Co-Creating a Global Innovation Lab

Co-Creating a Global Lab for Societal Innovation


   Too many innovation projects – even ‘successful’ ones – do not scale effectively or create international impact because they take place in the confines of national, institutional or expertise silos. That’s why we are working to co-create a Global Lab for Societal Innovation, which can address major societal challenges as collaborative innovation projects – orchestrated initiatives where diverse organizations in different countries can work together in a focused way. 

   Where excellent living labs, future centers, corporate RDI centers, design labs, thinktanks, NGOs, acting as a ‘league of extraordinary innovation centers’, can become an international laboratory for mission-driven innovation, with the possibility of creating real breakthroughs on the issues they address. The first Global Lab, to launch in 2020, focuses on the diverse and complex challenges of ‘climate resilience’. In every aspect it will address essential issues of “co-creating innovation: scaling up from local to global”.


   The Global Lab initiative has been emerging since late 2018 and is driven by a collective desire to co-create breakthrough solutions to complex societal challenges by focusing the energy, creativity and intelligence of diverse teams in an intense process lasting 12-18 months. 

  Although much thought has already gone into it, everything is still open and we have more questions than answers. How to orchestrate the distributed innovation practice of diverse labs, innovators and co-creative citizens around the world? What questions should we be asking about climate resilience? How can we create resilient societies? How can promising solutions be scaled from place to place, country to country, local to global? We want to think together with people who are interested in trans-border and collaborative innovation about questions like these, and about how to move this initiative forward. We are organizing this workshop to do that, and welcome the opportunity to co-develop ideas with you.


   The Global Lab initiative is a work-in-progress, and many of the questions it addresses – about resilience, climate, effective processes and methodologies for orchestrating transnational collaboration, co-learning, scaling and scalability – have no quick fixes or easy answers. So, we expect the workshop to enrich the thinking and practice of participants – as well as our own – with provocative questions, possible answers, and practical tools for addressing issues they face in their own work.

   Participants will actively engage in addressing challenging questions about both process and content, and gain new insights, ideas and opportunities: 4 new ideas about orchestrating collaborative action, 3 ways to address Climate Resilience they haven’t thought of before, 2 suggestions for enhancing mission-driven innovation, and 1 powerful idea that makes it all worthwhile. Possibilities for joining the emerging Global Lab initiative will be explored, and are open to all.


The methodology is based on principles of creative dialogue, focused conversations, design thinking, and societal innovation camps. 

After a brief presentation of starting points and work-in-progress, each table will explore existing expertise and ideas, and building on this, develop initial answers to several questions dealing with Global Lab ideas and ‘best ‘guesses’ that have been developed in other workshops and creative conversations during the last 8 months. 

After exchanging interim results, each table will each create a prototype for addressing one of the issues they are exploring: orchestrating co-creative practice, anchoring experiments in real-world locations, leveraging resources, or scaling from local to global and global to local. The resulting prototypes will be brought together in an Exhibition & Navigation Gallery of prototypes for a Global Lab on Climate Resilience, and – with participants’ permission – be added to the Global Lab website.

Workshop Facilitators