Labs are an opportunity for (co)lab participants and concerned citizens to engage in solving six core challenges facing the greater Atlanta region.

This isn’t like any other conference you’ve attended. In fact, you don’t just attend (co)lab, you actively partake in (co)lab. This inaugural summit, we’re launching a social innovation experiment through our LABS, to capture the ideas, dreams and hopes of what we want the future of greater Atlanta to be. And we’re asking for your help.

We need your vision, your dreams, and your ideas (lots of them) on how to solve six challenges directly related to our three main themes at (co)lab: Attracting & Retaining Talent, Cultivating Innovation and Transforming Education. To get us started, dozens of local thought leaders, content experts and storytellers have spent weeks framing these six challenges, writing compelling briefs and creating powerful videos that will make you laugh and cry.

Here’s how you can help.

Those pre-registered for (co)lab have immediate access to IdeaString, a digital collaborative ideation platform where together we can solve six core challenges facing the Atlanta region. We encourage you to learn about these challenges, login to IdeaString, and contribute your best ideas. The top ideas posted onto IdeaString will be presented at (co)lab during the closing keynote, following Thomas Friedman. And all ideas will be collected into a final report that will be sent to all (co)lab partners, attendees and change agents across the greater Atlanta region.

Our goal is to catalyze great thinking and bold solutions that none of us working independently could achieve. So get in there, add your brilliant ideas and help us transform our greatest challenges into exciting opportunities. Together, we can dream and build a truly greater Atlanta region.

Download all six LAB challenge summaries.


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How might we design our communities to attract and retain the creative class?

In today’s fluid driven economy, people in fields like technology, design, architecture, marketing, arts and entertainment can help make a city more innovative and competitive. Some call these people the Creative Class. Others call them creators and innovators. We simply like to call them talented. And one of the biggest questions facing Atlanta’s future is how do we attract and retain more talented people?

Watch the video   |   Read the challenge summary    |   Add your ideas


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How might we better celebrate and amplify our arts and cultural assets?

Imagine you fly into Miami, get in a cab, and the driver knows you’re there for Art Basel. Or you fly into New York, and the cabbie knows you’re in town to see the Guggenheim and a Broadway show. Atlanta has a rich, vibrant arts scene, but still, all we’re known for is traffic and heat. So how do we make the arts a bigger part of our identity? How can we as a city become known for arts and culture?

Watch the video   |   Read the challenge summary    |   Add your ideas


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How might we foster partnerships among business, universities and governments to spark innovation and entrepreneurship?

The greater Atlanta region boasts one of the highest concentrations of universities, college and trade schools, as well as number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered within the region. How might the business community collaborate with top universities to spark innovation and entrepreneurship?

Watch the video   |   Read the challenge summary    |   Add your ideas


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How might we make our cities and our region smarter, more efficient, more connected and more collaborative through technology?

Technology allows for cities to connect in ways never before imagined. How can we harness technology — from mobile apps to smart bus stations — to help connect citizens to each other and create far more connected and collaborative neighborhoods, cities and regions?

Watch the video   |   Read the challenge summary    |   Add your ideas


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How might we raise Metro Atlanta’s current High School graduation rate to 90%?

There’s no question that Georgia’s education system is one of the worst in the country with a High School graduation rate of 50% to 68% depending on which data set you examine. How can we achieve a 90+% high school graduation rate throughout Greater Atlanta, and facilitate these graduates successfully advancing to post-secondary education/training. This is crucial to developing a sustained higher quality of life throughout Greater Atlanta.

Watch the video   |   Read the challenge summary    |   Add your ideas


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How might communities rally around our students to help develop the next generation of leaders?

It takes a village to raise a child. And perhaps it takes a city to educate one.How might the community serve as “a third teacher” to improve education and democratic citizenship? And how can community involvement, business partnerships, and other change agents rally around our schools so that we will be known for and produce some of the most competitive, innovative students in the state and even the country?

Watch the video   |   Read the challenge summary    |   Add your ideas


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