Why A Social Lab?

Why A Social Lab?

With the climate crisis at our doorstep, the need to redesign the way we produce and consume goods is crucially urgent. Traditionally regarded as a technical challenge, the sustainability transition that we must now accelerate needs to be acknowledged for what it is: a question of the expansion of our consciousness, in other words of how we relate ourselves to the rest of the world.

We’ve all been to countless conferences on sustainable development, in which the conclusion most often turns out to be the crying need for a mindset change. However, there are very few spaces that allow us to work on this mindset change, at the intersection of cognitive models, paradigms and source of our very identities, as a pathway to develop and build our future. We all want solutions that are socially responsive and environmentally regenerative, but we tend to solve problems using the same thinking that created them.

A social lab is above all a space to activate participants’ capacities to collaborate across disciplines and sectors (co-creation), to learn how to use empathy, compassion and care in addressing complexity, as well as mobilising other types of intelligence beyond the mind, such as the heart’s and hand’s. As it involves a lot of unlearning, it can be messy and uncomfortable, and stir up skepticism. But we believe that the global situation is so critical, that we are at a threshold where daring to try something different is the only way forward.

BEYOND WASTE | circular resources lab
From September to December 2018, 24 individuals, representing business, academia and civil society engage in an experimental journey towards solutions for circular economy transformation in Canton de Vaud, forming the first ever social lab on this topic.



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