Social Innovation Design


CENSE Research + Design is a consultancy focused on design for social innovation .

We provide consultation, education and training, research and strategic design expertise in the domains of health, education, social enterprise and public policy. Our goal is to help organizations see possibility in complexity, understand systems, and design opportunities to make positive social impact.

Founded and led by Dr. Cameron Norman, CENSE Research + Design brings more than 20 years of experience and expertise in systems science, design thinking, program evaluation and health psychology to human services programming and education. Our approach involves supporting organizations to build lasting, sustainable cultures of innovation in their programming, staff and communities of engagement.

We believe that the best way to predict the future is to create it. We provide organizations with the capabilities to see the value in their current offerings, the foresight to identify present and future threats and opportunities, and the means to develop sustainable and systems-oriented innovation strategies to enable them to design their future rather than have it be shaped for them.

Our portfolio of services encompasses three main areas:

1. Program Evaluation and Research: Our credentialed evaluation services provide insight into what programs are doing, their strengths, weaknesses and gaps, and their potential areas of development and enhancement. We specialize in developmental evaluation, social system and network mapping , and multi-method, user-centred design research. Evaluation is the fuel and feedback that helps organizations to adapt, develop, innovate and energize.

2. Design and Innovation Development: Building from the current program offerings, we draw on the science of systems, design, and behavioural science to design programs to be adaptive, responsive and sustainable in the face of complex social change and upheaval. We build social innovation into the DNA of the program, organization and network from the business model to program delivery through to the impact metrics. Bringing together leading-edge scientific knowledge of systems and behaviour we develop sustainable, innovative strategies and business models to fit the rapidly changing human services context.

3. Training and Education: We offer general and customized training in areas of design thinking and innovation, program evaluation, research, strategic communications (including social media and knowledge translation) and organizational development change. Our team provides professional training from basic to advanced at the post-graduate levels drawing on our award-winning teaching methods and evidence-based approaches to adult education. We make content interesting, accessible, relevant, useful, and enjoyable.

Want to learn more?


CENSE Research + Design


Phone: +1.416.854.3805 (Toronto area) or  +1.888.930.8317 (Toll free)

Twitter: @CENSEResearch