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CDKN Innovation Action Lab

Dynamic global pressures continue to exacerbate economic, social and environmental problems in countries tasked with the challenge of developing their nations and raising their people out of poverty and hunger. The Climate Development Knowledge Network was tasked by the UK to become a hub of innovate action based projects and research.


We designed and delivered a 5-day event to convene 190 experts and practitioners from different professions, sectors and countries to create ground-breaking prototypes that had the ability to be implemented shortly following the event. The event was to be action-orientated, solutions-focused and facilitate the sharing and flow of expertise throughout a very diverse set of participants.


We adopted a co-creation approach to the design of the event working interactively and regularly with the full set of partners. We brought our deep understanding of a variety of social technologies. Our approach was grounded in Theory U and supplemented with an innovative range of interventions such as open space,and Lego Serious Play. Virtual technologies were used to support the physical innovation of participants through e-learning platforms and on-line communities of practice.

Delivery & Outcomes

The result was an extraordinary sharing and learning process that led to people self-organising around two dozen or more innovative prototypes. In the process people formed new strategic relationships that transcended geography, background and expertise in the face of a common purpose. 11 of the prototypes went on to receive CDKN Innovation Fund support.


“I wanted to thank you very much for your wonderful facilitation at the Action Lab. Both the professional as well as the human quality of your work was impressive. …Please send my very best to your team and congratulate them on my behalf for their professionalism, kindness and warmth”

Pedro Tarak
CDKN Action Lab


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