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.