Lab Matters: Challenging the practice of social innovation laboratories

The latest trend in our quest to fix the global challenges of the 21st century is to  ‘lab’ complex issues. In short, a lab is a container for social experimentation, with a team, a process and space to support social innovation on a systemic level. These social innovation labs are popping up all over the world and are quickly acquiring star status among funders and governments. Zaïd Hassan coins the emergence of labs as a “social revolution” for its ability to tackle large challenges, such as dramatically reducing global emissions, preventing the collapse of fragile states, and improving community resilience. The rise of labs is partially explained in the transformative promise that they bare, namely that they function as vehicles to combat our social ills by achieving systemic change. In this regard, labs do not operate alone in their endeavour, but form part of the ever expanding “family of the social, which refers to concepts and practices that rely more and more on citizens to act “prosocially”, both individually and collectively.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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