Social R&D

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.

People working at white board

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.


Learn from and with social R&D practitioners and resources. Learn how to apply social R&D methodologies to your work. 

Challenges and next steps: SI Canada Graphic Image from the Social R&D National Gathering in June 2020


Share lessons learned, big ideas, and questions with the social R&D community. Develop connections to strengthen your work and the work of your peers.

Social R & D design thinking process


Contribute to building the field of social R&D through the development of resources, knowledge products, policy agendas, and funding initiatives.

Get Involved

From requests for proposals to online convening events, we’re sharing dynamic ways to help the ever-growing Canadian Social R&D space.

Upcoming Events

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Our History


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.