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New LabCraft book: How innovation labs cultivate change

Author: Hendrik Tiesinga and Remko Berkhout
Published Date: 24 September 2014

LabCraft has now been launched - a book that inCompass (formerly HCD i-Lab) co-wrote alongside seven international social innovation labs including UNICEF Innovation Lab (Kosovo), Finance Innovation Lab (UK), Rocky Mountain (electricity) eLab (USA), Education Pioneers @Kennisland (Netherlands), INSTEDD Technology lab (LatAm, SE Asia), La 27e Region policy lab (France).The commitment was to write an extremely candid account of the challenges, trials, and learnings of each of their labs attemps to take on the ambitious aim of changing a social system that is currently not working.

For more information about the book have a look at the website.

Book summary The struggle to solve local and global issues often appears to pitch large corporations and governments against activists, artists, workers and ordinary citizens. But what happens when these entities consciously join forces and share resources to create social change?

It’s happening more than you might think—in a growing phenomenon known as innovation labs. And Labcraft offers an intimate picture of this new and evolving landscape—where seemingly disparate stakeholders network and align as learning communities who collaborate for positive change.

Innovation labs do what we expect laboratories to do—invent and experiment. But their “test tubes” are real-world challenges. And as they explore new connections, new ideas, and new initiatives, they often generate new perspectives and promising solutions.

A fittingly collaborative effort in itself, Labcraft was written in a four-day “Book Sprint” by representatives from seven innovation labs from around the world. These practitioners share their stories, experiences and perspectives, and consider their commonalities and differences. They offer humble observations about their struggles and successes, and detail how they navigate their unique dilemmas and paradoxes.

From workspaces and funding to impact measurement and power dynamics, Labcraft explores what it takes to cultivate a nimble and responsive environment—and gives a face to the poignant potential of these creative new collaborations.

Change makers everywhere will be uplifted and inspired by this hopeful, fascinating window into emerging frontiers for building a better world.