Asian Carp Project – Infographics & Megamap©

Resilience Design Lab used the Megamap© process in order to support the Asian Carp Project’s efforts to raise awareness and enlist broad participation in preventing Grass Carp from entering Canadian Great Lakes. The Asian Carp Project is led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Please see below to view PDFs of the Megamap© and associated infographics.



MegaMap generated by Resilience Design lab for the Asian Carp Project
graphic of ecosystems degradation due to Asian Grass Carp
Graphic depicting costs associated with invasive species
Monday, May 6, 2019 - 10:30am
Lab Member: 
Nabil Harfoush
Merwad Abdallah
Lucy Gao

Action Research & Knowledge Transfer Project: The Futures of Canadian Identities

This action research project had an explicit focus on co-creating and sharing generated knowledge and an experiential knowledge-transfer orientation, operating at multiple levels: Integrated team, buddy system between individual team members, workshops and active participation in design, analysis and conclusions. The experiential learning used a strategic foresight investigation of the futures of Canadian identities, which allowed the practice of various elements of the complexity toolkit.


1. How might we improve Canadian Heritage (PCH)'s capabilities to engage in the increasingly complex issues facing it?
2. How might PCH be better prepared for the possible evolutions of Canadian identities?


1. Provide PCH with a sound methodological approach – action research – in relation to the ways in which knowledge-sharing, -generation and -transfer are achieved.
2. Provide guidance to develop internal capacity related to ways to:
       • Reframe the chosen problem through the development of multiple futures;
       • Identify key challenges, insights and intervention points through an assessment of implications across these multiple futures; and importantly,
       • Use new, participatory and collaborative problem-solving approaches to deploy such insights and to inform and influence systems change that can improve PCH agility and resilience in the face of inevitable challenges associated with the emergent future.


To provide experiential learning of a number of complexity tools, a framework was needed that offered enough complexity to provide opportunities for using the various tools of the toolkit. Strategic Foresight offers such a wide framework.

The topic for the foresight investigation was selected such that it presented a topic directly related to the mandate of PCH, which enhances interest and incentive to pursue the topic itself rather than focusing on individual tools and their concepts.

The introduction of multiple futures and identities, was challenging enough to the established orthodoxy to reduce boredom and raise curiosity and engagement throughout the project.

The foresight investigation followed a modified 2x2 matrix method incorporating the participatory elements specific to the foresight practice at OCAD University.

In addition to the transfer of knowledge and capacity building, the project yielded 268 relevant signals of changes, a set of 14 trends, and an analysis of 12 underlying drivers. It also uncovered the top critical uncertain drivers for the PCH team and built 4 scenarios using the top two such uncertainties. Using the scenarios, a rich list of implications and a set of strategic perspectives were developed to assist the MTP process in articulating policies and strategies. 


One of the results from this project is that PCH hired 5 SFI students to look in more detail at process for embedding artists in policy development processes. This new project builds partially on the final report of this project. The PI of this project has been invited to be a member of the Steering Committee of the new project.
All artefacts of the foresight process as well as the final report are property of PCH, who can decide what to release publicly and when.

The following video was developed by PCH during the workshops conducted and was distributed to all workshop participants in English and French:

L’avenir des identités canadiennes (Français)
The Future of Canadian Identities (English)

Photo of Join Team at Workshop #1
Photo of Joint Team during break at Workshop #1
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 11:15am
Lab Member: 
Nabil Harfoush
Embed Video: 

Synthesizing and Visualizing Climate Vulnerability Assessments Data for the Region of Peel

The Peel Climate Alliance needed to synthesize multiple data-rich climate change vulnerability assessments and present the result to the region’s council for resources allocation and prioritization. The members of the Alliance had several competing priorities and too many messages, resulting in inefficient communication with decision makers.

By taking Alliance members through the Megamap process we were able to agree on prioritization criteria, identify the target decision makers and their profiles, distil messaging, and visualize relevant data in a large Megamap to be presented to various decision makers.


  • Establish criteria for prioritization among the diverse members of the Alliance
  • Streamline the communications process between expert departments and decision makers
  • Visualize pertinent data for decision support



To achieve project objectives we began by taking participants through a foresight workshop in order to communicate possible features and use such foresight as basis for negotiating common prioritization criteria.

Working with a joint team of the Alliance and rLab, we identified the critical target audiences and their characteristics. We then put the key messages proposed by each member of the Alliance through an evaluation process and facilitated a reduction in the number of messages. This process resulted in a few strategically important messages which satisfied all members.

We then visualized pertinent data in a large synthesizing Megamap, including the profiles of the target audiences, the agreed-upon key messages, and the rich data collected by the member organizations.


This Project was implemented as usual with a joint team including members from rLab and all Alliance members.

Image of the Peel Region mega map created by the rLab and Alliance members
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 10:45am
Lab Member: 
Nabil Harfoush

Living City Report Card

Using the proprietary Megamap© process and foresight methods we supported TRCA in prioritizing and visualizing its complex data for the updated Living City Report Card. We also synthesized all major components in an 8’ x 4’ Megamap©.


  • Establish foresight-based criteria for prioritizing and selecting information for the Living City Report Card (LCRC)
  • Facilitating internal negotiations about priorities and messages among stakeholders
  • Identifying and profiling key target audiences for the LCRC communication
  • Facilitating articulation of cross-departmental strategic messages
  • Reviewing and processing selected data pre-visualization
  • Development of key visual concepts for LCRC
  • Deliver 15 one-page Infographics for the individual indicators of LCRC
  • Synthesize all Infographics in one Megamap©


How might TRCA prioritize, select, and synthesize key information from the wealth of data they have to optimize the effectiveness of its updated LCRC?

A Joint team from TRCA and OCAD’s Resilience Design Lab implemented the Living City Report Card project. We introduced TRCA team members to concepts of strategic foresight and co-designed a workshop for TRCA key staff, in which a foresight exercise was used to form a common vision of the possible futures. This common vision was then used as a basis to resolve differences in prioritizing data.

We led our colleagues at TRCA through the Megamap© process that helped them to identify and profile the intended target audience of LCRC, and negotiate the 50+ different messages of the various departments to a group of less than 10 priority messages supported by all groups.

Building on this strong collective understanding and objectives we reviewed and screened data submitted to support the common messages, proposed visual concepts to span all visualizations and developed 15 one-page inforgraphics for the indicators presented in the LCRC.  

Finally we synthesized all indicator visualizations into one 8’ x 4’ Megamap©

Visit the Living City Report Card website for more information.


Living City Report Card Mega Map
Living City Report Card Agriculture
Living City Report Card Fish
Living City Report Card Flood Risk
Living City Report Card Green Buildings
Living City Report Card Greenspace
Living City Report Card Natural Cover
Living City Report Card Stormwater Management
Living City Report Card Urban Forest
Living City Report Card Terrestrial Biodiversity
Living City Report Card Water Quality
Megamap Unveiling for Living City Report Card
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 12:30pm
Lab Member: 
Nabil Harfoush