A person, group or organization with legitimate interests in, or concerns about, the process or activities of an organization.

Types of Stakeholders

Your stakeholders are made up of diverse individuals, and a combination of the following (in order of proximity to your cause, below):
  • Partners: Fully grasp your lab intentions, mission and vision. Partners have bought into the risk and rewards of the lab’s experimentation and prototyping. They are ready and willing to work together as equal peers, contributing, co-designing, and ultimately bearing full responsibility for executing their part as well as the whole.
  • Champions and sponsors: Those key individuals who are both able and interested in bringing about change work related to your complex challenge. They champion the mission and advocate for the vision. They may be funders or individuals who play an important role in helping to frame the lab’s work, recruit others to participate in some capacity, help to inform government at a high level (eg. for policy change), and so on.
  • Participants: Your participants are those individuals who you bring together throughout the convening process. They may represent different sectors or organizations whose perspectives and positioning are critical to solving the problem. Or they may represent themselves as individuals, such as bringing expertise on the topic, or as ‘unusual suspects’.
  • Wider Network: These are composed of a variety of individuals. Your wider network is composed of users (the individuals who directly interact with and are affected by the problem you are trying to solve), people with particular subject matter expertise (who may not be participants, but can help you learn more about the problem), and everyone else affected by/ affecting the challenge.
Diversity in teams, participants, and partners reveals itself as:
  • Different interests (sometimes conflicting)
  • Different languages
  • Different values
  • Different cultures
It is important to note that you can never have all the ‘right’ people in the room. You can never invite the exact subset of people to represent the many perspectives that a system holds. But you can invite a relatively representative group who is willing to bring about change. From there, you can work with them to frame the challenge, and build momentum for action, bringing others into the fold as best as possible.

Examples and Resources

Tips to invite an recruit people:
  • Appeal to potential participants & partners/ rally for making change on the challenge
  • Tailor your message for each individual/ stakeholder group
  • Reach out personally, where possible, to recruit
  • Appeal to that individual’s skillset, interests, ability for them to bring about change, and the importance of their involvement/ perspective
  • Only invite people who are willing and able to participate and contribute (and say no to those who just want to be there to get informed)
Who to Convene & Why.pdf
Template - Who to Convene & Why