Authors Gord Tulloch and Sarah Schulman alongside the cover of their new book The Trampoline Effect

It’s finally here! This week is the official launch of The Trampoline Effect: Redesigning Social Services, a new book by posAbilities’ Director of Innovation, Gord Tulloch and Dr. Sarah Schulman. Read on to learn more about the book and how you can participate in an upcoming event with the authors!

“Our social service system counts only certain needs—for safety, shelter, food, income, and physical care. It has few ways of understanding people’s needs for adventure, purpose, connection, or growth.”

What’s it about?

The social sector is stuck. For years, many organizations and people have been wrestling with the same fundamental questions. How can we connect people with community? How can we bring more meaning and purpose into people’s lives?

And, as the book explores, how can we redesign our social safety nets?

In The Trampoline Effect, Gord and Sarah share what they’ve learned in the past five years as InWithForward partnered with posAbilities and other community living organizations to understand the lived experience of people with disabilities, protype new services, and “stretch” ourselves to reach in new directions.

The book is grounded in the stories and experiences of real people. The Trampoline Effect also offers an approach for moving forward. In the last third of the book, you’ll find the Twelve Stretches. Each stretch is a reach from where we are to where we could be. For example, extending our focus from safety to flourishing, or from rights to culture. You might recognize the stretches as part of posAbilities’ Strategic Plan, which is built around our vision of “good and full lives” for everyone.

(If you want to know more about posAbilities’ innovation journey, your can check out Our Experience So Far. Or, take a listen to “An Innovation Mindset,” the first episode of our podcast, which features an interview with Gord and some of the ideas from the book.)

“Our role is to stretch beyond giving help and instead connect people with a life outside of programs and services—with meaningful jobs, friends, activities, and places where they experience belonging.”

Why now?

The lessons in the book are more critical than ever. From the global COVID-19 pandemic to increasing political polarization, we’re all living with a lot of uncertainty. Now is the perfect time to consider a new way forward, together.

Early on in the pandemic, we were thinking about how our new normal involved finding new ways to help one another. “We’re all in this together” became a key idea in daily life.  The Trampoline Effect offers stories and examples for re-imagining community and how we might better care for one another.

During this time of physical distancing and isolation we’ve also learned how essential it is to connect with others and care for our whole selves, not just our body. The book puts forth the idea that our “soul” needs are just as important as our “body” needs. Those might include things like connection, agency, and purpose.

In order to make big changes, we also need to hold space for different perspectives. It doesn’t have to be either/or. The Trampoline Effect suggests we adopt a both/and perspective—because creative problem-solving happens within those tensions.

“Substantial change is possible only if we’re willing to unearth the values and assumptions beneath our work and open them up to ongoing critique.”

Join the authors for a free webinar

Dig into the ideas in The Trampoline Effect at this free webinar presented by the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship.

Gord and Sarah will share their experiences of trying out new ways to try to shake things up and create new kinds of services. They share what worked and what didn’t work, why it is so difficult to do, and how they think change may still be possible.

Is Innovation Really Possible in the Community Living Sector?
Date: Monday, November 9, 2020
Time: 11 am – 12 pm PT
Register for free here.

About the authors

Gord Tulloch has worked in the developmental disability sector for over twenty-five years. During this time, he served in many roles, from front-line worker to senior leadership, and as an accreditation surveyor, independent consultant, and college/university instructor. For the past several years he has worked as the director of innovation at posAbilities and focused on bringing in new methods, approaches, and partnerships that might produce meaningful and enduring system change. Gord holds a BA (Hons.) in philosophy and a master of arts in liberal studies. He hopes he can be a useful ally and co-conspirator to those calling for change.

Dr. Sarah Schulman has spent her career in buses, bingo halls, and back alleyways as a social scientist focused on the experiences of people living on the margins. She is a founding partner of InWithForward, an international social design organization whose teams have produced award-winning and scalable interventions. InWithForward is her fourth organization; she started her first in elementary school. Sarah holds a BA (Hons.) in human biology, a masters in education, and a DPhil in social policy from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. As a Jewish, middle-class, able-bodied, cisgender woman, Sarah is forever learning and un-learning how to show up and hold space for change.

The Trampoline Effect book coverLearn more about the book and order your copy today at