Tool box

As part of the accompaniment programs and services offered by the MIS, we offer various tools to support the leaders of projects with a high social and environmental impact.

If you wish to familiarize yourself with some of the key elements inherent to the implementation of such a project, or if you simply wish to learn more about the steps involved in starting a project, look at the resources selected on this page.

#01 - The theory of change

A theory of change is a schematic and synthetic representation of how we perceive change should occur.


It is a strategic planning methodology that defines the ultimate vision of a project or organization and then maps out the preliminary steps required to achieve that vision, through a roadmap or conceptual framework.


These include: the short-, medium- and long-term changes or impacts targeted by the intervention, the various means implemented to achieve the desired changes, and the target publics. The diagram may also explain the assumptions or presuppositions of the project and its conditions for success.

Learn more about the theory of change and ecosystem mobilization by watching this selection of short video clips. Designed to be used as part of a broader educational approach that includes other tools, these clips are nonetheless very relevant. They feature experts in the social innovation ecosystem with whom the MIS collaborates on an ongoing basis to provide the tools needed to move from idea to action.

Producing a theory of change

Let’s start by learning more about the theory of change, its purpose and its components with the intervention of Judith Gaudet — Impact, Strategic Clarity and Evaluation Coach at Innoweave — and Natalie Chapdelaine — Innoweave’s Manager for Québec and Francophone communities.

Planning the evaluation of a theory of change

And then, what are the next steps in developing the program? Judith Gaudet —impact, strategic clarity and evaluation coach at Innoweave — sheds some light on the subject.

#02 - Mobilizing a supporting ecosystem to achieve the desired impact

In any development of a project with social impact, it is important to mobilize a diversity of stakeholders. The following videos, presented by Julie-Maude Normandin — Co-Director, Research and Communication, CITÉ-ID Living Lab — take the municipal administration as an example of stakeholders to be mobilized.

#03 - The Living lab

A living laboratory, or living lab, aims to co-create rather than build consensus. Its starting point is neither a predetermined solution, nor a search for consensus, but rather creativity through divergence, because a living lab values, above all, knowledge through usage and the experience of the users who are at the centre of co-creation of solutions. This is why, in a living laboratory, it’s the users who are the active contributors and who lead the process.

Currently, the MIS leads the AcadieLab, a living laboratory in the rehabilitation of agroecosystems on the Acadie River, located on the south shore of Montréal. The MIS also successfully lead LANVA, from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2020, a project designed to stimulate digital innovation for the independent living of the elderly. This living lab generated a complete design cycle for new products and services for seniors wishing to remain independent and active in the public space.

As a result of this experience, a process handbook was written, compiling the key findings. You will find in it the different steps implemented, the methods, activities and tools used during this project.

Past and ongoing social innovation projects