About The Action Lab

The Action Lab, a new division within The Contingent, presumes that a good state requires leaders with a predilection to do hard things.

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The Contingent “Action Process” has five steps:



Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. The Action Lab welcomes bold ideas from staff and community members across Oregon. We are particularly interested in ideas focused on empowering leaders and mobilizing community for the common good.


Writing it down.

The Contingent regularly publishes concept papers, which is a document articulating an Oregon challenge, previously attempted strategies and proposed solutions. We work from an assumption for an idea to come to life, it must be written down and evaluated.



Once a concept paper is published, the validation phase includes 30 interviews with key leaders in the public, private, and social sectors of Oregon. The goal is to get feedback on the concept, strengthen it, and either kill the concept or generate recommendations for demonstration (to be considered by the Board of Directors).



Innovation is iteration. If the Board of Directors accepts recommendations from the validation phase, The Contingent will launch a time-based, resource-constrained demonstration to test the ability for good intentions to translate to effective outcomes.



In some cases, demonstrations will fail. In other cases, demonstrations will lead to a set of non-scalable outcomes. While it is incredibly difficult, it is the goal of The Contingent to build scalable initiatives to serve all 36 counties in Oregon.

Take Action

Get involved at any level. Everyone and every perspective is vital in the movement to transform Oregon.