The Explanation Department

Solve every problem in our region in eighteen years? Are you crazy? Collaboratory? What even is that? To answer the first question, yes, we’re crazy. As Steve Jobs said, “The people who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do.” As for the second question, explaining Collaboratory in detail takes more than a paragraph on a web page. So, each month we run incredible Explanation Sessions that bring the whole idea to life and wonderful people together. They last about an hour and you can sign up for the next cohort by sending your information to Stacey over here to the right.

The idea for Collaboratory is based on the Apollo missions and the books and materials that have been written about it. The application of those ideas to social change is summarized in a monograph entitled “The Flat Org Chart,” which Stacey will send you a copy of. But simply, for now, Collaboratory is based on six ideas: 1) We’re not organized to solve problems in our communities. We need order-of-magnitude larger coordinating capacity. We’ll build and use infrastructure to relax constraints of distance and time. 2) Community problems can’t be solved in traditional, “cause” silos. 3) Deadlines make the decisive difference. 4) We’re a means to an end, not an end itself. 5) This effort has to be human-centered, evolutionary, adaptive and based on trust. 6) It’s peer to peer, broadens opportunities for participation, and links people, data and tools.

Sign up for an Explanation Session below or host your own by emailing Stacey at

RSVP for an Upcoming Explanation Session

For accessibility assistance, contact us via phone: 239-274-5900 or email:

Hi, I am Stacey Mercado, Volunteer and Events Lead at Collaboratory. I personally oversee the coordination of private and public sessions.

You can sign up for our Public Explanation Session or host one by contacting me directly below.