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we design and facilitate strategic process and meaningful collaboration to solve complex challenges


SOCIAL Innovation & LABS

The intensity of today’s problems cannot be tackled by any one of us alone

We design & facilitate participatory processes that enable groups to work better together and find solutions to complex challenges - from single meetings, to large scale events and conferences, to long term change processes.  No matter what the scale, we can provide a strategic approach, supportive leadership and a culture of continuous learning to create opportunities to succeed and thrive.

Short term / single meeting:  We bring years of experience to help you host an effective meeting or series of meetings, and can provide a neutral voice so that you and your team or stakeholders can fully participate. We are comfortable facilitating both small scale group meetings to large scale engagements of 1000+ people.

Social Innovation Labs and change process:  We can help you identify, implement, and lead a relevant change process for your organization or community.


Leadership training & development

It’s not who does the work, but how it is done

We cultivate authentic leadership through programs, coaching and experiential learning to lead change and navigate uncertainty. Emphasis is placed on navigating complex systems, developing core competencies, and collective problem solving methods, with an aim to envision and develop sustainable futures.

Training for teams: COLAB's experience working with many organizations across multiple sectors has shown us that the way to develop a culture of collaboration and innovation is by establishing shared language and patterns for teams to work effectively together. To establish a culture of participatory leadership and innovation in your organization, we begin working with a core team of leaders who can then radiate out the learning and build the capacity of others.

Our core training programs include:

  • Sustainability Leadership Certificate at Dalhousie University

  • Design Thinking: How to Foster a Culture of Innovation

  • Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter

  • Effective Meeting Design


DEVELOPMENTAL EvaluatioN, & Stakeholder Engagement

Creating sustainable outcomes by listening to your team, stakeholders, and wider context

We study human systems to understand context, uncover narratives insights, patterns and challenges so that teams and organizations can make informed collective decisions and lead innovation.  We do this in two ways:

1. Developing and implementing evaluation strategies. Developmental Evaluation (DE) informs and supports the process for making positive change. DE provides rapid feedback loops that can help them calibrate their strategy and respond quickly to emerging issues. DE brings to innovation and adaptation the processes of asking evaluative questions, applying evaluation logic, and gathering and reporting evaluative data to support project, program, product, and organizational development with timely feedback

2. Stakeholder engagement strategies.  From stakeholder interviews, to individual meetings, to multi year strategies, we bring years of experience and proven practices for ensuring all voices are heard.


our approach


Patterns for working well together

We take a thoughtful approach and care to details to ensure that we are creating the conditions for people to work at their best.


Before taking action, we listen to explore the context within which the challenge exists, taking time to understand the system, and the people that make it up.

systems thinking

People within a system have the deepest knowledge and most relevant experience.  It is from many perspectives we will discover insights and meaningful solutions.

forming a core team

We approach our work with anyone as a partnership.  We will partner with you, form a core team, and tackle the challenge together.