u.lab 2x 2021
From Prototype to
An Accelerator for Systems
Overview / Approach
The year 2020 has clarified that we cannot solve our most pressing challenges by doing more of the same. The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate change crisis make us acutely aware of our profound interdependence. Each breakdown or collapse in this decade is a potential turning point to redirect our evolutionary pathway going forward. Many of us feel that our systems have been moving in the wrong direction and want to be part of a change but don’t know how. We experience a disconnect between our shared awareness and our collective capacity to act.
Building transformation literacy—that is, the capacity to transform the status quo—at all levels of scale may well be the number one leadership challenge of our time.
u.lab 2x is an ecosystem transformation accelerator that helps teams to move their prototype ideas toward ecosystem impact. It is designed to help teams, organizations, and larger networks to activate co-creative relationships in their stakeholder systems.
Participating teams whose work relates to one of the key acupuncture points for societal transformation will join a four-month, online and offline innovation journey that includes systems mapping, rapid cycle prototyping, and a global action research network for knowledge sharing. By the end of the journey, participants will have created new collaborative initiatives, or new types of collaboration within existing initiatives, that help to bring about more sustainable and equitable social systems worldwide. Teams will be supported to bring these initiatives into the world by working together from a place of 4.0 listening, attending, and organizing.
How it Works
The Presencing Institute focuses its work for the transformation of economy and society on seven key acupuncture points (below) that, if transformed through rapid-cycle prototyping and by co-evolving solutions that work at scale, could amplify the transformation of civil society globally.
Accordingly, in early 2021, u.lab 2x will convene place-based teams from around the world that are working toward solutions in one of these seven areas for a four-month, multi-local, online and offline innovation journey. u.lab 2x will help these teams:
- Understand the deeper forces at play in social systems that can either be obstacles or leverage points for change;
- Identify emerging future possibilities in your work;
- Prototype new ways of working together in multi-stakeholder settings;
- Evolve your project or initiative.
u.lab 2x is part of the Presencing Institute’s u.school for transformation annual cycle. Ultimately, the Lab aims to activate and amplify a locally anchored, globally connected network of hundreds (and over time thousands) of cross-sector change initiatives that are working to build new economic infrastructures that generate well-being for all.
Bringing a new post-merger-integration approach into life
Please check the u.lab website for more information about the u.lab 2x
The u.lab 2x materials and community will be hosted on the Sutra platform. We will share the syllabus and onboard you to the platform in January. Each month’s module will give you access to materials to digest and methodologies to practice as a Core Team. On your own schedule, you will lead your Extended Team through the process. The u.lab team will hold joint Zoom sessions at four points during the course, on the dates below (please mark these in your calendar):
Co-Initiating: February 18th
Co-Sensing: March 18th
Presencing: April 15th
Prototyping: May 13th
Core Team members can expect to commit 4-5 hours per week toward u.lab 2x, varying across months. Weeks in which teams are applying methodologies will require more time, while others will require less. Extended Team members can expect up to 2-3 hours per week.
We’re writing with good news! We’ve reviewed your application to u.lab 2x and were impressed by the work you’re doing. We feel your team would make a great addition to the Lab, and are excited to invite you to participate.
u.lab 2x will kick off in February 2021.
Thank you for joining us for u.lab 2x. After careful review, we have selected a cohort of 380 teams that will be part of this collective journey. We can’t wait to learn more about your projects and to work together to support the co-evolution of your prototypes and initiatives for ecosystem impact.
WHY THE PRESENCING INSTITUTE IS OFFERING U.LAB 2X
Part of the Presencing Institute’s mission is to offer a new narrative for profound evolutionary change in society. For two decades, our work has explored questions such as: what does it take to redesign societies in ways that ad-dress the pressing challenges of our time? What does it take to apply the power of mindfulness to the trans-formation of the collective system? Leading from the Emerging Future and The Essentials of Theory U out-line a framework for updating the “operating systems” of our educational institutions, our economies, and our democracies, applying the core concepts of Theory U to the transformation of society at large.
We believe true leadership today is the capacity to facilitate a shift of mindset in multi-stakeholder groups from a narrow understanding based on self-interest (ego-systemic) to one where decisions are made based on the wellbeing of the whole system (eco-systemic). We call this capacity Eco-System Leadership. This Systems Transformation Accelerator aims to build this type of leadership capacity at scale, across multiple sectors and geographies. Ultimately, the aim of u.lab 2x is to activate a global ecosystem of innovation that works to ensure wellbeing for all.
One important distinction to note up front is the relationship between core teams and extended teams
That’s you! The group of participants who took the ini-tiative to apply to u.lab 2x. This group will learn various Theory U-based methods and apply them locally or in a shared context to the issue / challenge / prototype you are bringing to u.lab 2x. You’re responsible for holding space and facilitating the process for the extended team.
This is an extended group of stakeholders in your project / initiative, who will participate in the the u.lab 2x process with your core team. You should begin reaching out to these stakeholders now. Between your core and extended teams, you should aim to have a minimum of 7-10 people participating in u.lab 2x together. To elaborate on why we have this requirement: the u.lab 2x methods are designed to create a shared language and understanding of the intellectual and emotional complexity in stakeholder relationships. Because they are multi-stakeholder transformation methods, they typically require a minimum of about 7-10 participants to be together in person. Therefore, core teams are asked to convene an extended team of stakeholders who will participate in some (or if they wish, all) of the u.lab 2x journey.
Week 1 (Kick-off Feb 18th): Attend the Live Zoom Session to share experiences and reflect with the u.lab 2x community.
Week 2: Read and review the course material for the current month / module on Sutra, engage with the community, and clarify any question you have.
Week 3: OPTIONAL Ask Us Anything Zoom Session (+- 90min / Dates to be confirmed)
Week 3 / 4: Meet with your core team to prepare and hold the workshop for the current module with your core and extended team