Lab Goals & Principles

Goals

To increase the impact and scale of social justice efforts movement wide, we are:

  1. Creating a vibrant space and supports that allow network leaders to learn from and inspire each other, and to innovate in their work.
  2. Deepening our shared understanding of:
    • How the current ecosystem (both internal capacities and external conditions) enables or inhibits leaders to work successfully in networks; and
    • What it takes for social justice leaders to work successfully in networks (that link across organizations, issue silos, or sectors) and to step into effective network leadership.
  3. Moving this deep understanding out into the world and engaging other social justice leaders, practitioners and funders in ways that produces a more favorable set of conditions to support effective networked leadership in the future.

 

Core Principles

Strength-Based
The Lab participants will be inspiring each other and working at the intersection of their strengths.

Centered
The Lab is centered on the experience and needs of social justice leaders actually doing the work on the ground.

Embodied
The practice of building and holding the Lab will be an embodiment of the kind of leadership the Lab is supposed to develop – shared, flowing, adaptive, connective, aligned, emergent. This includes:

  • MAG, as convener, will be transparent about what we are doing.
  • Together we will share and hold the inherent tensions and polarities that arise.
  • In all Lab spaces we will strive to create the conditions for relationships, new understanding and learning, innovation and appreciation of differences.

Includes + Transcends
The Lab intends to “include and transcend” (hat tip to Ken Wilber for this phrase) existing practice, knowledge and networks. We intend to lift up and build on existing ideas, resources, frameworks and relationships, and to create space for new growth, learning and relationships. The Lab also opens the space to critique what doesn’t work and explore promising practices and established practices that need disruption.

Emergence + Experimentation
The Lab will make space and provide energy to support emergence and experimentation in service of the changes social justice leaders are seeking to achieve. For this reason not all outcomes can and should be predicted in advance and room must be created for learning from exquisite failure.

Diverse
The Lab intentionally seeks to be a rich and diverse community. We believe that network leadership can only be understood by integrating and holding a broad array of perspectives and experiences and consciously engaging complex dynamics of power. Therefore we reach out to people with different movement and issue experience, from different schools of thought and disciplines, and with different identities (race, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, class, etc). At the same time, we know the Lab will never be 100% inclusive of all aspects of diversity and so are committed to being cognizant of who isn’t at the table.