Turning the camera on: Hubs

u.lab opens this Thursday and hubs can be a powerful space for exploring and practising what we learn during the course.  They rely on volunteers to host the space and each do so in their own unique way.  There are hubs brewing across Scotland (and the world) in places like Aberdeen, Alloa, Angus, Coltness, Dundee, Edinburgh, Elgin, Falkland, Glasgow, Hamilton, Nairn, North Berwick, Paisley, Poolewe, Port Seaton Many of these are open to local participants, while some are being created within a team or organisation. You can see the growing number of hubs here.

If you're hosting a hub, please consider putting it on the hub map so everyone can see the activity going on in Scotland and across the world.  The form to add your hub is here.

And remember, you don’t need to join a hub to take part in u.lab.  There are online ways to connect with others that you will find out about during the course.  The main thing is to register for the course (registration stays open for a few weeks after the start date of 14 Sept too) and use the first week to familiarise yourself with how the platforms work.  The main material then starts on 21 Sept.  Once registered, make sure you sign up to get access to the new Scottish content too!

Below, we have highlighted a few of the hubs popping up in Scotland.  Why not see if there is one near you?  (P.S. It’s not too late to host your own hub.  Get in touch for a chat at Keira.Oliver@gov.scot)


Looking for a Glasgow-based hub meeting at lunchtimes?

west of scotland hub2The West of Scotland hub will be co-hosted by Anne Winther, Kuladharini, Anne-Marie Quigg and Brendan Rooney. This is an open hub for folk living and working in the west of Scotland and Glasgow. We are starting with a taster on 14th September. After that, we shall meet weekly at 12.30 on Thursdays, alternating between open space sessions to discuss the course and coaching circles. Tea and coffee will be provided and please bring your lunch with you. Our intention is to provide support for those new to u.lab, facilitate the formation of coaching circles and space to explore ideas and be co-creative, while also providing support for people to complete the course in parts or selectively, rather than drop out when they reach the overwhelm stage.

Anne is also looking to set up a virtual hub focusing on rural Scotland, meeting on Friday evenings.  This hub is still a work in progress and Anne is looking to shape this up with interested participants.

If you are interested in joining either the West of Scotland hub or the virtual rural hub, contact: anne@annewinther.org

Looking for a community-based hub in Portobello, Edinburgh?
Steve Earl, Lesley Reid, Keith Kirkwood and Peter Ashe have been hosting u.labPorty since 2015.  While they seek to co-create the hub with participants, one idea is to host coaching circles first and then use the remaining time for participants to work through the materials, focusing on what is of interest to them.  In week 0, they plan to take participants through a “walk through” of the programme, week by week, using yellow rope to create a giant U on the floor.  Contact: ulabporty@gmail.com

Looking for an Edinburgh-based hub focusing on social enterprise?

Jess Gildener photo

Jess Gildener is hosting just the hub: “The Thorn House u.lab Hub in Edinburgh (home of the Melting Pot and many social enterprises) is a space for anyone with an interest in starting, growing, working in, or thinking more about social enterprise and social innovation. It’s possible we’ll be at different stages in our journeys but this will be a warmly facilitated group guided by individual and collective intentions and hopes. By meeting every other week the hope is that it provides enough breathing space for working through the course content whilst maintaining momentum and connection. As Hub Host my intention is to support your creativity, connection and courage as people that want to make change happen – I’ll be there to observe, listen, ask questions, provide tea and whip out the flip chart or lego when needed. Please get in touch for a chat!”  Contact: Ulabthefuture@gmail.com

Looking for a hub in Lanarkshire?

Lanarkshire Hub blog postCarol Chamberlain, a host since 2015, will be convening a hub in Coltness, Lanarkshire.  The hub will focus mainly the impact adverse childhood experiences has on health and well being, which is open to health and social care partners but also community members and elected members.  Carol is seeking to shape how the hub is formed around the interests and needs of the participants so if you’re interested, contact: carol.chamberlain@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk


Looking for an evening hub based in the West of Edinburgh?

Valerie Jackman is hosting a hub on Monday evenings at Edinburgh College, Sighthill Campus.  This hub started in 2016 and comprises members who are new to u.lab and members who have completed the course more than once.  The intention of our Hub is to support others who have a passion or a burning question they wish to explore. Another intention is to help people become empowered to make positive change in their area of interest.  The hub is open to everyone. Different themes emerged last year including Education, Leadership, and Charity work. However, if your passion lies elsewhere then bring it along and we can explore it together.  Contact: valeriejackman@yahoo.co.uk

Looking for hub at the University of the West of Scotland?

Beth Cross and Ross Deuchar are hosting a hub for Graduate Students at UWS and interested community partners based in Paisley.  They say “Our economy, environment and society are facing unprecedented challenges. It is an exciting time to being setting out on a PhD and research career and also a time when your work can make a crucial difference, particularly here at UWS which specialises in new and emerging technologies and knowledge. If we look at these challenges from a systems perspective, we can better understand how we are interacting with systems at a personal, team, and network level, enabling healthier more productive and sustainable careers.”  If you’re interested, contact: beth.cross@uws.ac.uk.

Looking for an evening hub based in Glasgow?

Mary Ann and Andy CrawfordMary Ann Smith & Andy Crawford are hosting the Glasgow Shared Learning Hub at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Learning Centre.  This is a learning hub, open to anyone, where people with all different levels of knowledge and skills in U Theory can come together to share the online programme experience, exchange ideas and have a place to practice using U tools.  To find out more contact: Maryann@kingsmithproperty.com


If you would like your hub or another other story featured on the blog, just get in touch! Email Keira at Keira.Oliver@gov.scot.


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