#labso, fablab de constructions sociales, catalyseur d’intelligence collective

Le laboratoire des technologies sociales

What are Labsos?

Gapind void - O'Neil pyramidA Labso, or “Laboratory of Social Technologies” is a kind of collaborative workshop inspired by the Fablab movement. It’s a place of collaborative experimentation, of co-construction and a catalyst of collective intelligence. Just like fablabs, you come in to build something with the help of other participants with the difference that, in a Labso, materials and tools are the participants themselves.

A Labso is a protected space for learning how to leverage the power of social networks to amplify participants’ strengths.


Why Labso?

We discovered a paradox: on one hand everybody’s thinking the world is becoming more and more complex without us having the capacity to digest it. On the other hand, people can sometimes exploit this complexity, or even amplify it in order to create unexpected achievements.

We believe all individuals possess strengths unique to them with social skills allowing to leverage this growing complexity without fleeing or fighting it.

Alone I go faster, together we go further. (African proverb)

People’s Strengths

We believe everybody’s driven by three kind of strengths (his life or VIE in French):

  • the Vision of what one wants to do in and with one’s life (heart, emotional aspect);
  • some Ideas to achieve the vision (head, rational aspect);
  • past Experiences validating the ideas work toward the vision (hand, experiential aspect).

A Labso allows identifying and aligning one’s strengths with the help of the different perspectives brought by participants’ social interactions.

Gaping void - business_isThe Social Skill

As a “social animal”, man uses language to create social relationships toward what attracts us in others: their strengths perceived as complementary as ours.

During a Labso, the social skills of participants are leveraged toward identification and amplification of their strengths.

What happens during a Labso?

Gapind void - network_vs_node_colorThere is no unique way to design a Labso, although two basic principles are recurrent: creating social relationships and leveraging strengths.

These two principles are associated in iterating circles. For instance:

  • connect participants between each other;
  • select the relevant strengths for the issue under consideration;
  • experiment connections between strengths in the protected space of the Labso;
  • reflect on learnings and ways to amplify results out of the Labso.

This first phase allows identification and experimentation of one’s own strengths in the Labso’s protected space. A second phase allows amplification these initial results:

  • connect participants’ strengths previously identified;
  • select the best social links to support future actions;
  • experiment strength-based actions in the real world, out of the Labso;
  • reflect on results to identify further action opportunities.

The purpose of a Labso is the quick expression of participants’ strengths and their reinforcement through social amplification for rapid autonomy.

Jump in!

Gaping Void - Do something that mattersMany Labsos have already happened. Like Fablabs, Labso promote the open-source movement and free diffusion of its documents and improvement of its methodology (see Resources).

Here are typical uses of Labsos:

  • Training in social networking (technologies: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…) : participants define the topics they want to address, identify their respective strengths, define how to experiment them and finally how to support each other out of the Labso in appropriating these news technologies.
  • Efficiency improvement: teams identify potential actions based on past and present successes in order to improve how they work. Action plans are defined and implemented collaboratively.
  • Innovation: multidisciplinary teams convene to think through a common issue, build on their strengths and elicit emergence of innovative solutions at the center of the collective.


Gaping Void - all products are conversationsThe Labso is finally a community: all participants are invited to contribute to its evolution. Documents are and will continue to be proposed under a CC-BY-SA free license.

Do you recognize yourself in the Labso? Are you facilitating workshops? Join the movement!

It’s as easy as signing the charter, defining your project with inspiration from the examples above and asking us our first facilitation guides or other free social technologies to build your own workshops. Don’t forget to share them in return! For instance, we’ve worked at finding the Design Patterns we used for our first experimentations: labso pattern language.


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Co-created by Nicolas Stampf and Alexis Nicolas

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Alexis Nicolas Nicolas Stampf