Over the past 10 years, CoLab was develop in 3 phases. It started at the IPC 2011 in Jordan with discussions with Scott Pittman and others, as to whether we needed to organize as a global movement. At IPC 2013 in Cuba, there was a discussion that we should start to organize. A small team formed, looking at pattern-level design on how to go about organzing, and they received wider consent for a group to go away and come back at the next convergence with some plans.
That marked the beginning of the next phase, called The Next Big Step (for permaculture). They created a multi-lingual survey, and had over 200 responses from organizations, many hundreds from people. The initiative was supported by a small fund of 47,000 GBP. There were online discussions, identifying patterns and frameworks that would be useful as a way to organize globally, which were then brought together by a facilitation team and workshops. At IPCUK held in London in 2015, there were workshops which presented the findings of the survey and online workshop and previous meetings. In 2016, using info from the IPCUK and surveys, the next bit of funding was secured, 60,000 GBP to start the CoLab, which was subsequently initiated in late 2016.
At IPC13 in India in 2017, there were more workshops. Stewards were brought into place, and the CoLab formed as an online space to work in between convergences, working together to enhance local to global networks (online) and report back at convergences and regional events. In 2018 funding was extended, and a program of action was put together for the next 3 years. An additional 150,000 GBP of funding was secured from that, and we are now in 3 years of funding for the CoLab.
Over the past 3 years, the CoLab has created Circles and initatives, developed an ethical suite of tools, and started holding and has plans for events that all support the fulfilment of the VMAs of CoLab.