Creativity Lab for Empowerment and Innovation
Creativity Lab for Empowerment and Innovation helps to create the next generation of innovators without the administrative burden of traditional funding models for civil society organizations. The initiative was developed by a group of educators, entrepreneurs, activists, and changemakers to empower people, especially children and women, to identify and anticipate diverse societal needs and think entrepreneurially in whichever field they pursue. Run entirely by volunteers, Creativity Lab develops in-person and online initiatives to empower individuals and communities across Palestine. Operating on a zero-budget concept without a legal entity or bank account, Creativity Lab maintains a database of experts who volunteer for its own programs. The initiative recommends these experts for paid consulting positions with other local and international human rights organizations, private companies, and individuals in their network, thus creating additional opportunities for them to earn income. Creativity Lab also partners with other civil society organizations, schools, theaters, governmental bodies, and institutions to organize community-based programs for children and women.
Creativity Lab developed a series of virtual initiatives to address the pandemic. The response plan has included programs to improve psychosocial well-being of children and women by helping them develop coping strategies to manage change and uncertainty. Creativity Lab also began conducting online roundtable discussions on how communities can adapt to future challenges while shedding light on current issues in Palestine. The shift to virtual programming has increased recognition of the organization.
Theory of Change
Providing skills training and spaces for problem solving in an informal manner, without the hindrance of a formal structure and attendant expenses relating to administration and fundraising, can help foster agency within vulnerable communities to create their own future.
Creativity Lab develops initiatives that encourage creative thinking and foster innovative solutions to complex challenges. The focus of its projects have included strengthening confidence among children, fostering entrepreneurial skills among women, providing crisis preparedness workshops for families, and designing innovative solutions to ocean pollution and climate change. For example, Creativity Lab partnered with the Hebron Chamber of Commerce to organize a mentorship program called Nisa’preneurs that supports women in the workplace. It also runs an initiative called Digital Innovation Hub for Human Rights that helps Human Rights Defenders in Palestine execute their work more efficiently and securely.
Creativity Lab seeks to create structural change across the country. Since it was founded, the initiative’s network of volunteers and experts has grown to three hundred, the majority of whom are women. Its programs have empowered children, youth, and women to advance their rights and raise awareness around challenges they face. Creativity Lab’s Nisa’preneurs provided mentorship to dozens of Palestinian women, and its workshops on creativity in schools have been attended by over 250 students. For example, the organization partnered with a school in the city of Rawabi to welcome over 100 students in a single day. With an overall goal of bolstering solidarity around issues in Palestine, Creativity Lab focuses on influencing policy and gaining public support, supporting citizen-led action, amplifying marginalized voices at the global level, and demanding accountability of decision makers to fulfill their commitments to the communities they serve.