Our world is facing many challenges
A deeper approach is needed to address these
What is a Lab?
Labs or more commonly known as Social Labs have existed for many decades. They are a multi-displinary, experimental way to address complex social and environmental challenges. These are issues such as poverty or climate change that are constantly changing, have multiple interconnected causes and thus can't be addressed with traditional strategic planning or problem solving.
Stakeholders across the system are brought together to create shared understanding and collectively develop effective interventions.
The concept of Social Labs was popularised by Zaid Hassan through his book the Social Labs Revolution and many Labs have been run around the world by governments, intergovernmental organisations, communities and civil society. Examples include the Finance Innovation Lab and Sustainable Food Lab.
What's different about a Spirit Lab?
Our traditional approach to working on social problems is one where we work predominantly with the intelligence of the mind. Spirit Labs acknowledge that intelligence exists in the mind as well as the body and the spirit in each one of us and thus takes a holistic approach to solving problems. It brings this spirit into every step of the process.
Furthermore we acknowledge that as Otto Scharmar of Presencing Institute has said "the effectiveness of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervenor". Our ability to solve our world's pressing challenges depends on our own development and evolution -- and thus developing and healing one's own self is central to the process.
Integrating indigenous wisdom and learning from nature is also key to the process
Building on the work of others
Our team created our Spirit Lab process building from the vast experience we have had working on social and environmental issues as well as leadership development and self transformation. We wish to acknowledge those who have shaped and inspired our thinking including: Thomas Huebl, Otto Scharmar and Presencing Institute, Zaid Hassan, Donella Meadows, Daniela Papi-Thornton among many others. We also want to acknowledge the team that ran Lifehack in New Zealand who have shared with us many learnings.
More on the shift in approach that is needed
We think Charles Eisenstein summarises that change that we need and are working toward beautifully in this video
Principles that guide our process
Te Ao Māori and other indigenous wisdom is embedded throughout the process.
Multiple stakeholders are included to ensure all voices are heard and challenging conversations are had in the process of whanaungatanga.
A systems approach is taken, moving away from symptoms of the issue and looking deeper at leverage points to create system shifts. Through this, we incorporate all parts of the system, understand the whakapapa (history), and acknowledge and integrate the trauma of the system.
A heavy focus is on innovating the innovators within the lab. We know from decades of learning that we cannot form solutions to problems using the same thinking that created them. We must innovate ourselves in order to build a new paradigm.
Facilitating the formation of diverse, resilient, deep performing teams.
Being in the environment, in order to really learn from and work with nature.