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  • The Usual suspects (us)
  • Excluded people who share our values

Purpose of co-labs[edit | edit source]

The broad purpose of the co-labs is to bring the usual suspects into relationship with the wider community who are often excluded. This might be for reasons of privilege, ethnicity, gender – all the distinctions that make networks bubbles of immediate self-interest and identity.

We began building on an original idea from Alternativet in Denmark, to design a process we have ended up calling a "Community Collaboratory", which takes place over three parts. While most of the detail of that process will always be co-created by the local groups, we found that everyone wanted to have some sense of what it was in advance...
The A/UK focus on collaboratories as a starting point for grass roots action. More than protest, these are vehicles for building an alternative future. Starting with the assiduous work of bringing people together from across the community. Which means working below the level of party politics or class and culture divides.[1]
While we hope the people we work with are representative of the diverse culture and demographics of the region, we also hope to cover the three bases we describe as I, we, world. So in the rooms at each stage, we aim to have:
  • some people whose lives are bound up with the care of individual flourishing
  • some who are thinking about our collective agency, as a community, town or locality
  • some who are thinking about our relationship with the world and our impact upon the planet.[2]

Building a new source of power[edit | edit source]

Collaboratories are made up of three stages: Friendly, Inquiry, Action

Friendly: seeing, relating, building trust

Creative ways of inviting people to your Friendly space:

  • step 1: Having built some trust and friendship with the 'usual suspects' commit to a co-lab process
  • 2. Design the many ways you might attract new people into the process.
  • 3. The image below (image needed) offers a whole range of first stage tools of relationship BEFORE the Friendly.
Each of the six entry points to The Alternative UK can appear as physical projects on the ground in your local community.
  • 4. Invite members of previously excluded communities to write the invitation themselves to create the best possible likelihood of their friends and neighbours coming along


  1. Alternative Editorial: Mastering Overwhelm, Sep 1, 2019
  2. What happened at our Plymouth "Friendly" last week? June 16, 2018
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Created February 15, 2021 by Phil Green
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