Developing Canada’s Social R&D Field

Across Canada, community leaders and innovators are using approaches from Research & Development (R&D) to better understand and address social issues in their communities. We are a diverse community with practitioners coming from the nonprofit, charitable, corporate, and public sectors.

Using techniques such as prototyping, human-centered design, social labs, data measurement, and ethnography, we are testing new ideas, creating new evidence of what’s working and what isn’t, and sharing these approaches with each other so that we can develop together and scale.

ABOUT: Social R&D Community of Practice

We’ve designed three Community of Practice streams for practitioners to flow between, allowing you to access the learning and connections that best serve your practice.

We hope this Community of Practice will help you Learn from and with one another, Share and get support for your work and big challenges, and Build a strong social R&D ecosystem. Learn more about each of these streams here.

Community of Practice Sessions

We will be meeting regularly to help practitioners to Learn, Share and Build the field.

Please find our upcoming opportunities on the SI Canada events calendar page.

BUILD: Submit a Proposal to Develop a Social R&D Knowledge Product

We’re offering grants of $10-$25k to support the development of of knowledge products: key resources that support the social R&D field and practitioners in learning and applying insights to evolve and expand their practice. 

Learn more and submit your proposals by November 27, 2020, 5 pm EST:

BUILD: Co-design or Facilitate our Social R&D Boosterpack Series

In February 2021, we will be running a Social R&D Boosterpack for Social Purpose Organizations to learn the fundamentals of Social R&D and put these skills into practice.

We need your help to help understand the key fundamentals that should be shared with Social Purpose Organizations.

Want to co-design or facilitate this event series? Learn more!

LEARN: Resources

R&D is a relationship between multiple interconnected practices. It can uncover new knowledge and generate solutions that are radically more efficient and/or effective than current approaches. Here are our top websites and reports for learning more about Canadian Social R&D.

Click the images below to download the reports


Since 2015, the Social R&D Community of Practice has been advancing the adoption and visibility of social R&D in Canada and internationally.

The McConnell Foundation and Social Innovation Generation began this work by issuing a number of important foundational reports that have demonstrated why social purpose organizations also need to invest in our own capacity to experiment.

Learn about the Declaration of Action, Getting to Moonshot and other key milestones.

Join the Social R&D Community

The Social R&D Community is a network of practitioners dedicated to growing the craft of research and development, on the frontline, to generate new knowledge and innovations that transform lives.

Sign up for our newsletter and join the activities of the Social R&D Community of Practice.

The Social R&D Program is supported by:


Upcoming Events

Dec 11

Learn: Insights from Exeko

December 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm