Lab Approach

CEIL uses the proven Sustainability Transition Lab (STL) process developed by The Natural Step Canada. The STL process brings a genuinely new, pioneering approach to dealing with complex problems that require new levels of public, private and not-for-profit sector collaboration. Its innovation and strength lies in combining three areas of practice that have each been successful in their own right:

  • A science and systems-based approach to sustainable development that has been rigorously tested and refined over 25 years of international application in businesses, governments and communities,
  • The change lab methodology that emerged from the hard-won negotiations that ended South Africa’s apartheid, and
  • Leading edge, proven public engagement strategies anchored in network theory and digital media.

As an STL, CEIL will deliver three streams of inter-related activity:

  • The Leadership Stream – This involves workshops, learning journeys and other activities that engage public and private sector leaders to develop and prototype innovative solutions around the circular economy. CEIL will deliver two major types of activities:
    • Rapid Labs – Short (1-4 month) processes that engage leaders around specific topics or issues, such as the Printed Paper and Packaging Rapid Lab.
    • Fellowship – Longer (12+month) processes that engage leaders around the circular economy as a whole. CEIL will recruit the first cohort of Fellows to start work in April 2017.
  • The Organizational Engagement Stream – A mix of in-person and online workshops, events, courses, coaching, and resources to help staff teams within participating businesses and organizations to develop, test and scale pilot solutions and prototypes.
  • The Public Engagement Stream – The engagement of community leaders and consumers through an innovative, multi-level, multi-modal approach that combines public events, online engagement and partnerships with media and other distribution channels.


Phase 1: Building the Lab (June 2016 – March 2017)

Phase I will deliver the following activities to lay the foundation for the program:

  • Conduct research on the circular economy to identify opportunities, challenges and best practices for Ontario 
  • Engage leading individuals and organizations through a series of workshops and events
  • Deliver a Printed Paper and Packaging Rapid Lab
  • Recruit leaders for our 2017-18 Circular Economy Fellowship (Details to come)