Kiri Bird’s blog outlines the Local Economic Development Lab program model, and shares the opportunity that universities have to leverage the Mitacs Accelerate Research Grants for social change. If you’re interested in learning more, join our upcoming webinar on May 17.
In the Fall of 2014, RADIUS SFU, a social innovation lab and venture incubator at Simon Fraser University entered into a three-year partnership with Ecotrust Canada to create the Local Economic Development Lab (LEDlab) in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Drawing on Ecotrust Canada’s 20 years of on-the-ground community development practice, we worked to understand the local community’s priorities for economic development and innovation. Building on this foundation, we drew from RADIUS’s expertise in process innovation, and social venture development to build a unique program. The model developed at the LEDlab works at multiple scales to incubate community-driven social ventures, while building community capacity to identify and act upon opportunities for systemic change.