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Re-Imagining INGOs

The RINGO Social Lab

The RINGO Social Lab is a systems change initiative that seeks to transform global civil society to respond to today’s challenges. In partnership with Rights Co-Lab, we are convening a unique network of global innovators who represent ‘the system’ of INGOs (including southern partners, funders and INGO leaders) to rapidly develop and launch prototypes that can transform INGO institutions and the systems in which they function. 

RINGO is the first globally-coordinated cross-sectoral effort to transform the sector by interrogating the purpose, structures, power, and positioning of INGOs. The RINGO Social Lab consists of a sustained two-year process which brings together change makers from across the world, promoting joint innovation and action for systemic change. Through a process of collective sense-making, Lab Members design prototypes that express a re-imagination of the INGO system, and test them to find out practically how to leverage the changes they want to see.


A series of online workshops build relationships and solidarity between participants, while small team work allows for active prototyping, and individual coaching and support strengthens their leadership for innovation. Throughout this process, RINGO aims to facilitate exchange with other initiatives and movements and build a larger community beyond the core lab team, to inform change in the broader global civil society ecosystem.


Intended results: 

  • Institutional changes within participating INGOs reflecting the changing landscape of international civil society 

  • Shifts in wider trends in the international civil society system including funding and resource patterns, leadership and governance structures, accountability and incentive mechanisms, and dominant narratives and language 

  • Documented learning based on action research to inform wider systems change 

  • Enhanced leadership capabilities among participants in relation to taking a systems view addressing root causes and enabling change at the level of structures and narratives 

  • A vibrant and grounded learning community for moving through transformative change together 

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