About Ben Weinlick

Ben Weinlick
Edmonton | Canada

I'm driven by the desire to help people, organizations and community get better at navigating complex challenges together.

Ben Weinlick Action Lab, Founder of Action Lab, Think Jar Collective

Ben was instrumental in developing the Action Lab and has been deeply involved in systems change work through stewarding think tanks, service design and social innovation for the last 15 years. He is the founder of an innovation consultancy network called Think Jar Collective, and co-founder of a tangible social innovation called MyCompass Planning that is scaling across North America. Ben is passionate about helping people, organizations and systems to get better at navigating complex challenges together.

The Action Lab

We are part of a social innovation ecosystem in Canada that is engaging in fresh ways of tackling some of the most complex challenges we’re all facing in society today. The Action Lab space was designed for hosting diverse collectives who need to tap into the deep knowledge in their community, look at issues from unique perspectives and generate strategic possibilities. The Action Lab experience promotes creativity, offers tools to help tap into collective wisdom and helps people and systems to prototype proposed solutions. Our skilled, creative team is ready to help you steward your next project, strategic planning workshop or deep dive system change exploration.

To me, service design means...

Centering diverse human experience to inform co-creation of services and systems that support people and planet better.

Share your favorite projects with our community:

Humanizing Social Service Case Management Experience to ensure people served have more voice in shaping services

Humanizing Social Service Case Management Experience to ensure people served have more voice in shaping services

MyCompass Planning is a social innovation that emerged from Skills Society, Southern Alberta Community Living Association, Lift Interactive and Ben Weinlick. It is now scaling across North America. In essence the aim is to make system change that ensures case management in social services doesn’t forget the human being at the centre of development, delivery and assessment of support services. 

The Vision of MyCompass Planning is to make humanized disability and social services case management so compelling that individuals, organizations and governments instinctively centre their work around the rights, needs, and aspirations of the people they serve.

The Mission is to redesign social service case management interactions alongside people served - resulting in a more humanized, efficient and engaging support system that allows people to truly thrive.

Humanizing Social Sector Case Management Ben Weinlick
Future of Home Lab: Inclusive Housing Solutions Lab

Future of Home Lab: Inclusive Housing Solutions Lab

Future of Home Lab info and Mini Documentary

Skills Society Action Lab, Inclusion Alberta, Civida (formerly Capital Region Housing), and Homeward Trust  partnered to explore affordable and inclusive housing for people with developmental disabilities. The creation of housing and support models that are affordable, accessible, and also support the social inclusion of people with developmental disabilities is complex work that requires the coordination and cooperation of multiple stakeholders and deeper insight into the perspectives and experiences of people with disabilities. This lab sought to address the current gaps in housing for people with disabilities using a social innovation lab approach.

In 2023/2024 one of the co-created service prototypes is coming to life.

The Future of Home Lab co-created some promising inclusive models of living that aim to support deeper belonging and community connection of people with disabilities. With our partner and 2023 Community Belonging Award winner Leston Holdings we are actually bringing one of the prototypes from the lab to life in 2024. 12 people supported with government funding will move into a new 325 unit apartment building. The 12 folks with government funding will receive support from Skills Society and there will be a community connecting amenity called “The Community Concierge”. The concierge role will map gifts of everyone in the building and help people with and without disabilities to connect and build good relationships.

This is exciting and we will build toolkits and make it easier for ourselves and others to scale models like this for more people. If we can figure out how to properly scale this more inclusive model, we can help offer a viable alternative to institutional living and support more people to thrive.

Inclusive Housing Service Design That Leverages Natural Supports Action Lab and Ben Weinlick
Making employment support service more accessible for indigenous youth in Treaty 7

Making employment support service more accessible for indigenous youth in Treaty 7

Video of what this lab explored

The desired impact of the Calgary Youth Employment Initiative (CYEI) is to improve employment outcomes among Opportunity Youth in Calgary and contribute to the broader field of knowledge about effective youth employment strategies and programs in Calgary and beyond.

To achieve this, we aim to:

Build non-profit capacity to forge relationships with employers and design effective Opportunity Youth employment programs.

Increase employer willingness and capacity to recruit and retain Opportunity Youth in their workforce.

Improve collaboration among supply (youth serving agencies) and demand (public and private sector employers) sides of Opportunity Youth employment.

Opportunity Youth are defined as those people aged between 18 and 29 who are not in school, training or currently employed. Opportunity Youth face barriers to employment such as poverty, unstable housing, or past interactions with the justice system.

Making employment support service more accessible for indigenous youth in Treaty 7Ben Weinlick and Burns Memorial Foundation

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