The Pursuit of the Unsolvable

We have dreamed impossible dreams

Our founders came of age watching the Berlin Wall come down, the maturation of space exploration, the end of apartheid in South Africa, and the early days of the internet. This left a lasting impression in their minds that seemingly unsolvable challenges were, ultimately solvable. This spirit is part of the Ubuntu Lab's DNA, as we work on one of the most urgent issues of our day in spite of critiques that it is an idealist's folly.

When you meet the Ubuntu Lab team you quickly find that these are people who have hard won experience that is far beyond their years. Having covered most of the planet in travels for work and exploration, they have a deep appreciation for the people that make our world complex and challenging, but more importantly make humanity beautiful and rich. The team has founded companies, consulted for Fortune 500 Corporations, sat with world leaders, advised change makers, and and have been recognized around the world as leaders in social change.

 

This team has given life to an idea that can change the way we create social change. Mike and Kristi Radke founded the Ubuntu Lab in 2012 to explore what was necessary to create an impactful, meaningful, and scalable way to help humanity know itself, learn to live together in tolerance and peace, and enjoy the richness of diversity in the human experience. 

Over the past five years they have researched and experimented, theorized and tested, built teams and inspired advocates. They have gathered their equipment and planned their route, and now they are ready to start the uphill climb towards the vision that has driven them for nearly forty years.


 
 

The Ubuntu Lab Is Reimagining How We Learn About Humanity

We help people across the globe live and work together in a diverse, interdependent world by designing and hosting engaging learning experiences that help people better understand themselves, others, and the society they share. We believe that when we understand others we can build a world that is just, peaceful, and prosperous.


 

Our People

 
 
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It takes a (global) village

Since our founding we have had hundreds of people contribute their time, talent, and advice to getting the Ubuntu Lab off the ground. From educators to VPs, entrepreneurs to advocates, the people who volunteer for the Ubuntu Lab come from every corner of the globe with many different perspectives on the world. But what they all share is a deep connection to the idea that the world needs to be more understanding, and that the Ubuntu Lab is especially placed to help people learn about people.

 
 
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Mike Radke, CEO, co-founder

Mike Radke has has been many things in his life: student, seeker, photographer, researcher, activist, musician, husband, mentor, father, traveller, mentee, speaker, author, and human. Over the last 15 years he has held staff, leadership and board roles at non-profits with missions ranging from political freedom to the science education. Today he leads the global efforts at the Ubuntu Lab. On any given day you may find him in the design studio working on new exhibit, in his office researching the foundations of understanding, on a Silicon Valley campus teaching understanding for the workplace, in the Panamanian jungle speaking on designing for understanding, or exploring the world with his family.

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Experiments In Understanding

For the last few years we've been busy laying the groundwork necessary to imagine and build something the world has never seen before. Below are a few examples of what we've developed.

  #MyGlobalMoment   A hashtag campaign, inviting people to share the moment in their life that the world opened before them, that reached 7 continents and spun off into a classroom activity.

#MyGlobalMoment

A hashtag campaign, inviting people to share the moment in their life that the world opened before them, that reached 7 continents and spun off into a classroom activity.

  Teachers Guides   A series of classroom discussion guides co-created with teachers on 3 continents to help students explore their Rooted Cosmopolitan-ship.

Teachers Guides

A series of classroom discussion guides co-created with teachers on 3 continents to help students explore their Rooted Cosmopolitan-ship.

   ImpactKit    A design kit for businesses and educators to explore how social change happens, and how to create systemic social change The Ubuntu Lab provided the educational engine that underpins the learning elements

ImpactKit

A design kit for businesses and educators to explore how social change happens, and how to create systemic social change The Ubuntu Lab provided the educational engine that underpins the learning elements

  "I, You, We" Learning Framework    A custom approach to teaching, materials design, and infrastructure that supports deploying a new way of learning

"I, You, We" Learning Framework

A custom approach to teaching, materials design, and infrastructure that supports deploying a new way of learning

  Ubuntu Lab Theory of Impact   A model that describes impact, portfolio effect, and the business model, to build an organization that is sustainable and necessary

Ubuntu Lab Theory of Impact

A model that describes impact, portfolio effect, and the business model, to build an organization that is sustainable and necessary

  Research on Understanding   Deep background work on the idea of “understanding people” as subject, as a model for change, and as something that can be taught and learned.

Research on Understanding

Deep background work on the idea of “understanding people” as subject, as a model for change, and as something that can be taught and learned.

In the Works

We've got a slate of projects for the coming years that will help us prototype, test, and iterate before moving into a full scale facility. These concepts are in various stages of research and development, and we are looking for partners and funders who can support their creation.

