About The Lab


Real Economy Lab aims to support the coming together of a movement for the next economy. One way we do this is by providing a platform for collaborative development of viable alternatives to the status quo economic system.


Real Economy Lab has set about to construct a unifying picture of the ecosystem of projects, organisations, frameworks, and initiatives offering viable alternatives to the status quo, and to present this as a compelling case for wider coordination and support.


The challenge is clear: what alternatives do we have, and how will we pull together for an unprecedented, cooperative, coordinated shift at global scales in the time we have? Without such a convergence all of this activity will struggle to become a focused movement for change and more than the sum of its parts.


Real Economy Lab is responding to this call with a suite of tools and processes to help make sense of the issues and uncover new connections through an innovative ‘mind map’ of the terrain, leading from diverse perspectives towards shared understanding and coordinated action.


What is the “new economy”? How do the many interlinked initiatives within this space relate to each other? What are the missing pieces, gaps, and opportunities which stand out?


Through consultation with a network of leading practitioners and thinkers across the new economy, we’ve compiled a taxonomy and corresponding survey form in order to collect data for a highly visual mind-map of the new economy. We are now contacting the active ‘tribes’ of the emerging next economy to understand their work and their worldview.


The survey asks questions about the theories of change of initiatives, their position on key issues such as growth, capitalism, and global markets, as well as on some emerging principles of the new economy such as sustainability, equality and democratic ownership and participation. The mind-map will be updated on an on going basis as more organizations and initiatives are identified and invited to participate.


Anyone will be able to interrogate the mind-map to see linkages, gaps in practice or thinking, differences of opinion, opportunities for collaborations, requirements for funding or other resources and much much more. Users of the hub will be able to build their own visualizations and mind-maps based on specific search options, to research and better understand the macro, meso and micro of the ecosystem, the strategies, visions, theories of change, collaborations and desires of tribes within the ecosystem.



It’s our belief that amidst the expanding web of loosely connected initiatives and experiments there are multiple opportunities for discovery, breakthrough, cross-fertilization and newfound coherence.


In responding to this context, the Real Economy Lab aims to support the alignment of voices, visions, resources and ventures from across the movement. We want to assist participants around the world to align and combine their efforts, by offering up the hub as the focus for inclusive, exploratory conversation and coordination of new economy tribes and tactics.


The hub will be designed to foster shared understanding through an innovative approach to systems mapping, sense-making, and participatory design based on common values and narrative. Unlike many ‘mapping’ initiatives, we’re not focusing on where things are happening so much as how and why and with/for whom.


By surfacing underlying motives, methods, measures, and meaning, this map illustrates the complex web of connections and interactions across many issues and ways of working in the new economy ecosystem. It attempts to bring clarity and build consensus through a systemic view of the actors, placing information in context and sparking constructive dialogue instead of reductionist debate.


We believe that willing and informed citizens brought together under the auspices of a collective enquiry can build consensus and launch coordinated actions to carry out that vision, synthesizing a new narrative and a unified movement for needed change. Together, we can begin connecting the dots to ensure that collectively the new economy ‘tribes’ and their positive impact can become far greater than the sum of each by itself.