Change Labs – The Dance of the Big and the Small

John Thackara in conversation with David McConville

We badly need change. Change labs are springing up around the world. Mission accomplished? Not so fast. Although building prototypes is exciting, and launching a start-up is a buzz, transforming a system is something else again. Are we confusing frantic activity with the achievement of meaningful change? Does churning out start-ups address the symptoms, but not the lasting root causes, of the challenges we face? Burnout is another issue. When great transformations happened in the past – the abolition of slavery, the spread of the internet – individual actors played an important role as drivers of change. But today, the human costs of start-up churn are high. Can we afford a philosophy of change that undervalues time, context, and trust? John Thackara’s talk leads into a conversation, moderated by David McConville, Chairman of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, about the relationship between change labs, individual agency, and system transformation.

John Thackara is director of Doors of Perception. A writer, philosopher, and event producer, he leads workshops, and organizes festivals, at the intersection between ecological, social and societal change. He is the author of a widely read column at, and of the best-selling book In the Bubble: Designing In A Complex World. Check out John’s excellent talks about the informal economy, “oil-powered health”, and xschools.


Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612


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Date & Time

16 April 2014 | 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm


Impact Hub Oakland 2nd Door


Entry Fee

Cost for Members: Pay what you think is worth it

Updated on 26 March 2014