The Social Impact Lab

United Way in collaboration with local strategic design firm J5 to develop The Social Impact Lab, a physical and digital space where United Way agency partners, government, donors, businesses, community members, and corporate volunteers can come together to solve—rather than serve—complex social issues in new and innovative ways.

Located in the heart of downtown Calgary, The Lab is a platform to research, create, and test new services and business models, while creating capacity for our partners to deliver supports and services in our community.

Everyone’s voice can be heard at The Social Impact Lab.

Current Projects

What we do in the Lab

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Find opportunities:
Identify innovative and disruptive projects that form the basis of strategic funding opportunities and have the potential to transform our community.

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Connect community:
Bring together a variety of stakeholders to facilitate multi-partner collaboration between agencies, corporations, and citizens in digital and in-person spaces.

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Open innovation:
Provide open access to participation in ideation, experimentation, and implementation of new solutions.

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Build capacity:
Promote and teach a systemic approach to social innovation, research, and design thinking.

Current projects

Children and Youth Mental Health

With the goal of improving mental health and wellness for children and youth ages 0-24, we are experimenting with solutions to increase access and awareness of mental health supports.

Test your skills Learn more

Inspire is a 12-week program designed to guide the way your organization develops future business models, products, and services. The 24.5-hour program is comprised of seven sessions (3.5 hours each). Additional time is required between sessions for participants to complete homework assignments.

Learn more

Contact: Lynn Holdsworth,

Virtual Reality

Using virtual reality, we are exploring innovative methods to experiment in building citizen engagement, connection, empathy, and giving.

To learn more contact:

Have questions or want to get involved? Email us at

Learn more about The Social Impact Lab
United Way of Calgary and AreaThe Social Impact Lab