Social Impact Lab

Social Impact Lab (SIL)

About the lab

The Social Impact Lab (SIL) is a hands-on learning platform that fosters community-engaged learning through collaboration between students and community members on social and climate justice issues. 

It provides a means for students to challenge pre-existing systems with community-led solutions, by identifying root causes of social and environmental issues that are important to communities. Students undertake a learning journey from awareness and understanding of social and climate justice issues, to analysis and real-time action.

SIL provides low-barrier opportunities to get involved with issues you are passionate about. All of our programming is free, and no prior experience or knowledge is required.

By participating in Social Impact Lab workshops and events, you will:

  • Network with other passionate students and community organizations.
  • Develop new career skills through experiential learning opportunities.
  • Collaborate with and learn from a diverse range of people and organizations.
  • Develop ideas and solutions through actionable projects that tackle social and environmental issues.

For faculty and instructors: Interested in integrating Social Impact Lab into courses? View the SIL Toolkit here.

Past Project: Climate Action Mobilizers (2021-23)

The UBC Centre for Community Engaged Learning’s (CCEL) 2-year Climate Action Mobilizers (CAM) Project enabled UBC students to tackle climate justice inequities and the climate emergency. It combined CCEL’s Social Impact Lab methodology for creating social change and ethical engagement, with the UBC Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) tools to catalyze local climate action. The Climate Action Mobilizers Project was funded by the UBC Climate Emergency Fund and ended in August 2023.

Past opportunities

Democracy Lab: The Democracy Lab provided opportunities for individuals to develop political literacy and generate change through political engagement. It consisted of a series of seminars, excursions, and opportunities to collaborate with community organizations. Students learned about how progress is made on issues at the municipal government level and were guided through the process of developing a political goal to execute after attending the lab.

Climate Justice: Activating Solidarity Economies (CJASE) Series: This series focused on supporting initiatives in the social and solidarity economy o addressing climate justice. Students learned from community partners and collaborated with one another to develop innovative solutions, bringing their ideas to action through an opportunity to receive up to $1,000 in grant funding.

Participatory Budgeting Lab: In collaboration with People’s Budget 604, SIL provided an interactive opportunity for participants to learn about how municipal budgets are made, the lack of opportunities for engagement in the budgeting processes, and how they can tackle critical social issues through democratic and participatory budgeting. Following the teach-in, participants collectively imagined the city they want to live in, and co-created a participatory budget together.

How to get involved

Get updates about Social Impact Lab events through social media or email! These platforms will keep you updated on all of our Social Impact Lab events.

If you have questions

For more information regarding the Social Impact Lab, or to book an advising appointment or brainstorming session, please email