to guide teams through systemic design.

Follow the Rabbit Field Guide

Toolkit navigator

The ultimate list of toolkits. If you can find it here it probably doesn’t exist, so why don’t you create it?



Some beautiful shots of our work. Much of it by Storyworkmedia. Contact Jared if you need a quality photographer.

Academy 2019
Economic Immigration Lab May 2019