The Collaboratorium Conversations are open debates, a program of collective learning, thinking, creation and co-production. We work by dialogue and deliberation and creative visualization, using the synergistic toolkit as a guide.  Each event is a kind of Mind-lab / Synergy-lab etc, each with an international panel, and using interactive visual tools.

The graphic here shows the basic visual templates from the Synergistic Toolkit. These are now translated to online interactive whiteboard format for remote working. 


Events summary

·         Aug. 25th: Pandemic-city 3.0:  the post Covid-19 urban agenda ‘from crisis to transformation’ hosted by the South African Centre for Cities.

·         Sept. 4th: Foresight 3.0:  amidst disruption and turbulence, how to look and plan ahead? This calls for futures / foresight methods with next generation learning & thinking built in. 

·         Sept. 11th: Deeper City 3.0:  general introduction – what is this collective intelligence and how to use it – practical actions for those who design, make, map and analyse cities.

·         Oct 2nd: Eco-urban 3.0: (tbc): for the climate challenge, both local and global – how to get the science/tech, economics, politics, culture and psychology all working together?

·         Oct.20th: Lo-co-gov-3.0:  Many voted to ‘take back control’ – but what and where is this control? Next generation ‘living labs’ point to ways forward (with the Looper project).  

·         Nov.6th: Deeper Anti-city 3.0 (tbc): settlements which break all the rules, in between or on the edge, in endemic poverty or rampant wealth (with the Peri-cene project).

·         Nov.20-21st: Food 3.0:  exploring collective food intelligence for global-local agri-food systems, combining hi-tech with ancient wisdom.  

·         May 2021: Peri-cene 3.0: the peri-urban side of the global Anthropocene, working with a Policy Lab of 21 cities around the world.

·         (Note the “3.0”  is shorthand here for ‘Mode-III collective intelligence’)

– (times are shown for UK – check for local equivalents)


Pandemic-City 3.0

Tuesday Aug 25th 0900-1130 (SAST)  (0800-1030 UK time)


The post Covid-19 urban agenda ‘from crisis to transformation’

Hosted by the South African Cities Network and University of Witwatersrand School of Governance

In combination with the book launch – 


The pandemic impacts and lockdown responses have sucked the life-blood from our cities. If the pandemic continues, how to live with it? If it is contained, will cities just bounce back to the old ways, or just possibly forward to some kind of transformation?  This is the agenda of the Pandemic-City-3.0:  not only public health, but also economies, technologies, governance, urban design and so on. We look for possible synergies and transformations in each of these, based on collective intelligence, i.e. deeper and wider learning and thinking, between all concerned.

This first session is hosted by the South African Cities Network and the University of Witwatersrand School of Governance. The focus is on Southern Africa but the session is open to others interested in the bigger picture (pls register on

MaterialsPandemic-city 3.0 – flyer – temp

Briefing papers on Pandemic 3.0   & Dealing-with-covid-19-in-the-towns-and-cities-of-the-global-south/

Registration – link coming shortly

Foresight 3.0

Friday Sept 4th 1300-1430


Many cards are up in the air with the pandemic – a ‘hyper-wicked’ problem, with deeper threat multipliers all around. How to manage such transformations, and steer from crisis to opportunity? Can we envision a next-generation practice of futures and foresight? Such a Foresight-3.0 could follow the principles of collective intelligence, both within the foresight process, and for the transformations around it.

This interactive dialogue or Mind-Lab explores a post-pandemic ‘foresight of foresight’, and practical pathways towards it, using online visual dialogue.  

It’s also a launch of Deeper-City-Collective-Intelligence-and-the-Pathways-from-Smart-to-Wise – which brings some first thoughts on Foresight 3.0.  The agenda is open to follow up and new initiatives.

Panel (invited):  Ian Miles, Effie Amanatidou, Ozcan Saritas, Geci Karuri-Sebina, Sohail Inayatullah, Gill Ringland, Rafael-Monika Popper, Sudhir Chella Rajan, Cat Tully, Clem Bezold, Angela Wilkinson, John Robinson, Marcio de Miranda Santos

Materials –  Foresight 3.0 – flyer  Deeper City – 9-4 – Foresight-III

To register –


Deeper City-3.0

Friday Sept 11th – 1300-1430


Many cards are up in the air with the pandemic – the future of cities being one.  Can we expect enclaves of safety and risk, policed by surveillance cameras and paramilitaries?  Or can we realize the aspirations for clean air and social inclusion? How to turn the urban crisis towards transformation?

