NouLAB Helps Citizens Develop Solutions to Retention & Immigration Challenges

May 10, 2018 | by: Heather Boyd-Kinnie

The Pond-Deshpande Centre’s Social Innovation Lab, NouLAB, Helps Citizens Develop Solutions to Complex Problems such as the Attraction & Retention of Newcomers to New Brunswick.

The most recent NouLAB program, held the week of April 16, 2018, is the first part of the second cycle of our “Economic Immigration Lab” which is helping team-members from various sectors work together to understand and develop solutions to the problem of attracting and retaining newcomers in our province.  For this lab, three teams came into the process pre-formed with a challenge ready to go. This allowed the teams to drill deep on problems quickly. Inspired by Google’s 5 day sprint method for creating prototypes and solving problems, the NouLAB team developed a hybrid method to get teams ideating and prototyping new approaches to previously unsolved problems. There is a team working on diversity inclusion in the Parkton community of the city of Moncton where many refugees live. There is a team working on how to bring more Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) to the province. There is a team working on streamlining the process of immigration for employers in New Brunswick.

The depth and quality of the prototypes they have arrived at appear very promising, and the tools they now have, including human centered design, will ensure that their process going forward will have depth and impact. Throughout the week, we also had visitors from the business sector, the multicultural community, and government to provide more information on the “big picture” for immigration in New Brunswick.

The cycle will continue on May 25th with team members participating in the Atlantic Immigration Summit in Moncton being organized by the Atlantic Ballet and facilitated by NouLAB.

Feedback from the participants is very positive, with some saying that their creativity has now been engaged and that they now have a solid action plan with which to go forward. NouLAB continues to provide support, including prototype funding, to the teams on an on-going basis.

NouLAB is an initiative of the Pond-Deshpande Centre, in partnership with the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network.

For more details about the Economic Immigration Lab, we invite you to our website:


Blog post submitted by Lewis Muirhead, NouLAB Knowledge Manager

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