Client Case: Rainforest Alberta

growing Innovation Culture across Alberta, Canada

PROFILE

  • Rainforest Alberta is leading a discussion of how to grow Alberta’s future in the 21st economy. This effort was launched in 2016 by A100, a non-profit organization formed by successful entrepreneurs in Alberta. Many of Alberta’s success stories come from this group, which is dedicated to helping Alberta’s next-gen entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups be globally successful.
  • The leadership of A100 and many other agencies in the province are committed to generating a robust innovation ecosystem in Calgary, Edmonton, and across Alberta. Their passion for Rainforest concepts and methods has spread very rapidly.

PURPOSE

  • Establish a strong conceptual awareness of Rainforest principles, tools, and methods across Alberta's business, government, academic, and entrepreneurial communities. Then grow these into an innovation culture that is continuously improving. RFS calls this the Rainforest Master Plan (RaMP) process.
  • Purposefully change the "social contract" for innovation in the province.
  • Assess the current state of innovation in Alberta across six domains, using the Rainforest Scorecard: leadership; frameworks, infrastructure and policies; resources; activities and engagement; role models; and culture.
  • Provide an initial framework for this first phase of work, and practical improvement initiatives that can commence immediately.
  • Launch a culture change process that attracts other stakeholders across Alberta.

OUTCOMES            

  • Initiatives were developed across the six domains of the Rainforest Scorecard.
  • Regional stakeholders signed and committed to a strong Social Contract.   This contract serves as the centerpiece for meetings in the region, and as a public declaration of alignment and commitment. .
  • Every week in Calgary, Alberta, there are "Lunch Without Lunch" meetups where Rainforest participants convene to collaborate, network, and move various initiatives forward.
  • www.rainforestab.ca was launched including invitation to endorse their new Social Contract and a video describing what Rainforest means in Alberta. Search #RainforestAB.

PARTICIPANTS & PROCESS

  • Since the effort launched in mid-2016, over 120 leaders from government, industry, academia, various economic development agencies, and incubators/accelerators have participated. 
  • Two “Rainforest Immersion” events have been conducted in Banff, drawing from the whole province.  
  • With a focus on what innovation “is and isn’t,” participants engaged in discussions about untapped opportunities in the region, and barriers to developing them.
  • An in-depth introduction to the Rainforest conceptual framework, and its relevancy to Alberta, was presented.
  • Participants plotted individual Rainforest Scorecard results on a team Rainforest Radar, identifying strategic issues and improvement opportunities. Statistical analysis of the consolidated scores for each of the six assessment domains revealed strengths and weaknesses, cohesiveness and diversity.
  • Facilitated breakout sessions were used to analyze strategic issues uncovered by the assessment and develop action plans to address them.

PROJECT TEAM

PRODUCTS

  • Rainforest Principles: educational keynote address on innovation culture
  • A “social contract” to capture participants’ intent and commitment to Alberta’s unique expression of the values that will generate a robust innovation ecosystem.
  • Rainforest Scorecard short-form assessment and synthesis of the area’s innovation culture. Data was visualized using the Rainforest Radar and bar charts.
  • Comprehensive event summaries including the group’s Rainforest Scorecard assessment results.

    WHAT NEXT? 

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