Learning Labs for Impact Communities

Learning & Education Design

Embedded Learning 

We believe true learning takes place in the complex context of society and social relationships.

Education for societal renewal 

Both a place of inquiry and development of Earth attuned eduction. The Learning Lab develops and teaches interdisciplinary, experiential, and entrepreneurial programs for societal development. Some programs are offered at the universities we partner with.

Designing & Facilitating Transformative Learning Spaces 

We use collaborative, creative, and phenomenological methodologies to explore and design transformational learning environments. They integrate practice, theory, and capacity building for educators, students, leadership and partners.

Social Innovation

Labs for change

We develop labs as vehicle for strategic organisational learning and innovation, or as facilitated environment for multi stakeholder social change initiatives. Social innovation is first and foremost a learning process. Labs provide the flexible structure and facilitation in which organisations, talent, and leadership learn and develop new capabilities to explore and realise impact. They produce social, economic, human, or intellectual capital.

Living Labs

Urban Living Labs create the conditions for non linear urban development, often accompanied by the introduction of technological, social, and economic innovations. They provide the possibility for participatory design, a collective learning proces, and the governance that is needed for stakeholder collaboration, scaling, and implementation of discovered value propositions. We develop Living Labs in collaboration with cities, foundations, organised citizens, companies, and universities.

Why Labs?


Labs give insight into the bigger picture and map root causes of societal and organisational issues with all affected stakeholders. These different perspectives are essential in order to reframe challenges, find the deeper causes, develop possible solutions together, and mobilise support from a vast network that can help implement and sustain solutions. They also allow different disciplines of knowledge to be used and produced.

Hands-On Learning

Labs provide a facilitated learning space to prototype early versions of possible solutions, connect real stakeholders, and embody change so that 1) ideas do not remain ideas, but are grounded in real world feedback/feedforward, 2) real world situations can enable deep learning, 3) taking risks is less costly. Often Labs include training and capacity building for co-creation, leadership and social entrepreneurship.

Facilitate change

Labs facilitate and host participatory design and personal transformation processes with a wide variety of methods and tools, but most of all by use of able facilitators. They create a new playing field and a safe, collaborative, and experimental space. Our labs develop self-organising capacities and distributed leadership. We believe that in order to make a significant change in the exterior world, one has to make an equal change inside.

The Learning City

City Making

Citizens, governments, and companies are finding new ways to develop cities for sustainable futures together. We develop learning labs for city making and regional development. We specialise in the development of the commons.

School Design

School Design Labs enable co-creative (re)design of schools as zones of ubiquitous learning, making and sharing. A lab provides a safe and experimental space of co-design and learning for the school community to develop visions, school plans, strategies, and (physical) learning environments. They empower teachers, students, and the wider school community to have a strong ownership and collective makership in the development of the school and its education.

What is new?

Leonardo Award for Learning

Founder of the Learning Lab, Thieu Besselink, receives European Leonardo Award for Corporate Learning, placing a particular emphasis on work at the intersection between business, art, communities and societal innovation in learning and knowing in today´s economy.

The jury speaks of:

“far-reaching pioneering work as an innovator, philosopher and adviser, who combines academic fundamental research with practical implementation in a rather diverse context. The variety of aspects you have focused your important work on are truly holistic in the spirit of Leonardo.”