The Social Impact Lab

United Way has partnered 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.


What we do in the Lab

A man points at a series of notes on a wall

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

Imperial Oil and The Social Impact Lab team

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

A man discusses ways on collaboration

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

A group of people jot down notes together

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.

Learn more


e-mental Health Solutions
Working with Alberta Health Services, we are facilitating a process to test and implement e-mental health solutions for youth ages 14-24 in the province of Alberta.


This service model design program supports non-profit organizations to accelerate impact and improve services.

Learn more  Apply for Inspire


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


Have questions or want to get involved? Email us at .

To learn more about The Social Impact Lab, go to

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

Join in the conversation today.

Current Projects