This interactive Mind-Lab explores the post-pandemic Deeper City – one where the many layers of economies, technologies, cultures, psychologies, and social systems all connect.  

It’s also a launch of the new book


with a demo of the ideas by online visual dialogue. 

With: Joe Ravetz, University of Manchester UK

Panel (invited):  

Michael Hebbert, Sheila Sri Prakash, Ulysses Sengupta, Christina Garzillo, Alan Wilson, Rachel Cooper, David Feeney, Maria Cerreta, Peter Marcotullio, David Rudlin, Nicholas You,

Materials –   Deeper City 3.0 – flyer – & briefing paper on Pandemic 3.0

To register –


Eco-urban 3.0

October 2nd 1300-1430


This is about the climate challenge, both local and global – how to get the science/tech, economics, politics, culture and psychology all working together?

On one small and fragile planet, it seems the human ‘way of life’ is on a collision course with human ‘life-support’, as 8–10 billion people all try to live in material affluence. Some argue for technology solutions, others for markets, regulation, lifestyle or cultural change. Experience so far shows that none of these on its own is enough. So, we need to look for the synergies between, and the pathways which can lead towards them. And as such pathways are beyond any individual mind or organization, we need collaborative learning and thinking – a kind of collective eco-social intlligence, or a deeper ecological mind’….

Panel – coming shortly

FlyerEco-urban 3

Materials – Synergistics – visual guide – zero-carbon cities 

Registration – coming shortly – to register an interest visit 


Tuesday October 20th – 1300-1430


An interactive Mind-Lab on local empowerment, collaborative (co)-governance, and the potential for a collective local intelligence, at a time of uncertainty and disruption….

This is the agenda of theLo-co-gov-3.0′:  This is more than government and smart technology, it’s about how people and organizations and public services can learn and think together, and create new ways of living and working – an overall collective local intelligence.  Many projects are pointing in the same direction, such as the Looper project on local learning

To explore this Lo-co-gov-3.0 agenda we need ways to think out of the box, beyond normal limits. So we follow the Mind-Lab model of interactive visual dialogues. This helps to explore deeper problems, the potential of collective intelligence, and mapping of pathways for transformation.   


At the moment the discussion is online – different to onsite interaction, but with some benefits (lower carbon / easier participation).  We use the synergistic toolkit for mapping & designing with collective intelligence,  For online visual thinking, try the sample interactive collaboratorium-demo.

It’s also a launch of the new book Deeper-City-Collective-Intelligence-and-the-Pathways-from-Smart-to-Wise,

With: Joe Ravetz, University of Manchester UK

In association with the project Looper –

Panel: coming shortly

Materials –   Lo-co-gov-3.0 – flyer  & –  Looper-summary-brochure

To register – coming shortly

Food 3.0

November 20-21st :

London & online

The global food system is the greatest single disruptor of climate and ecosystems, with growing gaps between the under-fed and over-fed.  The principles of collective food intelligence can help to design global-local agri-food systems, which combine new technology with ancient wisdom, with new kinds of socio-eco-enterprises.

The principles of agro-ecology and food democracy are now established – but to make them work we need collective intelligence in finance, trade rules, supply chains, land management, urban-rural linkages and so on.  (For post-Brexit UK this is especially topical…)

As for Food 3.0 – we can begin by mapping some different Modes of systems organization –

·         ‘Mass’ food in a Mode-I industrial production system;

·         ‘Smart’ food, a Mode-II system of finance, innovation, lifestyles: along with displacement, expropriation, depletion etc;

·         ‘Wiser’ food, a Mode-III combination of eco-efficient production, social responsibility and well-health, linking global chains with local livelihoods.

This first scoping Mind-Lab will build on the agro-ecology and similar movements:  we will use the synergistic methods and tools, to explore new inter-connecting opportunities and pathways towards action.  

(hosted by ‘the world’s most sustainable food company’ – Alara Wholefoods

Panel – coming shortly

Flyer – coming shortly

Materials –   Synergistics – visual thinking guide – Food-III

Bookings – coming shortly – to register an interest visit