A taste of U.Lab in Dundee

ulabscot community-led taster sessions have been happening all over the country for the last few weeks from Glasgow to Caithness!  Two ulabscot hosts, Sue Holland-Smith and Marion Logan, of the Dundee U.Lab Taster Session held on 2nd June 2016 shared their experience with us:


On a lovely sunny day in Dundee we welcomed 15 people to our U.Lab taster session. People had come from as far away as Crieff, Stirling and Alloa, as well as Dundee, and we were a good mix of backgrounds. We had planned a 2 hour session, and the time flew in.

Dundee taster 2016 2

We decided to follow the structure suggested in the pack sent out by Keira, of observe, reflect, prototype.

We took advantage of the weather and Dudhope Castle gardens to start the session with a short Empathy Walk, in pairs. We asked people not to talk about their work roles but to focus on the personal, and they quickly found a rapport with their partner.

We showed the video ‘Sleepwalkers’, as we felt this gave a good introduction to some of the key U.Lab themes. This gave us an opportunity to discuss some of the style and content of the course. This was followed by discussion in small groups on transformational shifts that we can see and feel in our community, country, and globally. This raised topics such as the political landscape of Scotland post-independence referendum, as well as the many changes those of us in the public and voluntary sectors face in our workplaces.

The group were then asked to do a short guided mindfulness session, followed by journaling questions. We gave each person a nice notebook to write their thoughts in, and this gift was appreciated. There was a deep silence during the mindfulness, and while they answered the journaling questions.

Finally we asked people to create a small prototype of their vision. Some people did this through discussion, and others used art materials to bring it to life.

Dundee taster 2016

We reflected afterwards that it might have been good to have some un-programmed time built in to allow for more open discussions, but no session is perfect!

We were happy that we had used a good mix of methods that helped people to speak to each other as well as to think about whether U.Lab is for them.

Overall, a good session with a great bunch of people. We have exchanged email addresses so hopefully some will keep in touch. Who knows, we may have a Dundee Hub in the making!


There are still more taster sessions planned for the coming weeks before U.Lab starts again in Sept (have a look here) and it’s not too late to host your own!  Have a look at this post for some ideas.

If you’d like to share your experience of hosting, or of attending any of the ulabscot tasters, let us know!








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