The RINGO Social Lab consists of a sustained two-year process which brings together change makers from across the world, promoting joint innovation and action for systemic change.

The philosophy of the social lab is that no single person understands all facets of an issue nor has the perfect solution to existing challenges. This means there is value in collaborating to find answers together, and so the Lab’s hosting team has created an environment that offers support, tools and dedicated time for meaningful collaboration.

The intent of the RINGO Social Lab is to address three things:

  • what we want out of global civil society more broadly
  • what that would look like from an institutional perspective
  • to identify what may need to change in the wider system and collectively work towards that.

A social lab has a strong experimental orientation and Lab Members have been invited to bring their questions and full curiosity to the research and learning phase of the journey.

Through a process of collective sense-making they will then design prototypes that express a re-imagination of the INGO system. Testing these prototypes in teams will enable finding out, practically, how to leverage the changes we want to see.

RINGO Lab Members attend a series of online workshops, which build relationships and solidarity between participants. In-between these workshops, Members work in smaller teams, clustered at different times by region, theme or prototype.

Alongside this work in teams, Members gain individual coaching and support to strengthen their leadership for innovation.

Throughout this process, RINGO aims to build a larger community beyond the core group of participants to the broader global civil society ecosystem.


March-May 2021: Inception & Convening Phase – onboarding of Social Lab Members, online platforms created and Inception Workshop completed, with Inquiry Clusters formed and initiated.

May-August 2021: Discovery Phase – Collective understanding of the ‘current state of stuckness’, and the possibilities for transformation created via thematic cluster work, with accompaniment by coaches.

September-October 2021: Define Phase – define innovation challenges for key leverage points in the system and generate ideas on how to address these, including a Sense-Making Workshop and Ideation Workshops.

Late 2021 – mid-2022: Develop Phase – launch of actionable prototypes for testing in diverse (thematic and/or regional) teams

2022: Deliver Phase – Capacity of the Social Lab Members built to set up and sustain the spirit of prototyping (testing and iterating), and global progress sharing events with the broader community

Early-2023Process Completion – prototypes evaluated, and successful projects placed with hosts for long-term implementation and scale-up.