  The Truth Exhibit    The nature of "truth" has become increasingly blurry in the last few decades. We are creating an interactive, participatory exhibition that explores how different disciplines and cultures approach "truth" how we've altered it recently, what that means for us as a society, and how that effects real people in real ways. This will be part exhibit, part public event series, and part digital learning resource, all aimed at helping people know and explore what "truth" means in their lives.

The Truth Exhibit

The nature of "truth" has become increasingly blurry in the last few decades. We are creating an interactive, participatory exhibition that explores how different disciplines and cultures approach "truth" how we've altered it recently, what that means for us as a society, and how that effects real people in real ways. This will be part exhibit, part public event series, and part digital learning resource, all aimed at helping people know and explore what "truth" means in their lives.

  Journal Platform    Life is filled with grand adventures, experiences that define and shape us, but we often miss the opportunities to reflect and struggle to express the richness of what has shaped us. We are created a new type of travel journal that is based on our I, You, We framework to turn travel into learning, as well integrating the tools of journalists and storytellers to weave a narrative that will engage family and friends, and demonstrate intangible value to future employers.

Journal Platform

Life is filled with grand adventures, experiences that define and shape us, but we often miss the opportunities to reflect and struggle to express the richness of what has shaped us. We are created a new type of travel journal that is based on our I, You, We framework to turn travel into learning, as well integrating the tools of journalists and storytellers to weave a narrative that will engage family and friends, and demonstrate intangible value to future employers.

  Understanding Understanding   Mike Radke has spent nearly fifteen years exploring the idea of what it means to Understand people. He has formed and tested theories, spoken with luminaries, and put it all into practice. We are exploring how to package and share this with people around the world, from the general public to teachers, CEOs, and policy makers. This will likely manifest as a book, talk, website, and toolkit, with the ultimate goal of creating fertile ground for a global revolution of Understanding.

Understanding Understanding

Mike Radke has spent nearly fifteen years exploring the idea of what it means to Understand people. He has formed and tested theories, spoken with luminaries, and put it all into practice. We are exploring how to package and share this with people around the world, from the general public to teachers, CEOs, and policy makers. This will likely manifest as a book, talk, website, and toolkit, with the ultimate goal of creating fertile ground for a global revolution of Understanding.

  Changemaker Webseries    When most of us consider understanding we also think of the preeminent social change makers: Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, and in doing so elevate both understanding and social change into an unattainable stratosphere. We are developing a web series that aims to correct this view by humanizing social change makers around the world. We will be interviewing ordinary people doing important work about who they are and what makes them tick as a way of inserting people to follow in their footsteps.

Changemaker Webseries

When most of us consider understanding we also think of the preeminent social change makers: Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, and in doing so elevate both understanding and social change into an unattainable stratosphere. We are developing a web series that aims to correct this view by humanizing social change makers around the world. We will be interviewing ordinary people doing important work about who they are and what makes them tick as a way of inserting people to follow in their footsteps.

  What Do I Tell My Children?    As the entire world confronts stories in the news everyday that are challenging, urgent, and nuanced, parents face a special challenge: how to have informed, productive, and empowering conversations with their kids about issues ranging from Black Lives Matter to the war in Syria. Working with experts, educators, journalists and the people who are effected, we are creating a platform to empower parents to have great conversations with their kids about the most pressing social issues of our times.

What Do I Tell My Children?

As the entire world confronts stories in the news everyday that are challenging, urgent, and nuanced, parents face a special challenge: how to have informed, productive, and empowering conversations with their kids about issues ranging from Black Lives Matter to the war in Syria. Working with experts, educators, journalists and the people who are effected, we are creating a platform to empower parents to have great conversations with their kids about the most pressing social issues of our times.

  Understanding Training    Board rooms around the world are struggling to address a rapidly diversifying workforce and customer base, and the current set of train gins available, usually in response to an incident, don't really help people from privileged background and don't ring true for those in the minority. We have developed a way to rapidly deploy a co-created training that is relevant to the people in an organization, unites teams through understanding, and connects them to their customers and stakeholders.

Understanding Training

Board rooms around the world are struggling to address a rapidly diversifying workforce and customer base, and the current set of train gins available, usually in response to an incident, don't really help people from privileged background and don't ring true for those in the minority. We have developed a way to rapidly deploy a co-created training that is relevant to the people in an organization, unites teams through understanding, and connects them to their customers and stakeholders.

Where We're Headed

 
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A Game Changing Organization

We are aiming for a large scale organization, with a facility to house teams to research, design, and deliver our products, services, and experiences. The people in the organization are the lifeblood of the evolutionary process we seek to set off, and the facility is the home, the laboratory, and the nexus of a global network of learning. 

 

Billions

Our ultimate goal is to be able to count our annual impact in the billions. If we are going to fundamentally alter the course of humanity, no less will do.

 

What ROle Will You PLay?

 
 

If you want to learn more you can download our deck and contact our team, we are excited to start building the future with you: