We spend time in communities, listening to and learning from people on the margins. Partner with us to collect thick data so that lived experience can shape practice and policy.


Research in action

Follow us as we learn about the experience of street-involved people in Edmonton. Source: vimeo.com

What's involved


We draw on


We pay attention to context: going to the places people live & work to document their every day moments, and understand what holds meaning and value. To design policies and practices that work for people on the margins, we must bear witness to their realities and zoom into what matters.

Community Mobilization

We hit the ground to meet people: cold calling, door knocking and running community pop-ups to find the usual and unusual suspects. To design policies and practices that meaningfully redistribute power, we must seek out the people typically left out of consultations and surveys, alongside the people who have found their own work-arounds (the positive deviants).

Design Research

We look beneath the surface: exploring the latent needs and desires people might not have words for. To design policies and practices for the future, we must imagine what could be different, projecting forward to visualize alternatives to the way things are now.

Narrative Therapy

We embrace the power of data as story: respectfully listening to what people share, playing back and jointly editing their contributions, and validating their capacity to shape their next chapters. To design policies and practices that spark change, we must enable people to feel a sense of agency and control over their story.


Collecting thick data helps to:

― Make visible people on the margins
― Find local expertise and resources
― Reframe stuck social problems
― Identify outcomes and policy opportunities
― Build relationships, agency and control


Our partners