As researchers, strategists, and designers in the housing space, a common theme in our work has been figuring out how to bring diverse perspectives together around deep, wicked problems embedded in complex structures that present barriers to change. Through our experiences working on diverse housing innovation projects including several National Housing Strategy Solutions Labs, we’ve developed and tested a suite of approaches and tools to facilitate trust-building, meaningful dialogue, alignment, creative problem solving, and collaborative action with diverse permutations of system stakeholders. We’ve found ways to productively address tensions, get people to buy into the co-design process, and leverage all kinds of expertise – from technical to lived – to co-create innovative housing solutions.

This session will share successes, failures, and lessons learned from our practice, bringing in examples including: 
•    Virtually engaging a diverse committee of seniors across multiple communities to co-design a suite of interventions for aging in place;
•    Engaging stakeholders and lived experts around developing new forms of holistic, inclusive housing for people with developmental disabilities that promote dignity and belonging;
•    Enhancing opportunities for collaboration between developers and citizens on new housing creation, transforming power dynamics; and
•    Hosting difficult conversations around implementing the right to adequate housing in Canada and creating a cohesive path forward.