u.lab is a global online course of study and practice offered free of charge by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Presencing Institute each September. It is based on the Theory U methodology (or u.process), a framework, an approach and set of tools which aim to bring new ideas into action and enhance existing work by developing people’s capacities to make the changes they want to make within their personal lives, organisation or community.
u.lab provides a set of tools which can be used to allow a whole system to be observed, to allow time to be spent sitting with a problem or a challenge without the need to move immediately to a “fix” and to then begin to look for new ways of dealing with issues through co-creation and collaboration. The u.process draws on a number of theoretical standpoints bringing together elements of systems theory, design methods, co-production, asset-based approaches and improvement science. The tools focus on enhancing personal and collective leadership in times of great change and complexity by developing the capacity to listening deeply, discovering ways of having “different” conversations, bringing in voices from the margins and working collaboratively and creatively to enact personal, organisational or community change.
While all the materials can be accessed online and worked through by individuals on their own, the emphasis in u.lab is on practicing the learning and making a change in the “real world”. As such, u.lab encourages participants to enhance their individual impact by connecting with others and developing relationships and support locally and globally using social media and in-person “coaching circles” and “hubs” (local study and practice groups).
We also have a U Lab Scotland Facebook page you can join if that’s your kind of thing or use and follow #ulabscot and #ulab on Twitter.
Watch this space for some amazing things the community is already doing!