Labs: Experiments in Activism

Many of you have been asking us "how do we make things happen as part of Indivisible Somerville?" or even "what should the focus of this group be?" After hearing all of your ideas, both in the meeting and in the survey, we realized that the best thing we could possibly do was to enable all of them.

So today, we are very exited to welcome you to greater Boston's first activism incubator, Labs.

What is a Lab?

In some ways, lab is just a sexier word for subgroup or committee. But we liked the term because it implies a freedom to experiment. Under this model, we would allow members to try out new ideas to enact change, and provide them with the planning, training, and technology resources they need to get things done.

We would like to be an incubator for both traditional and experimental activism, and we think labs are a great way to do that.

Why This Approach?

Why call it an incubator? Why encourage activists to experiment?

We're living in a world where the political landscape keeps changing, and the rules are being rewritten. Through trial and error, we learn to be effective and adaptable. Through innovation, we replace the old methods that aren't working with something new.

The labs also split the enormous amount of work ahead of us into manageable projects. When we work on smaller projects, we allow ourselves to focus on the areas where we can make the most difference - while knowing that together, we have all our bases covered. This keeps us grounded and it keeps us sane.

Who is Welcome?

We accept members from everywhere. You do not have to be a Somerville resident to join.

What Do We Provide?

The goal of an incubator is to help new projects and ideas succeed. Here are some of the things we offer to lab members and leaders:

  • Leadership training - we want to enable new leaders through mentoring, training, and education. Training sessions are open to all current and prospective lab leads.
  • Technology support - we help you get started with the tools you need, whether it's setting you up with existing apps and support or working with you to build something new.
  • Operational support - whether it's helping you find meeting space, plan agendas, or coordinate transport, we are here to get you through the day-to-day.
  • Civics education - we regularly invite guest speakers to come talk to our members on activism, politics, and government to give you inspiration and context for your work.

How Do I Get Involved?

For more information on how to start, join, or suggest a lab, read about our Guide to Labs.