Think Tanks: Co-Creating Knowledge at The New School

The New School’s storied legacy of socially-engaged research and public scholarship remains at the heart of the institution’s values and faculty practice. Doing this work, however, isn’t without challenge. In its role as a convener, The Collaboratory leads regular “think tanks” designed to generate models for collaboration and identify best practices. Discussion notes (available below) inform both programmatic decisions and are shared with participants to incorporate into classroom pedagogy or research design. If you’d like to partner with us or have suggestions for thematics to cover in a think tank, please send us a note at



Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
“Building Equity in Community Partnerships”: A Collaboratory – Imagining America – Schools of Public Engagement Think Tank


The New School Collaboratory partnered with Imagining America to host a think tank designed to explore two critical questions for strengthening academic-community partnerships:

  1. How to create systems for accountability in higher education; and
  2. How to ensure equity and inclusivity in external collaborations?

The conversation built on a series of Think Tanks (outlined below) designed to inform innovation in academic-community partnerships in higher education. Erica Kohl-Arenas, Faculty Director of Imagining America and Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of California Davis faculty, shared insights on nation-wide trends in community and cultural organizing collaborations within higher educationa video of her remarks can be found below. Faculty and community partners also joined in facilitated breakout discussions to identify challenges and opportunities to address these two critical questions for designing collaborative partnerships that embody our values.




November 16, 2018
Collaboratory Design Think Tank : Community Scholars Program


From its inception, The Collaboratory has convened faculty, community partners and students to conduct action research focused on identifying institutional challenges to community engaged learning and research. The findings from that report have guided program design, including the proposal to prototype, pilot and scale a “community scholars” co-teaching program of masters level courses at The New School. This Think Tank session explored how the Collaboratory can support faculty in centering community partners in the co-creation of knowledge, through both a community scholars program and other means.




November 12, 2018
Collaboratory Design Think Tank : Community Engagement Curriculum


Social engagement with communities and organizational partners lies at the heart of the mission of The New School. While numerous courses, research projects, initiatives, labs and workshops are conducted in partnership with external stakeholders, our academic community and students continue to feel the need for curricular tools that equip them to be prepared to work in sensitive contexts. The objective of this collaborative session with socially-engaged members of The New School’s academic community was to lay a groundwork for the development of curricular tools that could prove useful to our broader community of social engaged educators, practitioners and scholars.

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