our progress to date

Do you remember our workshop on June 13th with Alex Ryan at the Action lab in Edmonton? At the time of our pre-workshop survey, the majority of you answered that the worst case scenario would be to DO NOTHING. So we kept busy over the summer and explored various avenues to bring design thinking into our organization.


This was a busy summer for us! We were able to attend an intensive workshop on systemic design with the Alberta CoLab and Alex Ryan. For a full week, we explored systems thinking and how it applies to the public sector. We also practiced how to use mapping tools to understand messy problems in a context. We know that some of you were interested in the Colab’s guide to systemic design, so we attached a copy.

We have met with TOM Calgary – an incredibly creative, non-profit organization focused on building solutions for patients by using design thinking methods. They will join us at the Quality Summit to explain and demonstrate some of their prototypes. We also attended the launch for the new IdeaLab launch at the Calgary library, a new innovation lab set up to promote social innovation in Calgary. We also learned about the ideas platform that the City of Calgary is launching via their Civic Innovation Lab. The intention behind these encounters is to build a strong network in the public sector, learn from each other’s experiences and collaborate in future projects, if possible. As you see, the thirst for social innovation is high in Alberta and we are all working towards the same goals.


A small group of reassigned staff have plunged in to start a design lab service. We plan to ‘work out loud’ so please check out our interim website to follow our progress and projects we are working on. Don’t forget to check out our twitter account @Design4AHS to get inspired.

We are planning a short workshop in both Calgary and Edmonton to expose people to this type of work and experience some of the approaches. The first one is on September 29th at Southport for a 90 minutes highly interactive session. We have prepared a sample of systemic design approaches, interspersed with short theory bursts and visualization techniques to give participants an idea about what we are all about.

We are always open for suggestions, requests and feedback. Please let us know how we can work together and how we can help you. We hope that we can all work together and that this innovative approach will spread and inspire everyone – from frontline staff to desk warriors – to find creative solutions to existing problems.

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