Collaborative community action on climate change in Nelson

We are a social innovation lab advancing solutions that benefit our community's economy, environment and social fabric.

How Nest Lab works
Convene Nelson community members
Throughout 2021, we will convene a diverse group of Nelson community members to explore local issues and prioritised solutions through a series of dynamic and interactive workshops.
Tackle complex problems
The challenge of economic and community health and climate change is complex and dynamic. Together we will apply systems thinking and practice working in complexity.
Design and test prototypes together
Together we create and test simple experimental models for local solutions. We can then refine or change direction before a solution is fully designed or adopted.
Inspire community solutions and action
The impact of the lab will go beyond just those participating in the lab. We want other community members to be inspired and work together on local solutions.

Join the Nest Lab

We are looking for 24 – 30 community members to become participants in Phase II of the Nest Lab. We’ll work together to advance near-term implementable solutions around this question:

How might we harness Nelson’s collective resources and creativity to build our economic and community health through solutions to climate change?

23 participants have started on their Nest Lab journey

23 participants kicked off this year’s Nest Lab

Participation in the Nest Lab is an opportunity to work together with others on solutions for Nelson. It is a safe space to build collaborative capacities, explore ideas, share experiences and create the future we want.

The Nest Lab is a place for Nelson’s innovators and influencers to work together to advance near-term implementable solutions around this question:

How might we harness Nelson’s collective resources and creativity to build our economic and community health through solutions to climate change?

Participants joined for several reasons, including:

  1. Access knowledge, funding and resources to develop your personal, professional or organization’s ideas for collaborative solutions.  
  2. Develop skills and knowledge to more effectively take action with others.   
  3. Connect with and be part of a supportive community of change makers.

Have questions?

Download our Participant PDF to learn more about the opportunities and expectations of participants. 

We are currently seeking diverse organizations to partner with the Nest Lab. The current convening partners are the City of Nelson, Neslon at its best, Interior Health, Selkirk College, and KAST. 

Let us know if you would like to learn more about the opportunities of partnering with the Nest Lab.

    While the weight of addressing climate change can feel overwhelming, the Nest Lab showed that by harnessing the knowledge, skillsets and passions of a diverse group of people, we can start to create real, tangible solutions that also strengthen connection and community.
    - Michele Deluca, Lead Designer at 3West Building Energy Consultants and Nest Lab Participant
    What is a Social Innovation Lab?

    In short, a social innovation lab is a platform that allows people with a shared purpose to come together to develop ideas and projects, in particular those that they cannot do alone. They are often designed around a challenging issue that no single organization can address on their own and that requires a novel and coordinated approach between many organizations. Examples of these types of issues include poverty reduction, watershed management and, in the case of the Nest Lab, climate change.

    A social innovation lab does not solely rely on experts to source ideas, but rather are rooted in the trust that community members can and will effectively engage on important complex issues to develop new solutions that align with their shared values and interests.
    Learn more about social innovation labs by reading our one-page primer.

    Nest Lab Phase I

    The spring of 2020 saw a cohort of 15 locals came together to explore local collaborative climate action. Read about Lessons Learned & Impacts from Phase I. 

    Nest Lab Emerged from Collaboration

    Nest Lab was created to bring together diverse Nelson stakeholders to collaborate on community climate action. The idea to develop a social innovation lab emerged from a series of cross-sectorial Climate Crisis Round Tables hosted by Nelson at its Best in 2019.

    A test phase of the Nest Lab was convened by the City of Nelson, Nelson at its Best and Interior Health in the spring of 2020 with seed funding from the Vancouver Foundation. One of the lab’s goals was to assist in the development of the City’s Climate Action Plan by helping unearth a wide and diverse range of community perspectives and ideas for local climate action.

    For Phase II, the goal shifts to helping implement community actions that align with the City’s Climate Action Plan. Nest Lab will focus on priority, evidence-based climate change challenges, with an ambition to find “solutions to the interconnected problems facing the climate and human society – producing multiple benefits in health, justice, equity, resilience and well-being.” (Tamarack)

    Nest Lab team
    Our core team is made up of individuals from the City of Nelson, Nelson at its Best, Interior Health, and professional design and facilitators.
    Kady Hunter

    Community Health Facilitator,
    Interior Health

    George Chandler

    Nelson at its Best

    Natalie Douglas

    Climate Change Planning Assistant,
    City of Nelson

    Lauren Rethoret

    Coordinator and Researcher,
    Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute

    Pong Leung

    Design Lead / Lead Facilitator,
    Travesia Partners

    Steven Cretney

    Project Lead / Co-Facilitator,
    The Forest Design + Engagement

    Convening Partners
    This sort of approach brings diverse people and perspectives together to creatively examine and work collaboratively to solve an important challenge.
    - Gerald Cordeiro, Forest Development Manager at Kalesnikoff and Nest Lab Participant

    Do you have questions? We’d love to hear from you.

    If you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions about the Nest Lab, please send us an email.