Arantzazulab is a laboratory for social innovation. In an era marked by great upheaval and change we offer a space for reflection and innovative experimentation on our future, our country, and the challenges facing Basque society. Based in the Gandiaga Topagunea centre in Arantzazu, the lab is a Reference Centre for Governance and a catalyst for social innovation.
To respond to the complex challenges of today, Arantzazulab promotes and facilitates initiatives to develop new knowledge, new values, and new ways of doing things. The laboratory has 3 main activities: Research, Experimentation and Dissemination.
The end goal of Arantzazulab is to become a reference node in social innovation, and a collaborative space for people.
Our starting point
Mission, Vision, and Values
Arantzazulab emerged from the vision of key stakeholders in the territory, who are committed to collaboration and making a valuable contribution to Basque society.
"To lead the development of Collaborative Governance knowledge in the Basque Country, and support the Basque institutional system, community, and social stakeholders."
"Transform Arantzazu into a benchmark in social innovation and a hub for the people, to achieve a fairer, more cohesive, competitive, and humane society."
Arantzazulab is built upon the humanist tradition and the values intrinsic to the human condition. But what are these values? After careful exploration we believe them to be:
1- THE WELL-BEING OF PEOPLE: people take centre stage. Empathy.
2- COLLABORATION: separation of powers, shared decision-making centres and collective authority. Creating community in collaboration.
3- A HUB FOR DIVERSITY: a space where diverse sensibilities and perspectives meet.
4. OF THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE: participation of people and at the service of the people.
5. SPIRITUALITY: strengthening spirituality and inclusive of different spiritualities. Searching for the meaning of life.
6. INNOVATION: a transformative approach for the future. An innovative outlook.
7. CULTURE AND THE BASQUE LANGUAGE: an innovative source and promoter of Basque culture.
8. CRITICAL SPIRIT: the ability to distance ourselves from the beliefs we have embraced/adopted over the course of our lives.
Reference Centre for Governance innovation
Within the framework of the Etorkizuna Eraikiz strategy of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, Arantzazulab is named as a Governance Reference Centre. This means that we reflect, research, experiment, and disseminate knowledge acquired about new models of Collaborative Governance between people and institutions across the institutional ecosystems of the Basque Country. We develop this body of knowledge from both a theoretical point of view (promoting research and the participation of experts in the field) and a practical point of view (facilitating experimentation initiatives).
We have a clear mission: "To lead the development of Collaborative Governance knowledge in the Basque Country, and support the Basque institutional system, community, and social stakeholders".
We are a team of multidisciplinary and highly experienced professionals who passionately believe that social innovation is key to the transformation of society. We are deeply committed to our pursuit of a fairer and more cohesive world, and we take our first steps forward on this journey with enthusiasm and excitement.
"Only by strengthening a network of collaboration between institutions, people, and organised civil society will we be able to respond to our challenges as a society"
— Naiara Goia
Managing Director of Arantzazulab
"We see Arantzazulab’s potential as a reference centre or a lighthouse in co-creation. Not to establish a fixed approach, but rather to set the course: good practices, recommendations..."
– Arantzazulab co-creation ecosystem stakeholder
"I think something is changing lately. We are moving from a kind of drifting to a certain blossoming. Movements are underway, experiences are being created, innovation is taking place [...] A good project for our region is one that can bring together as many points of view and visions as possible [...] Arantzazulab is precisely the living expression of this consensus"
– Arantzazulab ecosystem stakeholder
Based on the Collaborative Governance model, Arantzazulab is the product of collaboration between numerous stakeholders. Led by a Management Committee, and with the collaboration of the Advisory Board, it will develop the strategic roadmap for the creation of an innovative public-private-social alliance.
Board of Directors
Arantzazu Gaur Fundazioa
Since its launch, Arantzazulab has become the main activity of the Arantzazu Gaur Foundation. Founded in 2008, the Foundation is made up of the Franciscan Order of Arantzazu, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, the Basque Government, Oñati Town Council, the MONDRAGON Corporation, and Kutxa Foundation.
Over the centuries Arantzazu has become a symbol for the Basque people, an intersection of culture, our language, architecture, humanism, spirituality, and our passion for the great outdoors. An inexhaustible source of social values, Arantzazu has always been a place for brave new endeavours.
Arantzazulab represents an opportunity to continue in this tradition and make a valuable contribution to our territory in the 21st century.
The cultural and artistic heritage of this place is one of the greatest treasures of the Basque Country, and it also underpins the strategic framework of Arantzazulab and the social innovation we promote. For this reason, we actively foster and manage the process of promoting and regenerating the heritage of Arantzazu.