How do we deal with “wicked” problems? Problems that defy easy, straightforward answers; problems riddled with incomplete, unknown or shifting information; problems that frequently bedevil decision-makers in the policy, non-profit and public administration spaces? Well, we squirrelled away to the Musqueam Cultural Centre on Coast Salish territory at the fingernail-tip of Vancouver to find out, courtesy of the
Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR), and its groundbreaking LabWISE program.
The LabWISE Process
The Shift Lab Stewardship team with Frances Westley, Cheryl Rose, and LabWISE mentors.
LabWISE was a three-day workshop geared at helping organizations create and launch social innovation labs to tackle their respective wicked problems. These groups represented a spectrum of social innovation: from environmental awareness and Indigenous education to healthcare advocacy and poverty reduction and many other issues. Many of these teams were just starting out on their systems thinking journeys, so no two organizations came at this from the same perspective.