How does the Lab work?
The Forum Lab is a place – sometimes physical, sometimes virtual – where people and organisations experiment with and develop ideas, processes and tools to explore how a system works and to shift it in more sustainable directions.
We use a mix of tried and emerging techniques to work on real problems in real time, in collaboration with partners and others wanting to create change at a system level. These may include NGOs, policymakers, charitable trusts and foundations, academics and businesses.
We run experimental projects that test new approaches, develop new relationships and come up with different ideas, using action learning techniques to track what works and what doesn’t. We carry out research that underpins successful system-change projects, such as the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, to identify critical factors of their success. We work with people and organisations who bring a diverse range of perspectives to understand system-level challenges to building a more sustainable economy. We then collect and test ideas for how these challenges can be overcome.
The Lab works alongside far-sighted organisations to co-create and learn from system innovation. Forum uses the results of our experiments and draws on the best research and practice around the world to improve our own practice and that of others. Our learning programmes, like our Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development or ‘Engineers of the 21st Century’, equip leaders to reshape the systems in which they operate.
We want both our partners and the wider world to benefit from our work, to magnify the change we’re working toward. Good communication is vital. We produce thought leadership and toolkits, disseminate them widely and provide support to help others use them to maximum effect. We’re creating a community of interest to share best ideas and practice of systems innovation. This global community of ‘system innovators’ will re-shape the systems we use to be more sustainable.