CivicLab is an institute dedicated to advancing the practice of civic collaboration. Led by a team of pragmatic practitioners, CivicLab creates the tools and frameworks that form the underlying foundation for the practice of community collaboration.
CivicLab’s approach is to learn what makes community collaboration work at its best, document the discoveries, and teach and share the practices broadly. The purpose of the work is to help communities increase their collective capacity—which is their ability to get things done, together.
As both an overarching set of principles and a hands-on practice for improving a community, CivicLab’s stakeholder engagement process provides people with a common language and common approach for dissolving complex social problems. It’s a way of thinking and a disciplined way of working together to redesign a social system whose underlying conditions are causing the unwanted problems in the first place.
CivicLab teaches communities how to form guiding teams: small leadership groups that accept responsibility for the success of a whole system. A guiding team learns how to work together to coordinate efforts across programs, organizations, and even the sectors of society. Working in this way requires the creation of a new set of leadership capacities; skills which are uncommon in practice and not often taught.