Learning by doing
People in Dudley have an abundance of practical skills, creative talent and useful knowledges. They are often overlooked by institutions, systems, programmes and projects which see resources as scarce, focus on what is lacking or put value on a limited array of capitals, skills and knowledges.
Our lab team has different ways of thinking and doing. We have inspired and supported hundreds of people in Dudley to surface and connect latent resources, skills, talents and knowledges. We call people who try things out and get actively involved in hands-on making, creating, sharing and learning doers. The ideas we support them to design and test are usually small social innovations.
Social innovations are new ideas that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations. In other words, they are innovations that are both good for society, and enhance society’s capacity to act. (From The Open Book of Social Innovation)
Small scale, interconnected social innovations are deeply rooted in place. At the same time they can be very open to global flows of ideas, information, people and resources. The projects and activities we catalyse and support are open to all, often small and increasingly connected. They are collaboratively designed, varied in nature and practical – involving hands-on doing, making, sharing or learning.
The innovations which CoLab Dudley introduces and helps people to design are different from more familiar, traditional forms of neighbourhood participation. There are many wonderful groups, clubs, charities and campaigns in Dudley seeking members, volunteers and representatives. We work alongside many of them, cultivating a complimentary participation ecosystem with local doers.
A window into our database of projects and activities. Some of these have been initiated by doers and emerging social entrepreneurs. Others have been kickstarted by the lab team, or are convened / hosted by the lab team. Do get in touch if you’d like to know more.