Social Innovation Labs

The Sustainable Oceans Lab focusses its efforts on an action-orientated, emergent strategy. The Lab proposes to take an approach of disciplined experimentation. This means taking a portfolio based approach towards the challenge of ocean ecosystem sustainability. Instead of developing a single, linear plan, inside a single institution, we support a portfolio of initiatives and efforts across multiple institutions and geographies.

Key to this Lab strategy is bringing together a diverse team and taking an experimental approach orientated to supporting and discovering solutions that address our challenge systemically, at the level of root causes.

The Lab is a space dedicated to supporting a diverse team of stakeholders, the Lab Team, to co-create and test strategic responses to the challenge of ocean sustainability.

The Lab Team works to build a shared systemic understanding of the interlinked challenges facing the oceans.  Participants spend time going through a process of conscious observation, where together they undertake visits to different parts of the ocean system.

Bringing together diverse stakeholders means bringing together muliple perspectives on the challenges we are facing.

This diversity serves as a way of grasping the scale and complexity of the situation, as well as supporting the creation of innovative strategies. Structured and meaningful dialogue to truly understand diverse perspectives and interests at play is a first step towards addressing our oceans challenges through joint action.

Reflecting on this shared understanding, the Lab Team examines the strategies of their own organizations and initiatives, seeking to build on and improve them. Through a reflective dialogue process, participants also consider critically the need for innovative, new strategies to address any systemic risk perceived in existing strategies.

Working together, the Lab Team develops a portfolio of focused interventions that aim to address the challenge of “How can we work together to enhance the sustainable management of our marine ecosystems globally?”

Throughout their work, the Lab Team is actively soliciting inputs, reflections and ideas from the wider ocean community. The aspiration is to locate the Lab as part of this community, supporting work that is already being undertaken and, where appropriate, building on it.

The methodology of the Lab is built on enabling deep and meaningful dialogues to address complex challenges. The goal of these will be to support Lab Team members to take action within their own spheres of influence and at the level of the wider ocean community. This will include collective innovation processes, rapid prototyping of strategies and an experimental “fail-safe” trial and error approach that focuses on fostering collective action.