By: Shelley Fashan, Community Impact Coordinator

It’s a beautiful morning, the sun is peeking through the patio while I’m sipping on my first cup of coffee, listening to the morning doves singing their haunting coos. What is foremost in my mind is the NSN4SC’s latest virtual session and reflecting on our first Open Space event.

While the concept of Open Space has been around for some time, it was completely new to me. I had no idea what it looked like or how to facilitate an event with no agenda and where the participants chose the topics, which sounded a…


Have you been wondering what NS GovLab & NSN4SC have been up to this year?

Well, look no further because this morning we released our Year in Review. For this report, we’re rolling with the theme of change that the past year has brought for all of us and we are trying something new. We’re experimenting with expanding beyond long written reports and have created a short video!

Join us in Co-Creation Garden and check out A Year in Review with NS GovLab & NSN4SC below:


By: Jocelyn Yerxa (Director, NS GovLab)

“Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dali

Prototyping is becoming a very popular thing to talk about, but what is it?

At its core, prototyping is about experimenting and learning. Prototyping allows us to see how people respond to different approaches to transforming systems.

Prototyping with kits provided by Steeven Pedneault, PRÉSÂGES (Cohort 3)

Prototyping has a few key steps (explained in more detail in Sourcebook). An important step is framing the challenge — deciding what it is you want to focus on and learning more about it.

It might be helpful to frame the challenge as a…


As we write this post, Nova Scotia (NS) is approaching the end of it’s 3rd wave of COVID-19. Our province has fared relatively well compared to other places around the globe and for that we are grateful. But, NS has not been spared during this pandemic and indeed, while we are all experiencing the same ‘storm’, we are not all in the same boat. The impacts of the pandemic and the impacts of public health measures meant to control COVID-19 are not experienced in similar ways across communities.

We have heard from community contacts and local researchers that our older…


By: Jenna Andrews, Communications Coordinator

Today is Intergenerational Day! It is a day to recognize and celebrate intergenerational connections. 12 provinces and territories, including Nova Scotia, recognize this day! You can learn more here: https://intergenerational.ca/i2i/

Truth be told, I had never heard of it before until Jocelyn mentioned it to me a few weeks ago. I spent a larger part of today reflecting on intergenerational connections, what they are and how they show up in the world.

Learning and connecting across generations has always been something that I’ve held close to my heart. I have always said that I would…


By: Angela Britton, Student Assistant (NS GovLab)

I did not expect that my first job out of college would be working with the Government.

I also did not realize such innovative and exciting change-making was happening in Nova Scotia. Or that my social services education would allow me the skills to crossover into this work! I am so happy to be here.

Making the decision to go back to school as a mature student was the first step that led me to working for NS GovLab. I went into the Social Services program at NSCC knowing that I wanted to…


By: Shelley Fashan (Community Impact Coordinator for the Nova Scotia Network for Social Change) & Jenna Andrews (Social Work Student on Placement)

Graphic recording of our panel discussion with speakers Lynn Jones, Raven Davis & Quentrel Provo by Mo Drescher

You can never know or foresee the impact of an idea until you try it and see what happens. Here is the story of how ideas about intergenerational connection exploded and transformed into something totally unexpected and so worth it — “The Power of Connection Across Generations.

Here is how it all began and unfolded.

Back in January, when we both sat down to start looking at what we could do for our next session for the Nova…


By: Jenna Andrews, Social Work Student on Placement

Self-care — a word that has been hard to not hear about over the last decade. Whether you are scrolling through social media, hear about it at work, or on television, there is a strong discourse in Western society that self-care is essential and critical to well-being. In my social work education, I have heard over and over in different ways, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

Despite hearing about how crucial self-care was in so many different contexts, when the time came to begin my placement at NS GovLab and…


Hi folks … I wanted to jump on here and just introduce (er … should I say, re-introduce myself) to the network and community. In November, 2020 I formally re-joined the NS GovLab team to take on the role of Data and Evaluation Lead.

Picture of Rayna Preston, Data and Evaluation Lead, NS GovLab
Picture of Rayna Preston, Data and Evaluation Lead, NS GovLab
Rayna Preston, Data and Evaluation Lead, NS GovLab

Now, to be clear, I’m no stranger to the Lab. I was involved in helping launch the first cohort of participants back in the Spring of 2018 and participated as a member of the first Co-Creation team. Here’s us a few year’s ago (oy!). I was bright eyed, new to the field of Social Innovation at…


by Jocelyn Yerxa, Director, NS GovLab

In January 2020, our small team, along with a few partners and fellows came together to do some deep learning about decolonization. Since the COVID-19 global pandemic an even smaller group of us (Mo Dresch, Rachel Derrah, Steeven Pedneault from PRÉSÂGES and I) have taken a deeper dive into this work and created two creative social cartographies (CSC) of aging in collaboration with the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) Collective.

CSCs are teaching tools. They are not normative. They are not about describing reality accurately, but about moving conversations beyond points where they often…

NS GovLab

A social innovation lab focused on population aging in Nova Scotia, Canada. @NSGovLab

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store