Exploring Ways to

Think…

See…

Do…

For The Greater Good

Our Purpose

Our Purpose

The Social Possibility Lab seeks, in writings and projects, to discover and share ways to see, think, and do – for the greater good.  Our premise is that possibility matters and that a stronger imaginative capacity is critical to addressing the complex challenges with which our communities contend.  The posts and resources on this site will be wide-ranging but aspire to a shared purpose.   Our Lab explores the many and varied ways to consider and advance greater social possibility. 

Join us in our journey to find and discover new ways to see, think, and do – for the greater good. 

Featured Story

On the Renewal of Flourishing Places

We have been on something of a hiatus. From the Latin “hiare,” hiatus meant “to gape” or “to yawn” and often referred to as a literal gap or opening in something. One takes breaks and looks for the gaps, waits for the openings.

As I write these words, the scenes of yesterday’s riots at our nation’s Capitol are still fresh in my mind. January 6, 2021, was the Day of Epiphany, and my family had placed a King Cake pre-order from BreadCraft, a local bakery. The cake was a marvel of purple, gold, and silver sparkles. We leave our Christmas tree standing until the day of Epiphany, and always remember the occasion as it marks the anniversary of my wife’s discovery that we would be having a child. Our son is now a long, lean 17 year old high school junior, who shared some sense of our shock at the images of terror and destruction, at the masked flag-bearing white men and women attacking police, damaging property, and desecrating sacred civic spaces. The King Cake was a needed balm for palate and spirit. 

An odd time, perhaps, to return from hiatus. Our break from posting content here at Social Possibility Lab was mostly a time of reflection and reconsideration. Over the past year, we experimented. We toured parts of Central Appalachia and learned about clean energy and sustainable development leaders and entrepreneurs. We visited San Francisco and met with creative people leading clean energy advocacy and entrepreneurial projects across the United States. We interviewed over two dozen leaders from West Berlin to West Virginia, Washington state to Washington, DC. We shared dozens of posts with resources and links related to the work for social good and better places. We continued our professional work on numerous projects in higher education engagement, regional economic development, and workforce development. We conducted an essay contest and shared words and work on the theme of crisis and possibility. We added many new friends and associates to our newsletter and shared regular updates to a budding network.

Recent Articles

Recent Articles

Opening The Way To Better Imaginings

Openings.  An opening is a beginning.  An opening is also a hole or a space, a gap or an...

What is social possibility?

We use the term, Social Possibility, to refer to the work of expanding the horizon of possible...

On the Renewal of Flourishing Places

We have been on something of a hiatus. From the Latin "hiare," hiatus meant "to gape" or "to yawn”...

On Crisis, Possibility, and Care

I have been thinking about crisis.  Here at Social Possibility Lab, we invited essay contributions...

Possibilities Are Birthed By Questions

How do we advance new possibilities? Lately, I count myself fortunate to be able to do the work I...

On the Neighborly Community

“Help put away the chairs.” This was one of the first pieces of advice I remember on how to forge...

On Clean Energy

Every community and region is rich in story, with so many narratives, only some of which become...

On Slowness and New Possibilities

One thing I have been thinking differently about in this time of difference is the nature of time...

Why Possibility? Why This Project?

Great questions, these.   The Social Possibility Lab seeks to look around and learn about...

Food, Justice, and Sustainability in West Virginia

April Koenig, the executive director of...

Zero Waste Event Productions

Ok.  So, no.  No, not really.   No, to be...

Revolt Energy

Today, I spoke with Zach Drennen, President of...

Vantage Points: Rebecca Allen

Rebecca Allen is Program Manager with the Social...

Vantage Points: Keith Anderson

Keith Anderson is the Director of the Department...

Vantage Points: Caitlin Murphy

Caitlin Murphy is the Strategy and Operations...

Vantage Points: Agnieszka Bulacik

Agnieszka Bulacik is the co-founder and...

Food, Justice, and Sustainability in West Virginia

April Koenig, the executive director of...

Zero Waste Event Productions

Ok.  So, no.  No, not really.   No, to be...

Revolt Energy

Today, I spoke with Zach Drennen, President of...

The Commonplace #17

Hello everyone,  At Social Possibility Lab, we...

The Commonplace #16

Hello everyone,  At Social Possibility Lab, we...

The Commonplace #15

Hello everyone, At Social Possibility Lab, we...

The Commonplace #14

This summer, we solicited essay submissions...

The Commonplace #13

Finding new ways to think, see, and do for the...

The Commonplace #12

What does it mean to work for community healing...

The Commonplace #11

Here at Virginia Tech, we are excited to be able...

The Commonplace #10

As some of you know, The Commonplace is a...

The Commonplace #9

Let us consider new stories of ourselves and...

The Commonplace #8

This continues to be a year of crisis, of...

Information, Knowledge, and the Gordian Knot of American Life

By Matthew Walker, Ph. D. (This is the runner-up...

Persistence: A Minority’s Response to Adversity

By Tamia Bradham (This is the winner of our...

Resources for an Inclusive and Equitable Economic Recovery

As we continue to feel the full effects from...

Wonder What’s Next? This Is How We Invent The Future

Guest contribution from Jill Hufnagel Never...

On Hopelessness & Healing In The Natural World

The Peace of Wild things by Wendell Berry When...

Taking on the Difficult, Part I

Creating new possibilities requires grappling...

Resources, Small Business, and Community Organizations

Smaller community development organizations,...

Call For Contributors

Our Summer Contest Theme:  Crisis and...

Resources For A Difficult Time

In this time of great need and deep uncertainty...

Categories

Categories

Featured
Environment
Community
Arts
Podcasts

The Commonplace

Commonplace

Supporting Organizations

Join Our Newsletter