Our research program aims to deepen our understanding of both the process and outcomes of participating in the Concordia U.lab Social Innovation Hub and, in doing so, assess the Hub’s potential to foster transformational learning for social change. We also aim to share learning experiences with others at Concordia and other universities, and with the global u.lab community.
Our ongoing research projects
The process of hosting a u.lab hub
As an educational innovation, the Concordia U.lab Social Innovation Hub is a rapidly evolving project. Specific outcomes and even processes are difficult to predict. For this reason, the host team uses a developmental evaluation approach to inquire into our own process (Patton, 2011). After each session of u.lab we meet to debrief the morning session and plan for the following week. We consider questions such as: What worked more and less well? What is our sense of the collective at present? Where does the process need to go next? What are we learning? What questions are we asking? The debrief meetings are held in a public space and are open to all.
Individual transformation through u.lab
Many participants find engaging in the u.lab hub to be a transformative experience. In this project we inquire into the nature of such changes. We invite participants to take part in interviews to describe their experience of the u.lab course, the Concordia Hub and the way in which the experience has, and has not, impacted their life and work. We especially investigate aspects of the experience that support deep learning and impact at the level of feeling, thinking and acting in the world.
Collective transformation through u.lab
The express intention of u.lab is to foster both individual and collective change. In this project we use large group self-observation processes to reflect on our collective learning and change. In a participative reflection process, we first track changes or ‘shifts’ and changes that happened at the individual level and conditions that support these shifts. We then engage in collective sense-making processes to identify systemic forces and dynamics that may have contributed to, and be an expression of, a change at the level of the collective.
The Social Field Research Summer School
In June 2019, Eva Pomeroy co-convened the Social Field Research Summer School with Otto Scharmer. Read more here.
If you would like to know more about u.lab or the Concordia U.lab Social Innovation Hub