PART 1: The Collaboratory Idea

To set the stage, chapter 1 presents a definition of the collaboratory. Chapter 2 offers insights into the central role the collaboratory plays in the 50+20 movement and develops the intellectual foundation of the collaboratory. 50+20 proposes a radically new vision for management education in the hope of inspiring business schools to embrace their societal responsibilities and to develop responsible leaders. It proposes to support companies in becoming sustainable with relevant research and to play an important role in transforming business, the economy and society.

The collaboratory serves as the heart and the metaphor of the vision. It is the place where education research and societal engagement meet. Zaid Hassan shows in chapter 3 that other, very similar forms of collaborative co-creation have existed for many decades and form what he calls “the social lab revolution” – an entirely new way of approaching and resolving societal challenges. Finally, chapter 4 offers a concrete approach as an example (and only one of an unlimited number of examples) of how a collaboratory can work. To illustrate a particular setting we describe how we have organized 3 parallel collaboratory sessions at the U.N. RIO+20 Conference.

1 thought on “PART 1: The Collaboratory Idea

  1. Thomas Jordan

    Katrin asked me to post a link to an article I recently got published that tries to pinpoint what functions that need to be scaffolded when groups grapple with difficult issues. It might give some perspective of what is going on in a collaboratory:

    Deliberative methods for complex issues: A typology of functions that may need scaffolding

    Abstract-When a group of diverse stakeholders face a complex issue that needs to be managed skillfully, the group may need support in order to work effectively. A large number of methods for scaffolding group deliberation on complex issues has evolved over the last few decades, however little research has been conducted to date on what functions these methods actually perform. The study in this article differentiates between the functions that may need to be scaffolded, and the means used for scaffolding such functions. A literature review and interviews with eight experienced facilitators led to a typology comprising of 24 functions that various deliberative methods are assumed to perform. The typology also describes some of the risks associated with a neglect to scaffold each function. An inventory was made of techniques and facilitator actions used in different methods and by individual facilitators in order to scaffold the 24 functions. The typology of functions may be useful in empirical research on deliberative methods, for evaluation purposes, and for supporting further development of skillfulness among facilitators.


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