A Social Innovation Lab or Change Lab is a multi-stakeholder effort to address a complex social challenge.
In a Change Lab, a committed alliance of influential government, business and civil society leaders engage in a rhythmic “U-Process” of co-sensing, co-presencing, and co-creating. These teams produce new insights about their system (including their own role in it) and new high-leverage options to shift it; new and stronger relationships within their team and with other stakeholders; strengthened capacities to work together and to lead and effect change; and a sustained stream of new acts through which they co-create a new social reality. Each Change or Design Lab has a unique approach that it takes to design, research and experimentation. However, there are a few common elements, which appear to be built into each successful model: broad-based research, co-creation of solutions, specialized physical environment, clear process design and facilitation, rapid prototyping, multidisciplinary support staff, continual learn. The most in depth workshops will be operational for months or event years, although the simplest mini workshops can be conducted over the course of a day. Broadly the process has four steps: 1) share diverse point of views from all participants, 2) develop a common understanding and start to point to co-create solutions, 3) prototyping solutions, test and iterate, 4) at some point prototyping lead to the selection of a set of design solutions.
Related: Social Innovation Camp