Social Innovation Lab Field Guide
“To aid the move from roundtable talks to action, a promising approach has been emerging in the social innovation ecosystem. Often called a social innovation lab, the approach draws on the strengths, empathy, creativity, and wisdom of a collective to explore new ways of making progress on a complex challenge. These labs are guided by convening diverse perspectives on an issue, gaining insight from people with lived experience of a challenge, facilitated ideation, building prototypes of solutions, and testing them to see how they work on the ground with people. A lab creates a safe zone for a collective to explore, question assumptions, be bold, be agile enough to adapt as learning emerges and experiment with solutions. As evidence emerges of what prototyped solutions are working, solutions can be scaled and spread to impact systemic change.”
Labs are messy and so is this scrappy field guide
The guide is not as slick and well designed as some field guides, but it’s packed with practical tips, tools, and learning that is our current best offer of what helps diverse collectives tackle complex social challenges through design and systems thinking methodologies. Even if you’re working in the public or private sectors, you’ll find tools and approaches that you can adapt to help tackle your own innovation and systemic challenges.
Enjoy, remix, adapt and beware of using the process rigidly.