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CO-LAB is a flexible sharing forum for all researchers, teachers and practitioners of all levels of experience and seniority at Warwick. It can also include partners from off campus. Join us, share aspects of the work you’re doing with partners and explore and develop the ways in which you co-design, collaborate and co-produce things. It will usually take the form of an in-person group meeting in an informal, social and supportive forum on campus. CO-LAB is not so much a place on campus, though, as it is an opportunity. There may also be times when we venture off campus to explore new relationships and ways of working. There is scope for us to develop CO-LAB as we go.

There’s a ‘CO’ in the name because CO-LAB is about working with people and organizations. It’s for sharing ideas, methods, experiences, and for networking and supporting. Sessions may well lead to conventional outcomes: they could give rise to concrete new relationships, projects, bids and explore ways of working. CO-LAB is not, though designed to create pressure or require preconceived ‘outcomes’. It’s also okay for there to be no other outcome than the exchange of ideas, energy and mutual support.

There’s a ‘LAB’ in the name because it creates opportunities for us to engage in some constructive labour of sorts – a chance to work together on shared projects in way that is manageable and meaningful for you. It’s okay to come along to present, pitch or circulate something. Equally, though, it’s okay to come along and simply absorb or begin something new from scratch. There is no ‘membership’. CO-LAB is for Warwick people already working with external partners, for those thinking of doing so, and for those who might so far just be curious about what it all entails. The approaches will be varied. There will be presentations, plenary or group discussion, free-form conversation, and more immersive ways of working and conversing. We can bring in external partners to talk and present, and also talk amongst ourselves.

There’s also a LAB in the name because it’s experimental. We want it to be creative in the broadest sense. It’s for all faculties, departments, teams and individuals – anyone at Warwick. We are interested in innovating and refining how we do research, teaching and public engagement collaboratively. We’re interested in having conversations and encounters, both amongst ourselves and with our external partners, which explore and facilitate new ways of doing things in interdisciplinary, cross-sector, and in on campus/ off-campus modes. We’re interested not only in ‘raising quality’ and ‘pushing boundaries’, but also in building more genuinely mutually equitable relationships by engaging our partners in the process from earlier on with more emphasis on co-design than in conventional forms of collaboration or co-production. We’ll be trying stuff out and reflecting on what we’ve tried. We hope to see you there.

CO-LAB will be hosted by Learning Circle 11 of the Warwick Institute of Engagement, which is dedicated to Co-Producing Research and Collaborating with Communities. It’ll be free to attend. We are are running our first session in May 2023.

Contact with general enquiries.