What is the challenge you wish to address? Each challenge has features that are specific to it, in terms of geography, scale and other details. A challenge statement must give some ideas as to the where and at what scale, as well as communicating why the challenge matters.
One of the most common challenges with most activities for addressing complex social challenges is that they are under-resourced. For social labs the scale of the work needs to be decided with resource requirements being linked to the scale of the challenge and to projected results.
Social labs are made up of multiple teams, from lab teams to champions. The success of a social lab is a function of the people that are a part of it. Who you need to participate in the lab for it to succeed can be broken into two dimensions related to the challenge — representation of the system and the skills needed to execute the lab itself.
Responding strategically to complex social challenges requires making a choice in direction. Making a decision about strategic direction requires understanding the system through dialogue with key stakeholders. This approach is inductive. We identify a strategic direction based on what the evidence is telling us, not on a predefined hypothesis that we are trying to prove.
Preconditions Case: Grove3547
Grove 3547 is a next-generation social lab. Launched in 2016 as a partnership between The Chicago Community Trust and Roller Strategies, Grove demonstrates that coalitions of diverse actors can effectively come together to address the many challenges faced by the residents of Chicago. The core challenge that Grove focuses on is:
How can we work together to support young people in Chicago to develop resilient livelihoods?
The Grove Archive is a documentary archive, spanning the time period from April to December 2016. The material in this archive comes from the Preconditions phase and Cycle 1 of the lab.