The Social Labs Revolution

Posted on by Brandon Klein


INTRODUCTION / WHAT ARE SOCIAL LABORATORIES? What does it mean to be winning? Playing in the World Cup The scale-free laboratory A cascade of social labs

CHAPTER 1 /THE PERFECT STORM OF COMPLEXITY The perfect challenge What is a complex social challenge? The futile optimism of optimization Yemen as a natural experiment Too big to fail, too big to jail

CHAPTER 2 / THE STRATEGIC VACUUM Business as usual The expert-planning paradigm Flying autopilot in the perfect storm A lack of genuine strategic intent

CHAPTER 3 / THE SUSTAINABLE FOOD LAB: FROM FARM-TO-FORK The Bhavishya Alliance The race to the bottom The multiple and conflicting logics of food What is sustainable? Systemic spread betting

CHAPTER 4 / THE BHAVISHYA LAB: THE SILENT EMERGENCY The moon shot Movement requires friction Fail early, fail often Business as usual and its radical refusals

CHAPTER 5 /THE NEW ECOLOGIES OF CAPITAL Emerging forms of capital and preventing collapse The dumbest idea in the world More rainforests, fewer plantations

CHAPTER 6 / THE RISE OF THE AGILISTAS The practical wisdom of social labs Starting with current realities Events rupture dispositions The right stuff

CHAPTER 7/ STEPS TOWARD A THEORY OF SYSTEMIC ACTION 1st requirement: Constitute a diverse team 2nd requirement: Design an iterative process 3rd requirement: Actively create systemic spaces

CHAPTER 8 / STARTING A SOCIAL LAB: 7 HOW-TOS Strategic versus tactical thinking #1 Clarify intention #2 Broadcast an invitation #3 Work your networks #4 Recruit willing people #5 Set direction #6 Design in stacks #7 Find cadence

CONCLUSION / NEXT-GENERATION SOCIAL LABORATORIES Averting the zombie apocalypse State collapse: A stabilization strategy Climate change: A mitigation strategy Community resilience: An adaptation strategy The battle of the parts versus the whole