The word COLLABORATORY is a relatively new addition to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
COLLABORATORY is a 21st century term that has evolved, over the past decade, to describe an increasingly popular global trend in contemporary educational, health, and social programming: joining forces and collaborating with (not competing against) other organizations and individuals in order to achieve a more meaningful impact.
By definition, a COLLABORATORY is “a research lab without walls”.
COLLABORATORIES combine the interests of the general public with the interests of intellectual, academic, and cultural communities through the implementation of action research projects that allow individuals and organizations who share a common vision to collaborate with one another for a bigger purpose.
Members of COLLABORATORIES often work together to:
gather an elaborate collection of information, data, and research (through both formal & informal techniques)
develop programming to test out data/research - essentially performing community outreach that also functions as action research
creatively use digital media to document and share research results with the global community - thereby helping to create a profound impact on societal processes, values, and norms.
COLLABORATORIES are, by nature, designed to celebrate critical thinking and to facilitate programming that offers innovative opportunities for individuals with diverse professional, social and/or academic backgrounds to collaborate, learn together and, ultimately, grow together.