Working together to create social change
Open CoLab fosters open and inclusive collaboration around society's biggest challenges. The approach is grounded in the principle that change happens when we shift power, and that shifting power requires people to work together.
Facilitation | Design and stewardship of collaborative spaces, deepening the work of teams and supporting cross-team alignment.
Includes retreats, design sessions, learning networks, stakeholder consultations, and multi-partner planning.
Strategy | Clarify your mission and set course with your team and partners, then design systems to implement, learn, and adapt.
Includes strategy process and drafting, implementation planning, organizational development, and change management.
Research | Mixed-methods approaches to complex questions, looking for the clarity—even simplicity—on the other side.
Includes stakeholder interviews, landscape analysis, case studies, and more—usually in service of facilitation and strategy.
Working to change systems? Collaborate across organizational boundaries? Build a more just and democratic world?
What they're saying
"Dave's greatest strength lies in his ability to lead challenging groups to find their own solutions. He does this with humility, humor and authenticity."
"Smart, thoughtful, committed, and a pleasure to work with."
"Excellent ability to become part of the team, and be a trusted part of a process."
"Definitely the best facilitator we've had for a retreat - he seemed to get us."
Open CoLab is the strategic advisory and facilitation practice of Dave Algoso.
Dave started his career writing policy papers on global warming and organizing local campaigns on democracy reforms across the United States. This early work planted the seed of an idea: that durable change only comes from shifting power.
His later work nurtured that idea—whether he was helping universities diversify their faculties, co-designing a micro-grant fund serving Kenyan youth groups, or facilitating the launch of a global initiative to protect civil society and civic space. As he moved into facilitation work, he extended the idea: power shifts through a process of people working together.
Open CoLab is built around that process of collaboration and the methods of shifting power to make change.
Along with consulting, Dave connects ideas from across the social change sector through his writing and speaking. He's written for WIRED.com, the Guardian, Devex, ForeignPolicy, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and more. He’s been a guest lecturer, panelist, moderator, and trainer for New York University, the Service Experience Conference, TechChange, and more. Dave is also a former Organizer-in-Residence at Civic Hall, and a co-founder of the AdaptDev community.
Let’s work together. Most collaborations start with an informal chat—a “virtual coffee” (or in-person, if you’re in New York or DC) to map out the challenge and identify ways to tackle it.