Change is coming in unexpected ways...
Many have awakened to the fact that "the system" just isn't working for most of us. We want to change it. We're overflowing with ideas, energy, and creativity, eager to make a positive impact in the world, but we struggle to find the resources required to make our dreams become reality.
Emerging Leader Labs are places designed to overcome that challenge. Part education (except you don't pay tuition), part job (except you work for yourself), and part social enterprise incubator (except our focus is on "social impact" first and "enterprise" later), the Labs are designed to nourish our wild spirits and the crazy projects that just might make the difference we need.
The Labs give emerging leaders the opportunity to come together in physical spaces, refine their visions, grow their skills and competencies, and gather the resources and support needed to translate their visions into projects that build a better world.
The leaders get to experiment with new ways of measuring value and learn to build meaningful relationships and trust while building a healthy gift economy. Our leaders give of their time and creativity to produce results in our communities, and our communities share workspaces, housing, and food to cover the basic needs of the leaders.
We are serious about producing results.
In fact, to continue to have access to a Lab's workspaces, infrastructure, resources, and community, our leaders are accountable to measure the value and impact of their work. This allows us to be transparent about the value we're producing in our communities and lets supporters see what kind of difference their support is making.
The first program of the Emerging Leader Labs was a 6-week Seed Project in the summer of 2012. During this sprint, we worked on developing our own visions and projects, while also building the core infrastructure of the Labs themselves. The intention was to use the Seed Project to develop the structure for Emerging Leader Labs as a replicable framework for collaborative learning. In the works is an open source kit so that groups anywhere can build on our patterns to start a lab in their own community.