Welcome to Red Couch Innovations, I’m Tyler Beauchesne and I am the host of this podcast. This mini-series goes behind the scenes at the Social Innovation Lab, – located at Algonquin College, in Ottawa Canada.

The first episode talks about the SLiDE (Service Learning in Design & Engineering) initiative, the second episode talks about the SPEnD (Social Procurement & Enterprise Development) initiative and the third episode is about a pioneering medical platform called insightScope developed at the Lab. Join me as I dig into these topics and have deep conversations with my guests, and discover what makes the Social Innovation Lab  so special.  There’s a seat for everyone on the Red Couch Innovations.

Episode 1: Going SLiDEways

Every good podcast needs a solid starting point. SLiDE stands for Service Learning in Design & Engineering. It’s the program that runs in the Social Innovation Lab located at Algonquin College, and it provides opportunities to the student community to participate in social innovation. Host Tyler Beauchesne sits down to talk with the lab’s founder, Kevin Holmes, to discuss the importance of the lab and the program itself. We also interview Prajakta Amin, a research assistant and Diana Campbell of Zero Waste Canada, to explore how SLiDE helps the organizations they work with to pursue their goals.

Episode 2: SPEnD Some Time with Us

This episode is a deep dive into the opportunities that the Social Innovation Lab gives the students who join their program. One of those opportunities is called SPEnD, which stands for Social Procurement and Enterprise Development. It’s a 3-year initiative funded by the College and Community Social Innovation Fund meant to support market driven social enterprises. SPEnD is focused on the four key pillars of social innovation, which are social procurement, social finance, social enterprise, and social entrepreneurship. SPEnD interns Grace Aoun and Kariman Okby join me to explain the phases of this project and how it’s a great starting point for entrepreneurship.

Episode 3: An Insightful Observation

This episode focuses on one of the biggest projects that has come from the Social Innovation Lab: insightScope. 

Insight Scope is a medical platform that uses systematic review to accelerate the review process through crowdsourcing. This five-year collaboration between the Social Innovation Lab  and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) began in 2017. Medical professionals from CHEO and students in the Lab have come together for this project, headed by CHEO’s Dr. McNally. Ravi Rachamalla, a research associate with the Lab, and Katie O’Hearn, a research manager for the Compass Intensive Care Unit at CHEO, sat down with me to explain how insightScope came together and how the platform has made a big impact at the hospital and beyond.