Solutions Lab

Introducing something different

We are proud to present The Canada Life Solutions Lab. Supported by Ontario Trillium Foundation, it is the first facility of its kind in the London area to address our community's most wicked problems. 

Social change doesn’t occur by doing the same things we always do. Change occurs when we introduce something different. A solutions lab model uses the advantage of diverse perspectives and voices to explore and test solutions to big problems and needs in our community. 



The goal of a Solutions Lab is to enhance a culture where people feel safe to:
  • Try new things
  • Learn from mistakes
  • And try again
​This program is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Our Goal

To serve as a catalyst that will break down silos, promote across-sector collaboration, and generate innovative approaches toward affecting systems-level change. 

Solutions lab Special ingredients: PEOPLE + FACILITY

  • A state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest creative, decision-making and collaborative equipment.
  • Our technology and products leverage impact to cultivate a place where ideas spring to life and flourish into hard-hitting solutions. 
  • Structured sessions (lead by your facilitator or matched to one of our specialized consultants) who utilize new and diverse tools and methods for collaboration and change, identify and recruit key stakeholders across sectors and act as a catalyst to move ideas forward. 
  • A safe space where we will explore, challenge, design and help people make progress on complex issues impacting our community. 

Who is it for?

Collaborators, Leaders, Advocates, Citizens, Change makers, Change Agents, Doers, Disruptors, Dreamers
  • Designed for problem-solving, where change-makers from all sectors can intersect, step out of the box and take risks to create transformative change.
  • Those who are stuck in old patterns of thinking and need to solve a problem within the community. 


Our model is an effective process of achieving goals in a collaborative setting. 
We use diverse perspectives and voices to effectively address and articulate community challenges. Then, explore and test solutions to tackle them head on. 

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking could look like this, unique for each situation and group


What Does Design Thinking Entail?

Working in isolation doesn’t solve our most complex problems. Working together on our community’s toughest issues will help you take your initiatives further and create a greater impact.


Current Design Thinkers

To date, we have had collaborative teams learning about and experimenting with design thinking as they work to solve some of our most wicked issues. 
These include:
  • Mental Health System Incubator for Disruptive Solutions (MINDS) 
  • Violence Against Women (how to help people understand the issues, stop blaming women and talk meaningfully about equality for women)
  • Family Service Thames Valley
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters

Become A Design Thinker

What is expected of you and what can participants expect?
  • You can be an existing collaborative or starting a new group.
  • Groups should be diverse. Consider including people with lived experience, experts in your field, people representing all sectors (government, academia, business and nonprofit) and devil’s advocates who will challenge your thinking.
  • Select the wicked problem you want to discuss
  • Be open to creativity and exploration 
To achieve our goal to serve as a catalyst that will break down silos, promote across-sector collaboration, and generate innovative approaches toward affecting systems-level change, Design Thinkers (once approved) will receive the Canada Life Solutions Lab space at no cost up to 5 sessions. In exchange, we ask that you provide a testimonial of the experience, high quality photos (candid is preferable) and fill out a survey at the end of the lab. 

Want to apply to receive the Solutions Lab for free?   Apply Here


Interested in learning about other solutions lab models around the world? Check out these sites:


MaRS Solutions Lab 
Presencing Institute ULab