The “collaboratory” is an open-space, creative method for hosting meaningful conversations where various stakeholders tap into the collective intelligence to generate solutions to complex problems.

“We believe that, if we properly assemble the players into a system, orient them toward a purpose, engage them in the right interactions, ask them the right questions, and allow them so self-organize, the system will reach a moment of truth. In the words of Nobel Prize winning chemist Ilya Prigogine, the system is ‘shifting into a higher order’ – a true quantum leap – such that a new order emerges from the chaos of the old and produces the needed solution.” (Burck, Rüger, Frick, Wiliamson, Serikoff, in: Muff 2014, 53)

One of the methods used is the Collaboratory, a collaborative multi-perspective, multi-stakeholder dialogue forum aiming at engaging relevant actors in a collective visioning process around “big” social challenges.

For a brief overview, see our Collaboratory folder (English) / Collaboratory Flyer Deutsch.

Based on Scharmer’s Theory U, Bohmian Dialogue, Dragon Dreaming and other methodological sources, the Collaboratory allows for conducting visualization processes in groups of various sizes within reasonable periods of time (from half a day up to several days) for solving concrete problems the respective stakeholders are facing. The process is designed so that participants are invited to get involved as whole persons and can or even must take responsibility for the results. It addresses the most important challenges connected to the focused topic and runs participants through a co-creative laboratory at the end of which they have the opportunity to design tangible projects emerging as outcomes of their process.

For more information about the collaboratory see the book edited by Katrin Muff and the materials in our Resources & Materials section.

The LiFT team has compiled its experiences gathered so far in four edited books and a course curriculum, providing you with:

Foundations & Resources of Integral Leadership
The Collaboratory Methodology 
Insights and Learnings from Hosting Collaboratories (LiFT Case Book)
Five Superpowers for Co-Creators

On this basis, LiFT has developed a training course in collaborative leadership. Make sure to get in touch with us if you are interested in participating.


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