Founded in 2014, Alberta CoLab is based in the Department of Energy. While our work focuses on the intersections of energy and innovation – technological and social – we also have a mandate to support innovation efforts across the Government of Alberta. This helps government tackle complex problems to make a better future for Albertans.
Who we are
Alberta CoLab is involved in the planning, execution and support of many cross-ministry strategic initiatives, and continues to collaborate with all levels of staff across the Alberta government to employ new and experimental ways of working. By introducing out-of-the-box methods and mindsets, we help internal staff better navigate complexity and realize improved outcomes for Albertans.
The CoLab approach:
- Starts with the needs of Albertans.
- Collaborates across boundaries.
- Embraces complexity and ambiguity.
- Makes thinking tangible by creating and visualizing together.
- Builds robustness and adaptability for an unknown future.
- Learns by doing, and iterating between action and reflection.
Our team brings together systemic design and strategic foresight. We believe social problems are economic problems, and economic problems are environmental problems. Taking a systemic approach to work means knowing that everything is connected.
Working with the future in mind
We believe that we must acknowledge the past and create the future we want through our actions today. We look forward and help people identify where they want to go and create the most robust strategy to help them get there.
Intrigued? Learn more about these approaches:
- Info Sheet: Systems Thinking
- Info Sheet: Design Thinking
- Info Sheet: Systemic Design
- Info Sheet: Strategic Foresight
- Follow the Rabbit: A Field Guide to Systemic Design (2016)
- A Field Guide to Strategic Foresight (2017)
While CoLab operates like an in-house consultancy, we are public servants. We help teams build capacity for systemic design and strategic foresight, and build working partnerships that enable us to support other public servants who are pushing boundaries to benefit Albertans.
We also provide technical and strategic advice in our areas of expertise – energy related technological innovation, emissions, and public sector innovation. To learn more, check out our most recent 2017-2018 portfolio of work.
Learn with us
Reflective practice is one way that we learn together as a team, and it also helps us share our learnings with others. Find out more about CoLab:
- 'The Alberta CoLab: A Retrospective on Building a Next Generation Innovation Lab Model' by Keren Perla (2019)
- 'Provincial Powerhouse: Alberta's New Government Lab' by Danny Buerkli (2017)
- ‘The Alberta CoLab Story: Redesigning the Policy Development Process in Government’ by Alex Ryan (2016)
- ‘Alberta’s CoLab: Cutting Edge Policy Design on Complex Problems’ by Peter Jones (2016)
Connect with Alberta CoLab:
108th Street Building
9942 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J5