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Innovation Labs

Innovation Labs are FutureEverything’s unique action-research workshops that promote collaboration, exploration, and innovation. 

Innovation Labs are sessions that bring together people from business and academia, diverse sectors and disciplines to respond to current challenges in areas such as AI, data and ethics, but also sustainability, healthcare, placemaking, fintech and more. These participatory, collaborative sessions use creative methodologies and processes and create highly engaging, conversational and exciting spaces to bring results and approaches that have radical impacts on participating individuals, businesses and organisations. 

Our Innovation Labs take the structure of an open, artistic process to enable participants to ask questions, share ideas and explore different perspectives. The Labs create opportunities for bringing together people from different sectors to discuss common challenges and co-design ideas and approaches to tackle them. These sessions build the foundations for participants to take their collective responses and initial prototyping further, and develop collaborative solutions and projects.

Since 2019 Innovation Labs have enabled creative connections, knowledge exchange and collaborations between researchers, scholars and professionals in sectors such as transport, pharmaceutical, communications, energy and more in overcoming a variety of small and large challenges. 

FutureEverything has been working in collaboration with and across different sectors using creativity as a tool to create solutions and expand learning. Innovation Labs is an ongoing programme that FutureEverything has built to provide connecting routes between sectors and enable opportunities for collaborations to happen.


In delivering Innovation Labs, we call on our participatory design toolkit to:

  • Define a business problem
  • Rapidly generate numerous possible solutions
  • Identify the most viable solution to take forward as a collaborative project
  • Connect sectors and people and enable them to learn from each other and work together

Industry partners are requested to set challenges they are looking to solve with help from researchers, scholars, or academics.

Participants decide collectively on challenges to focus on and go through a process of generating ideas, determining and assessing feasibility and eventually identifying ideas to take forward. 

Through these knowledge exchange and sharing sessions, academics, artists, and industry and business professionals come to an open space where they can expand their skills, thinking processes and methodologies, and appreciate the value of cross-sector collaboration and creative exchange.


Innovation Labs provide great insights into a range of needs and approaches to overcoming challenges by focusing on collaboration, creativity and knowledge exchange. The sessions enable cross-sector collaboration, bringing together people from fields that might feel disconnected. 

Innovation Labs can also serve as team-building activities to support away day events and organisational development initiatives. Although FutureEverything has established a structure for running these sessions, we can tailor the content to respond to needs and challenges and to suit your organisation and company agenda. 

Past Innovation Labs outcomes and resulting projects have gone on to be used to create a number of new initiatives and products that have helped grow our clients’ output.

You can find out more about our approach to cross-sector collaboration here, and an example of how our Innovation Labs were used for the hugely ambitious and successful Innovate Manchester project here.

“Innovation Labs… enable smart collaborations across sectors and build on the pioneering and progressive approach that has long driven innovation in Greater Manchester.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester


For more information about Innovation Labs please contact us on