The Innovation Process: Ideation, Experiments and Containers for Risk

How do we harness the insights of social innovation to create real and lasting change? This course will introduce you to different lab platforms and “containers” that support risk-taking and collaborative problem solving, such as design labs and change labs.

In a small group, you’ll work on a real-world situation to experience the innovation process in microcosm, from problem definition, through ideation and experimentation to implementation and scaling. Through this work, you’ll draw on key insights and practices from design thinking, strategic design and Theory U.

Since prototyping is a core practice of innovation, you’ll delve deeper into tools and approaches for teasing out 1.0 versions of the future seeking to emerge. You will also review new technology tools and platforms that support data gathering, research and ideation.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
3 TBA $995.00 0 -

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Recognize and apply the innovation process arc from beginning to end, with an emphasis on problem definition through ideation and experimentation.
  • Use human-centred design tools and other innovative research methods to foster creativity and idea generation
  • Understand the basic components of different types of change lab processes and how they might apply to your context
  • Explore your relationship to your own creativity and how this may enable or inhibit innovative behaviours
  • Cultivate greater creativity in teams and organizational settings
  • Use somatic, awareness-based and experiential practices and activities in support of social innovation
  • Build on the overall learning objectives of the certificate

How will I learn?

  • Advance readings
  • Individual and group exercises
  • Case studies
  • Mini-lectures
  • Group discussion
  • Field trips

Who should take this course?

This course is suitable for those who want to learn more about the innovation process, from problem definition through ideation and experimentation to implementation and scaling.

How will I be evaluated?

You will be evaluated based on your class participation, in-class assignments and a post-class reflection assignment. 

If you are taking this course as part of the Social Innovation Certificate program, you may need to complete additional assignments outside of class time in order to graduate.

Textbooks and learning materials

The following books are strongly recommended for certificate students and for individual registrants. The required readings will be provided through Canvas, your online learning platform.

brown, adrienne maree. Emergent Strategy: Shaping change, changing worlds. AK Press, 2017.

Etmanski, Al. Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation. Orwell Cove Publishing, 2015.

Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions, 2015. (We suggest the audiobook, read by the author to capture the beauty of the storytelling and oral tradition).

Sutherland, Kate. We Can Do This! 10 Tools to Unleash Our Collective Genius. Incite Press, 2017.

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