Social Labs

bark_weaving_2Social labs* bring together people with different backgrounds and skills to tackle complex problems.

London Boroughs Faiths Network includes community organisations which are involved in many different areas of interest.  Our regular meetings have grown in size.  This enables more and more practitioners to meet up from across the capital on a regular basis, but it also means it’s no longer possible to have in-depth discussion, each time, on all the topics which concern us.  We’re looking at different ways of working and meeting.

Six themes of particular interest to LBFN are listed here.  If you would like to join one of these social labs (or suggest another), please contact us.

  1. Health & Wellbeing: including the community co-production of public services such as mental health, dementia, TB, cardio-vascular health, IAPT, end of life care. Latest posts on health and wellbeing
  2. Peace-building & the Olympic Truce including convening the London Peace Network., intercultural events such as the Christian Muslim Forum’s Community Conversations and the Open University’s Building on History programme. Latest posts on peace-building
  3. European Links: European Network on Religion and Belief and convening ENORB UK.  Latest posts on Europe
  4. Crime, Community Safety and Security: local engagement with the Metropolitan Police, the British Transport Police and HM Prison Service.  Latest posts on crime & safety
  5. Intersectionality: where discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief intersects with other kinds of discrimination, eg race, gender.  A women’s group has formed. The Women of the World panel discussion is on the video pageLatest posts on intersectionality
  6. Multifaith Spaces & Chaplaincy: practical & theological aspects of quiet spaces, prayer rooms and the role of chaplains in the public sector.  Latest posts on multifaith spaces
* Zaid Hassan coined the phrase, “Issues like poverty, ethnic conflict, and climate change are incredibly dynamic and complex, involving an ever-shifting array of factors, actors, and circumstances. They demand a more fluid and adaptive approach. Social labs are a more effective approach.
Social labs bring together a diverse a group of stakeholders not to create yet more five-year plans but to develop a portfolio of prototype solutions, test those solutions in the real world, use the data to further refine them, and test them again. Their orientation is systemic—they are designed to go beyond dealing with symptoms and parts to get at the root cause of why things are not working.”
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