PART 3: Examples of The Collaboratory

In Part 3 we explore concrete examples of the collaboratory across the world in a diversity of settings and involving different degrees of complexity.

  • The collaboratory in the classroom – Bentley University
  • Students leading collaboratories – University of St. Gallen
  • Creating connection, conversation and courage – the Exeter collaboratory
  • Transforming an organization – Participatory Leadership and Art of Hosting
  • Regional organizational change – Community Building in action
  • Transforming collaborative institutions – Australian business schools
  • Long-term stakeholder engagement – the Initiative of Change
  • A meta-collaboratory – the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative

We are starting with the most simple example of using the collaboratory in an undergraduate classroom at Bentley University (chapter 14) and follow how the collaboratory was used to encourage student-led stakeholder engagement at the University of St. Gallen which includes a step-by-step process guide that can be applied to many other situations (chapter 15). From there, we are inspired to learn about how the collaboratory is used in yet another university setting at the University of Exeter to gather and unite a dispersed faculty (chapter 16).

The collaboratory idea has also been used in more traditional organizational settings to transform a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland (chapter 17) offering a fascinating view and powerful facilitation narrative of designing and cocreating systemic change. A deep insight into community building as a transformational change practice at Unilever in Asia is presented in chapter 18. Both examples show how a collaboratory can work in a process over a certain period of change and what key enablers for success are. Chapter 19 looks at a collaboratory initiated by the Australian Business Deans Council to run a practice innovation trial based on the 50+20 vision. The Initiative of Change, which started seven decades ago in Caux, Switzerland offers a profound and extensive insights how a collaborative idea can be held alive both across space and time (chapter 20). In a global perspective we look at two specific examples from GRLI, a meta-collaboratory founded in 2004 assembling corporations and learning institutions to advance responsible leadership worldwide (chapter 21).

While these examples are only a few hand-picked best practices from around the world, there are many others that have taken place, are in the middle of their co-creative process or are in the process of being launched. This sample is thus meant to serve as a source of inspiration for those interested in bringing about change in their own environment through a collaborative stakeholder approach.

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