NOTES ON Representing the lab

When interacting with potential interviewees or other project stakeholders throughout the lab process, it is important that you represent yourself as a participant in the lab.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Connect with the Lab lead first. If you wish to reach out to city departments or community-based organizations, especially as part of research, please connect with us before hand. We will review feasibility of connecting with city staff or help facilitate direct connections when possible.

  2. Emphasize your role as a participant. You may be encouraged to reach out directly to stakeholders. When doing so, here’s some suggestions on how you might introduce yourself:

    • "I'm working on a project with the Social Impact Lab to better understand community and public health needs. "

    • "I'm participating in a program called the Social Impact Lab. We are researching community and public health needs...."

In addition, we encourage you to add context about what the lab is, such as a brief description of the lab. Here’s an example you can cut and paste into emails:

  1. The Social Impact Lab is a two-month design marathon focused on making a difference in our community through social impact design. This spring, the lab is partnering with Portland Fire & Rescue to design blueprints to help improve where we work, live and play. Find out more at

IMPORTANT: Please be sure to “cc” the Social Impact Lab on all your communication to key stakeholders in the community. This helps gives credibility to your ask and also gives us visibility into external interactions.

3. Share your knowledge and findings. Once you make connection, be sure to connect and collaborate with other participants to share back your discoveries.

Questions about this? Reach out to the lab organizers directly.