United Way Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo Paves the Way for Social Innovation with the Redpoll Centre's Social Impact Lab

United Way FortMcMurray and Wood Buffalo
19 March 2024
By: Cathy Steeves

In a transformative endeavor aimed at fostering social innovation and instigating positive change, United Way Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo is partnering with United Way Calgary and Area to establish the Social Impact Lab at the Redpoll Centre. This visionary project seeks to expedite innovation, enhance community capacity, and address urgent social issues through a collaborative, action-oriented approach, aligning with United Way’s mission to improve lives and build community by mobilizing collective action.

Through collaboration with diverse stakeholders, the lab will serve as a platform for co-creating innovative solutions to the unique social challenges faced by residents in the region.

During a 5-Day Sprint workshop held at the Redpoll Centre in September 2023, led by Monique Blough and her team from the Social Impact Lab Alberta, participants learned about design strategies to foster inclusive, outcome oriented transformations and the co-creation strategies to facilitate collaboration among diverse partners for the purpose of designing solutions for a brighter future. The 5 days were filled with laughter, learning, inspiration and most importantly, the workshop instilled a collective belief in “we can tackle community issues and we can discover feasible solutions together.”  

United Way is investing in the training of local Community Champions. These facilitators will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to tackle real social issues using proven processes developed by the Social Impact Lab Alberta. It empowers them to guide community members through a structured approach involving designing solutions shifting mindsets, and evolving ideas into actionable plans.

The establishment of the Social Impact Lab at the Redpoll Centre represents a substantial step towards a resilient and empowered region. United Way’s commitment to collaboration, innovation, and action along with the engagement of local leaders sets the stage for transformative impact.