When it comes to policy and program development, governments are too often required to rely on opinion and intuition. The process traditionally lacks context, rigour, and evidence, leading to the launch of programs that may not yield the intended results. Our goal is to support initiatives that will improve the lives of Canadians by incorporating science and experimentation into the policy process.

Davis Pier’s social innovation outpost, Pier Labs, works with partners in government, healthcare, academia, and the not-for-profit sector to help solve some of the toughest problems our country is facing. From poverty and healthcare, to education and public safety, our approach is to use all forms of evidence to develop policy and program improvements that we then rigorously test through experimentation.

What we do

  • Social science and economic research – We use evidence-based policy approaches such as translating existing research, developing field experiments and randomized control trials, and using other quasi-experimental and evaluation techniques.
  • Behavioural science – We have expertise in behavioural science (also known as behavioural economics or behavioural insights), and use the knowledge of human decision-making and common behavioural biases to design “nudge” projects to improve policies, programs, and services.

  • Human-centred design – We work with citizens, stakeholders, and government using a formalized design thinking process to develop innovative solutions that can be tested, iterated and scaled.

Everything we do relies on the scientific method. Research leading to the establishment of innovative solutions that can be tested and evaluated to determine what works.

Who we are

Pier Labs is a federally incorporated non-profit organization. Its purpose is to work with government, community organizations, post-secondary institutions, charities, foundations, and private sector organizations to conduct research and innovation on complex societal issues impacting the wellbeing of Canadians.

Pier Labs receives core operating funding from Davis Pier Consulting to ensure the resources provided by partner organizations are 100% used for project work. It is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of the Directors of Davis Pier Consulting and external members, ensuring transparency and mission-driven decision making.

Board of Directors


Darryl Pierrynowski