The Banff Social Innovation Residency is an innovative new leadership program being offered through partnership between the Banff Centre and the Waterloo Institute of Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) and sponsored by Suncor Energy Foundation. This program combines WISIR’s expertise in social innovation with the Banff Centre’s programming and uses the arts, reflective practices and indigenous traditions to build individuals’ leadership capacities.

Archipelago Consultants have been the primary developmental evaluators on this project since its inception, acting in support of the design team and providing an evaluation of the impacts for all three main project partners. This role involves observing meetings, interviewing participants, measuring impacts, reporting on patterns and trends.


ArtsSmarts is an arts education program that pairs teachers with artists to bring arts infused education to the classroom. ArtsSmarts has been a seminal program and a true leader of arts and education in the Canadian education system.

Archipelago Consultants was hired by the McConnell Family Foundation to look back at the foundation’s role in conceiving, creating, growing and ultimately letting ArtsSmarts stand on its own as an independent network. This evaluation reviews the complete history of ArtsSmarts, in collaboration with its many partners, to see what lessons can be learned from this groundbreaking initiative.


The MaRS Innovation Hub, in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, ran the Ontario Food Lab. This initiative brought together key actors from the Ontario soft fruits industry to look at ways to build a more sustainable food system for farmers, consumers and society at large.

Archipelago Consultants were the Senior Researchers on this project, leading a team to identify the crucial questions to be answered for this industry. This worked involved scanning the available literature, interviewing key stakeholders, and summarizing key quantitative data. We also secured the involvement of the provincial government, major retailers, not-for-profits and large farming organizations, as well as smaller actors including organic farmers and farm market representatives. The workshops were hosted by MaRs in 2014, with great success.


The E.U. HLG on Innovation Policy Management has reached out to the Stockholm Resilience Centre to learn more about how Resilience and Social Innovation can inform E.U. policy in this area.

To support this process, Archipelago Consultants have been hired to produce a number of teaching cases. These case studies are being used to explore Resilience ideas at two round table events. This work marries story telling with academic theories to demonstrate how resilience principles can be applied in practice. By exploring these case studies, practitioners are able to deepen their understanding and gain new insight into how to tackle complex problems.