Lab2: A Lab on Social Innovation Labs
Social innovation labs are the latest vehicles for systemic change - for disrupting the way our cities, our schools, our welfare programs, even our economic systems run. But what is in the black box called ‘the lab’? How do they really work?
During two days, Kennisland and Hivos (with the support of the SIX network) will host Lab2: a lab on social innovation labs from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Oceania and Asia.
Credit: Julian Brown, On The Chase
At Lab2 we aim to understand the link between what it is that we do in these labs, why we chose specific mechanisms and not others, and what are the results we achieve. We want to make assumptions about change more explicit. We will start by sharing our actual projects and decompose the big questions through honest reflections on our own work practices. We will debrief. We will troubleshoot. We will apply each other's methods to our own work. Because there is no doubt that each of us has undisclosed successes and failures lying on the shelves. The goal is to leave Lab2 with new insights and practices to try out.
Lab2 is on personal invitation only.
- When and where: 24-25 April, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Get in touch: Marlieke Kieboom (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Venue information and hotel options: here
- Up-to-date list of participants here: here
Labs: the latest innovation strategy in complex times?
We have come to understand that our world is becoming ever more complex. We see that the wicked societal challenges demand different ways of working and learning. But despite our desire to become better at addressing thick problems, we are grappling to find new, solid mechanisms that lead to change without falling into old traps, methodologies and paradigms.
Social innovation labs are the latest vehicles for systemic change. They intend to enable people to design, prototype, develop and try out new ideas, products and services that experiment with disrupting the status quo and prompting change on different levels. Change for the commons, change that is innovative and, preferably, systemic. Take a look at the Social Innovation Generation for some excellent resources.
But how do labs prompt change? We think it is time to get beyond the hype. To make our assumptions explicit and critique our actual work practices and products. That is why we are organizing a different kind of event. Not the kind where we have to show off. But the kind where we can be upfront and honest about our successes and our failures.
How will this lab look like? It is currently under construction, but our Lab about Labs will certainly be:
- One that is free of bullshit and bravado
- One that is full of sharing, swapping and honest reflection
- One that opens up our work catalogue and show others what it is that we do, and why.
- One that is geared towards learning from our experiments and iterations.
- One that ends with fresh perspectives on our work, on what constitutes quality, on methods to try, on tactics to use.
- One that starts a new routine for interacting with colleagues and peers.
Bring real artifacts
Lab2 is rooted in our own questions on running a lab, from the nitty-gritty to the big challenges. Each of the invitees will provide the stimulus for our Lab2. We ask you to bring two example projects: one that missed the mark, and the other that exemplifies what your approach is all about. We hope you can bring real artifacts – project plans, photos, movies, reports, any physical material that will help to tell the story and give us a real sense of how you work in your lab setting. We will use these cases to generate a list of critical questions to answer, and challenges to troubleshoot.
Do you lab2?
For and with people who direct, manage and/or run spaces to design, experiment, and spread interventions that try and shift systemic social challenges. We might call our spaces labs, do-tanks, studios, centres for innovation. We might call ourselves thinkers, or do-ers, or both. We do not eschew honest conversations, and we leave conferences and networking events wanting to know more about our peers’ practices. How do they frame their projects? How do they even define good work? It is cliché – but we are always so busy doing our projects, or writing about them. It is rare to get the space and structure to step back and think about alternative ways of doing.
Partners in the lab crime
You are hosted by Kennisland and Hivos. Lab2 is part of their exploratory collaboration as working partners. Kennisland is an independent think tank fostering innovation for a social and sustainable future. Hivos is a development organisation promoting civic innovation in the global South on issues ranging from open government to women’s rights. Lab2 is supported by the Social Innovation Exchange Network (SIX). SIX inspires and supports innovators around the globe. All three organisations create new learning environments for change makers to connect the dots and enhance the quality of their work.
When and where
24-25 April, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Get in touch
Contact us: Marlieke Kieboom (email@example.com)
Venue information and hotel options: here
Up-to-date list of participants here: here