Frequently asked questions
Who is behind New Shape Labs?
New Shape Labs is an initiative from the Global Challenges Foundation, a non-profit with the objective to contribute to minimising, preferably eliminating, the major global threats to humanity. To achieve this, the Foundation works in two ways: by increasing decision-makers' and the public's knowledge and insight about these challenges; and by stimulating discussion and innovative thinking about decision systems that would be able to manage the major global risks more effectively and equitably.
What is the purpose of New Shape Labs?
New Shape Labs is a collaborative event format with the purpose to connect people globally and harness the collective knowledge of researchers and practitioners to solve some of the the greatest challenges facing mankind.
What topics are New Shape Labs designed to tackle?
New Shape Labs are designed to tackle some of the greatest risks facing humanity, including nuclear warfare, catastrophic climate change, pandemics and ecological collapse.

These risks have been identified by leading scientists all over the world and synthesised into a risk handbook by the Global Challenges Foundation. You can find the risk handbook here.
How can I host a New Shape Labs event?
To host a New Shape Lab, you simply follow the steps outlined here which will guide you through the entire process.

Once you have familiarised yourself with the material and carried out the first steps in preparing your Lab, you can register with us and we will contact you to find out more about your Lab and provide ways we can offer assistance.
Do I have to follow the guidelines for hosting New Shape Labs?
The New Shape Labs guidelines have been established based on best practices in hosting events and workshops.

Whilst it is recommended that you follow them, we understand the needs of adapting events to your local context and to bring your own expertise into the picture.

Therefore, you should look upon the guidelines as advice and best practice.
I have not filled my spots. What do I do?
If you have not reached your desired number of participants and the event is approaching shortly, you should first ask yourself if it makes sense to run the event with less people. If you believe so, problem solved.

If you believe you need to get more people to sign-up, one recommended approach is to reach out to existing participants and ask them for 1-2 names of people they believe would be a good fit for the Lab. Thereafter, ask them to give you warm introductions over email, or even phone numbers so you can call and refer to them as a source.

If you have more time, you can experiment with other ways of filling the spots, such as using online communities and networks, or local people that you know in your city. It tends to be easier to convince someone in-person than to do it online, especially if they have never joined a similar event before.