A theatre performance that gets at the heart of science
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Until next year

Mindlab is a theatre performance that gets at the heart of the science community. Mindlab will inspire and challenge you to consider for ourselves and with others what is important to them in their daily work, career, and personal life – within the university and beyond. With Mindlab, we aim to make a positive contribution to the working and living environment of our university; an open and safe environment in which everyone feels at home. Mindlab is breaking down barriers. Mindlab is captivating and above all unique.

"You are not who you think you are. You are what you do."

Come visit The mindlab show with your team

This year you have the chance to visit Mindlab on the 5th of March 2024 with your team. Would you like a in-depth dialogue afterwards? We offer a tailored follow-up session for your team. Contact Team Mindlab to schedule your personal team follow-up. Of course, you are still more than welcome to come and experience Mindlab individually.  

You can go to the Mindlab performances on March 5th in our Agora Theatre in Vrijhof. The morning performance (10.30-12.00) includes coffee and tea in the Foyer afterwards. The afternoon performance (14.30-16.00) includes drinks in the Foyer afterwards. 

Mindlab is in Dutch and live English transcription is provided. Registration is free

Curious? Watch the trailer!

Do you want a follow-up with your team?

Mindlab is barrier-breaking, captivating, and unique: it gets at the heart of the science community! It makes visitors reflect on what is important in daily work, in a career, and life – both within and outside the university. We offer the opportunity for you and your team to engage in conversation about this through a variety of follow-ups. This allows you, after the performance has settled, to follow up on the responsibilities we all have and feel.

  • Round table storytelling

    The storytelling roundtable methodology aims to facilitate a safe space in which UT employees can share experiences about sensitive topics through stories. The methodology allows for new dialogue and listening skills to emerge for existing skills to be rediscovered. It helps to increase empathy for experiences of different people and takes into account power dynamics regarding which stories can and cannot be told in a team and by whom.

    Type: (learn) sharing of experiences
    Duration: 120 minutes
    Participants: 4 – 6 participants
    Requirements: Room for number of participants (preferably not online)

  • UT Strategy Game

    A serious way to implement our UT Strategy is with the UT Strategy Game. It brings UT's core values to life in a playful and interactive way. You play the game with 6 to 9 people, from the same team. To end up with the most impact points, your strategic insight, entrepreneurship and team player skills will be called upon. UT strategy game is there for anyone who values team development and wants to further integrate Shaping2030 into everyday work.

    Type: team development and team reflection
    Duration: 120 minutes
    Participants: 6 - 9 participants per game. There are max.5 games available.
    Requirements: Room with a big table

  • Conversation Starters

    Conversation Cards (lnvh.nl)

    Delve into deeper layers of social safety within your team with conversation starters to encourage reflection, enabling your team to engage in profound dialogue. You can do this with your team by using Conversation Cards or One-Minute Mindlab experience (short videos). Designed for plenary sessions, the cards and videos are ideal as a structured kickstarter to create a safe and open environment to discuss social safety in your team. Each kickstarter is self-explanatory, so no guidance is necessary (but can be provided if desired).

    Type: conversation starter and reflection
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Participants: team up to 10 participants
    Requirements: live room

Are you interested in one of the possible follow-ups for your team?
Reach out to teammindlab-hr@utwente.nl

How it all started

Professor Ellen Giebels (vice dean of the Faculty Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences) is the initiator of Mindlab. You can read her story here (in short) and in more detail in this article on Mindlab in U-Today (in Dutch).

This is why Ellen took the initiative...

"Science is under scrutiny, for integrity issues, social return, the quality of education, internationalisation and financing. In spite of the increasing demands, I still love to work in academia. During the past years, however, I’m thinking more and more often: how can I keep all the plates spinning? What is it that really matters? And I see that others ask themselves the same questions. So, the time is ripe for a reflection on what drives us, defines us, occupies our minds. What do we really value in our work? Last year I went to two theater performances by TheaterMakers Radio Kootwijk: Rauw (about working and life with the National Police) and Vuurdoop (about the Dutch Defence organisation). I was moved by the way the subject matter was dealt with and the artistic quality of the performances and the accompanying programmes. My first thought was: I want to do something similar for academia. And now the time has come!"

Ellen Giebels, Full professor

The time is ripe for a reflection on what drives us, defines us, occupies our minds. What do we really value in our work?

Ellen Giebels, Full professor

On 13 February 2020 Mindlab premiered in the Theaterloods in Radio Kootwijk, the home theatre of TheaterMakers Radio Kootwijk. This was an overwhelming success. Reactions range from 'impressive' and 'it really triggers you to reflect and start conversations' to 'very recognizable' and 'gripping'. After the successful premiere, Mindlab had six performances at UT in the Vrijhof. Over 550 employees joined Mindlab in February and March: 'Really good thing UT initiated this, Mindlab truly is gripping'.

After that, Mindlab was ready to move on. To Utrecht University for example. And later on back to Enschede, to UT. At the time that turned out to be impossible: the coronavirus outbreak started. However, Mindlab was back in May 2021. With Mindlab Online. Mindlab Online offered employees an unique opportunity to attend Mindlab nevertheless. Mindlab Online was an event that gave UT community members - at home on their couches or at their kitchen tables - a true online theatre experience.