Day One of U.Lab

The U.Lab is a course at MIT aiming at “transforming business, society, and self,” with 10,000s of participants from all over the world. You can enroll here.

This blog was written by Adam Yukelson and originally posted by on the Presencing Institute‘s website.  

Prado Day1

I spent most of today in a third floor MIT Sloan conference room with my colleagues Otto, Kelvy, and Andrew. Someone walking by would have seen the four of us staring intently at computer screens, drinking coffee, and eating chocolate – a pretty typical scene at a university.

But this was no typical day.

In the twelve hours since U.Lab launched:

  • 3,049 people (and counting) created profiles on the Participant Directory
  • 136 Hubs were posted
  • Groups of U.Lab participants gathered all over the world to meet and share intentions for the weeks ahead

Oakland Day 1


London Day 1

If you haven’t yet, consider spending a few minutes clicking on people’s profiles and reading about your fellow participants. That’s what I did this evening. Here’s a little glimpse of what I found:

You’re joining U.Lab because…

  • I want to grow in my ability to be a strong leader with empathy who can inspire others to do the hard work they need to do. – Amy, UK
  • I want to contribute a concrete solution to waste management problem in my country. – Zul, Indonesia
  • It was highly recommended by my friends. – Aldo, Costa Rica
  • I’m looking for a new way to approach sustainable urban development. – Carrie, US
  • I want to finish the prototype I have started in January 2015 with the previous Ulab – Servane, UK

The challenges you’re facing are…

  • Assistance to refugees, migrants, the creation of the club to communicate with people of different nationalities… – Natalia, Russia
  • Starting a coworking space and accelerator program for creatives in our city. – Gorkem, Turkey
  • Be part of the solar energy revolution and contribute to the challenge of renewable energy. Make sustainable energy affordable and accessible for everyone. – Jose, Brazil
  • Understanding what impedes progress on all fronts in Pakistan. I believe there are a few root causes and they can be unearthed, resolved, and prevented. – Yasir, Pakistan
  • I am still struggled to find out the answers for two questions. What is my passion and how can I make it my career drive?  -NganDo, Vietnam
  • I run a social business that amplifies the voice and the talent of thousands of women social entrepreneurs globally, through business incubation programmes and ecosystem building. My challenge is to create structure that enables women social entrepreneurs to be more visible, more vocal, more influential, and flourish as changemakers. – Servane, UK

U.Lab will be a success for you when…

  • I find new abilities and capacities to change what I want to change in me, so I can start working and changing things around me – Vanessa, Venezuela
  • I can create employment for 50 people on the basis of equitable and ethical social business. – Noumanath, Nepal
  • The collective space gives us the energy and resources to make change happen on a broader scale – Alfred, Germany
  • It can deepen the knowledge I seek and stimulate the desire of others to join me in building a new Society through transforming Self – Tunde, Nigeria
  • I continue integration of systems change and cultural transformation; continue to develop social networks and future collaborative partners and just learn a helluva lot – Diane, US

Reading these statements, I’m left with a great sense of anticipation about what might be possible as we get to know each other, and begin to share what we’re learning as we engage with the issues that matter to us individually and collectively, in the weeks ahead.

10th September, 2015