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Change Labs for Better Lives and a Stronger Hamilton

February 13, 2014 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am


Social Innovation Change Labs provide a physical and intellectual space designed to encourage and facilitate cooperation and the co-creation of meaningful and innovative solutions to complex problems

Jerry Koh from the MaRS Solution Lab and Geraldine Cahill from Social Innovation Generation (“SIG”) will present the concept of Change Labs and their potential in supporting Hamilton’s own process of renewal. Jerry and Geraldine will discuss what change labs are doing around the world and provide ideas for what change labs can do in Hamilton. This a follow-up to last October’s Seeing Hamilton: When best is possible

Hamilton, like many other cities around the world, is facing complex societal and economic challenges. As we move toward a knowledge society we are seeing institutions in crisis, diminishing public resources, and systems in need of change.

We are also seeing positive trends: our individual problem-solving capacity is at a record high, and people are more educated and informed. Technology enables us to perform complex, collaborative tasks inexpensively, quickly and easily. We have access to more private capital for social good than ever before.

Many people want to be engaged in creating a better world.

Change labs have been used around the world to help governments and citizens work together to understand complex societal problems, and to design, experiment and scale high impact interventions that drive social and economic change. This is where groups like the MaRS Solutions Lab come in. The Lab is part of a global movement that also includes MindLab (Denmark), Kennisland (Netherlands), Nesta Innovation Lab (UK) and GovLab (US).

Jerry Koh is the Manager of Innovation, Foresight & Research for the MaRS Solutions Lab. The Lab is developing new solutions with citizens, governments, businesses and nonprofits for better lives and stronger society. He leads the development and application of systems thinking, design thinking and foresight tools for the lab and its partners. He also leads Lab initiatives including: Residential Support for People with Developmental Disabilities, Employment of Youth with Disabilities, and GovMaker, a series of programs to drive open government with government, citizens, businesses and non-profits.

Geraldine Cahill is the Communications Manager for Social Innovation Generation – a collaborative partnership working to create a culture of social innovation in Canada. I work closely with SiG’s 4 partners in the development of our program’s objectives. These partners include the MaRS Discovery District, the McConnell Foundation, PLAN Institute, and the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience.


McMaster Innovation Park
175 Longwood Road South
Hamilton, Ontario L8P0A1 Canada
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