Labs for Systems Change: A Global Gathering

Aditya and I will be spending the first half of this week in Toronto at the Center for Social Innovation and MARS Discovery District, with over 50 other practitioners representing public and social innovation labs from around the worlds at the Labs for Systems Change Global Gathering. Below is a quick outline of the program.

Public and social innovation labs are increasingly seen as vehicles to help solve complex social challenges that require systems change. These labs help to understand such challenges from new perspectives, often using human-centered design. They help convene stakeholders from across society to develop, test and scale new solutions. And they help governments to develop policies and redesign public services that build capacity for change throughout society. In short, these labs support public and social innovation on the local, national and global level.

As public and social innovation labs gain momentum around the world, we need to pay attention to what makes a lab valuable and what it needs to be successful. Labs are still a fairly young construct. We need to develop its strengths and overcome its weaknesses. Also to prevent labs from becoming just the next hype in public and social innovation. Because we deeply believe that public and social innovation labs are a useful and perhaps even critical new approach to solving complex problems in a transforming world.

LABS FOR SYSTEM CHANGE is a three-day gathering of many of the world’s leading lab practitioners and thinkers to share, develop and capture knowledge of global lab practices. To gain a better understanding of what constitutes a good lab and its approaches. And to explore the opportunities for a global learning network of leading labs. This event is following earlier lab conferences happening last year at Mindlab (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Kennisland (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

More updates from here as the gathering begins later this evening.

If you would like to join in on the 27th of May – it will be webcast here.

About Namrata Mehta

Namrata Mehta or @littlenemrut, is Director of Innovation at the Center for Knowledge Societies, New Delhi. She has an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Delhi University, and a postgraduate diploma in Experimental Media Arts, from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore.
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