SWR Innovation Lab Update




Really exciting work is happening at the Smart Waterloo Region Innovation Lab!


  • The team presented at Innova-Flanders Conference and won an award for GIMI Impact and establishing a link between Compassion and Innovation.


  • Data Playground: A framework where individuals have ownership over their own data and they decide who they like to share that data with (no more third-party platforms making money off of user’s data)
    • Data Playground web 2.0 version pilot
      • The pilot is being done with the Cambridge Neighbourhood Organizations, we are slowly wrapping up this pilot and we hope to use the feedback we receive from this pilot and implement it for the web 3.0 version
    • Data Playground Web 3.0 version
      • The team is building has conceptualized and finalized the idea and method of approach (i.e. what technology they will be using) and is currently creating
  • Impact Map/Lens: Creating an interactive mapping system where users (this can be the Region of Waterloo, Community Organizations, individuals etc.) can input data sets into the system for visualization purposes
    • Impact Map
      • The mapping system will soon be starting
    • Impact Lens
      • The Impact Lens is measuring economic as well as social impacts. The economic impact is on its way, we are looking into finding the best method of measuring social impact


  • Food Forest Pilot: As a goal of helping to make our community stronger and more sustainable, we are working help the region produce additional food in community gardens run or supported by Youth.
    • Nurture
      • Funding/Partnering with the Nurture program (a University of Waterloo Greenhouse program Start-up) to create a Peer to peer Gardening Program and curriculum to create sustainable youth presence in community Gardens while  providing educational support and resources to organisation with space and youth but lack Gardening knowledge of staff support time.
    • Food Forest Gardens
      • Support the clean up and up keep of youth Gardens
      • Help with youth employment, Honorariums and incentives for getting youth involved in garden space.
    • Providing youth with space to practice positive mental health and reconnect with Nature and their friends.
  • Community Canvas Mural Project: To promote the work of SWR and all the work that is being done by CYPT partners and the Region of Waterloo in creating the best place for children and youth, SWR is looking to create 8 murals that are interconnected. There will be one Mural in each of the 7 area municipalities and one home base mural at the core highlighting artwork co created between youth and community, provincial and international Mural artist that depicts the concept of youth futurism base on the 9 core principles of the Canadian index of child and youth well being.
    • Co creation
      • Small team of youth will be teamed up with a mural artist learn skills and techniques of how to take their vision and bring it to life.
      • Youth will earn a small honorarium, and learn skill around project design management team building etc.
  • GIMI Impact: A Pilot program we ran with area municipal and privet school boards (Public, Catholic, French Catholic) to introduce youth to the idea of innovation and solution based ideology to help solve social, environmental and economical challenges that effect our communities.
    • GIMI Impact
      • A program that not only takes youth through the concepts of innovation but provides them with school credit and the opportunity for level one certification.
    • GIMI Community
      • The Idea to bring as similar model to community organization, hyper local community partner and the youth they serve.
      • A creation of youth experiments and pilots that we can fund and support that have been directly supported by youth for our community.
  • Community Engagement/Resource Mapping: Visit youth form across all 7 regional municipalities to find out what they want to do, what they need and how we can best serve and support them
    • Youth Engagement Plan
      • Create a game plan for how we can reach as many youth across the region as possible.
    • Impact Map
      • Visit Community organizations, neighbourhoods and youth groups. Map gaps and create support so youth feel that are fully supported.