D&I at The Lab : Defining Liberation

type - features
category - gender
category - new masculinity
category - society
category - workplace
sector - diversity & inclusion
category - d&i at the lab
At The Future Laboratory, we define liberation as the freedom from oppressive systems. Here, we break this down into the four main pillars of our Diversity & Inclusion strategy

The main difference between our 2022 & 2021 Diversity & Inclusion approach is that our structure is circular. Our mission has always been to create an environment where people feel they can be their authentic selves. However, as stated by our training provider The Other Box, diversity & inclusion is forever work, therefore the end goal has been removed and replaced with a circular continuous learning format. The ultimate goal we have is liberation, not just of our employees but the clients we deal with as well. We define liberation as freedom from oppressive systems, these include the transphobic, racist, ageist, ableist, Islamophobic we have all wrongfully been taught to accept as just.

We have four main pillars that make up our circular D&I strategy, the sections being covered are: Framework by Paige Owusu, Relearning by Cliff Bunting, Reformation by Alena Joyette & Healing by Fiona Anderson. The team is made up of staff members from different positions & backgrounds to provide a rounded view of the employee experience. Together we strive to move beyond equality into the realms of equity, where marginalised groups who have been disenfranchised are given a true level playing field to achieve success in the workplace.

Read on to learn more and explore the four pillars.

This is a new edition in the D&I at The Lab series. Stay tuned for upcoming articles as we continue the conversation with exclusive op-eds from our wider team. You can also read more on our post-urgency approach to diversity and inclusion, our approaches to Trans Inclusion and how we’re transforming the way we recruit.

Published by:

7 July 2022

Author: Alena Joyette and Paige Owusu

Image: Photography by Cottonbro


Luxury on Your Terms by Zalando


This pillar focuses on tracking, accountability and transparency. It sets out how we measure the change, progress and impact as well as identify gaps and areas that we need to improve on. Framework metrics sets out the indicators of progress and growth through KPIs, surveys and hard data that can be easily tracked. Our communications and content pipeline for inclusion work sets us up for transparency and accountability as well as creating credibility signalling both internally and externally. Accreditation, awards, certification and more are clear measurement milestones which offer aspirational goals for further progress.


Here, we hone in on unlearning, decolonising and redevelopment. With much of our academic backgrounds and experiences rooted in kyriarchal narratives, it’s important to unlearn, decolonise and develop new frameworks for critical thinking. These are mandatory, structured and official training for the wider team on inclusion work ranging from allyship to accessibility. Learning about and engaging with inclusion work is our individual responsibility and is expected of the whole team as part of the condition of our employment. Further career development, coaching and mentoring is highly encouraged and supported across all levels including SLT.

‘Our new non-linear approach implements a circular, consistent and constant process which seeks Liberation.’
Photography by Cottonbro


This pillar focuses on structural change, equity, justice and accessibility. Reformation focuses on how we can create tangible, lasting and consistent structural change that is rooted in equity and justice. Avoiding tokenistic diversity efforts and assimilative cultures, we are focusing on inclusion, belonging and celebration of marginalised groups. Wealth disparity, lack of equal opportunities, unconscious bias and structural trauma all contribute to an inequitable workplace so its more important than ever for us to look at reparations, equitable access and opportunities. Activism should be a core part of who we are and all of our futures work as we need to ensure that justice is embedded into our culture. 


More than ever, we need to have a clear support structure for all of us, including an understanding and navigation of the experiences of those with marginalised intersectionalities. Sickness culture is rooted in ableist presenteeism. Wellbeing culture rejects this and builds a radical new model that embraces all of our different needs to work at our best. Belonging is an integral part of creating an environment that we want to stay in so we are working to create a culture that helps us thrive. We cannot support the welfare of all if we do not include those with different access needs. The revolution must be nurturing and accessible.


We’re not perfect, nor are we striving to be. Instead, The Future Laboratory is committing to be better not just for ourselves, but for every single member of our team who continues to face the grief of living in the kyriarchy. Our end goal is contributing to the future we want to see – one where we’re all not just invited to the party but invited to dance.

This end goal is structural and systemic change that is tangible, consistent and lasting. The roadmap to liberation is rooted in our four pillars of inclusion: framework, deprogramming, reformation and healing. 

We cannot be a workplace of the future, if we are only a workplace for the few.

‘Our future cities will be proactively steered by citizens who will proudly seek to uphold wellbeing, access and inclusivity’
Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory

Want to read more?

This article is part of our Diversity & Inclusion work at The Future Laboratory. Explore our work on D&I on our blog and discover what steps we are taking to make a better tomorrow happen.

Alternatively, join LS:N Global where members get full access to our Intersectionality series.

Discover our memberships

Already a member? Click here to login