What's Included?

Knowledge Base

The Knowledge Base is a reference point for the practice of addressing complex challenges.

It is a wiki that allows users to navigate through core concepts, links through to further reading, media, case studies and supporting documents. The Knowledge Base is a dynamic repository growing over time as we are always adding new material.


Complexity U will provide unique access to our network of coaches who have extensive and irreplicable experience working in the field. Teams will be given individual coaching to support their challenge.

Our coaches include experts across multiple fields, including facilitation, leadership development, process design, change management, agile, organisational development, capacity building, strategy, lab finance, strategic communications, and risk assessment.

Each of our coaches has a minimum of 10 years experience in the field, and they have been carefully selected to provide Complexity U teams with the best possible advice and guidance for creating impact.


Teams will have access to a series of seminars covering different areas of social labs in detail. The seminars provide an opportunity to interact with the trainers and fellow students.

Seminar topics include:

Lab Preconditions – What needs to be put in place for a lab to be successful in solving social challenges and a worthwhile investment? We consider key approaches to putting preconditions in place such as how to convene stakeholders, what resources are required to launch a lab and how to determine strategic direction.

Lab Design – How do we design social labs? What core elements are needed for a lab to be successful? These seminars provide an introduction to designing labs in stacks. We will explore innovation processes, communication and knowledge management, capacity building and governance, and how these areas impact the success of a lab.

Prototyping – Social prototyping is the process of experimenting with solutions to social challenges. We will consider the key distinctions between prototyping and piloting and the distinction between prototyping as a paradigm and as a set of practices. We will cover how prototyping approaches differ from more traditional approaches. Key questions include: What are the different types of prototyping? What does it mean to try to change systems using a prototyping approach? What practical tools and methodologies can we use in prototyping? We will emphasise the importance of an Agile approach in social prototyping.

Lab In A Box

A codification of cutting-edge lab practice, straight from the field.  Lab In A Box is a practical, practice orientated toolkit for taking effective strategic action. It provides practical tools for developing effective strategy.

Lab In A Box (or LIAB) is structured to provide teams with three key tools:

  1. Checklists – To help teams with each step of their lab journey and reduce the risk of mistakes.
  2. Guidelines – To provide process advice. Many parts of a lab are subjective and the guidelines provide practical guidance on how to design certain elements.
  3. Sample Documents – Templates that can be used by teams for everything from check-in sheets to lab budgets.

Video Library

A library of video talks will provide teams with explanations, tools and techniques to give teams insight into the practice and paradigm of social labs.

Designed as bitesize clips, the video library will allow users to digest information in short, easy to manage chunks which cover different elements of running a lab, and lab theory.

Discussion Forums

Community is key to social labs. The forums will provide a place to discuss ideas and share learning with lab teams all over the world.

Each team will be invited and encouraged to participate to share feedback and updates on their own journey. This is the space where community will flourish.

Annual Learning Festival

Each year we will be hosting an annual learning festival with invites open to all teams to come together and share ideas and learning.

The location and dates are TBC.

Case Clinic

When you sign up to Complexity U we provide a 90 minute bespoke “case clinic” to help diagnose where you are, the state of your team and what you need to be focused on moving forward.