On September 3rd to 5th, the RRI lab – a pilot action of Social Lab 18 – was present at the annual OpenLivingLab Days (OLLD) in Thessaloniki, Greece. The RRI lab aims to foster face-to-face knowledge-sharing, networking, awareness and public engagement activities around RRI. The idea was formed already at the first workshop in Social Lab 18 in the spring of 2018, and has since developed into a conference booth concept. The booth at the OLLD conference was realized through a collaboration between the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL), Krakow Technology Park, Polytechnic University of Milan, and the European Network of Science Centres and Museums. They hosted different sessions at the RRI lab booth, all focusing on the role of co-creation in policy and RRI. The labs presenting at the booth presented their ongoing activities that aim to utilize co-creation as an intermediary playground between top-down and bottom-up policy initiatives, and a world map asked participants to pin their own policy-focused labs or projects for potential future collaborations with the RRI lab.
The annual OpenLivingLab Days are arranged by ENOLL and a local member of the network. It gathers the global Living Lab community in a space where public officials, companies, entrepreneurs, academics, living lab representatives, and innovators can connect and work together on creating new products and services, to set the basis for debate and exploration of theories, and to discuss and process policy recommendations within the practical elements of open and user-driven innovation. Living Labs, as a research concept that focus on co-created, open, and user-centric innovation, has a lot in common with RRI principles, making the OLLD a good forum where such ideas might resonate.
GeneveLab, part of ENOLL, invited people to join an open discussion on 1) what the biggest obstacles to uptake co-creation in research and innovation practice and policymaking are, 2) how to promote real-context co-creation through living labs and 3) how to promote co-creation in Responsible Research and Innovation in future EU projects and policy initiatives. Participants could present their answers by sticking post it notes on the table and were also encouraged to put their living lab on our giant map poster. Krakow Technology Park (KTP), also a member of ENoLL, wanted to demonstrate synergies between the different projects, they are involved in, and RRI, and found the RRI Lab a very good way to do so. Agnieszka Włodarczyk, representative of KTP, explains; “generally the idea to have a joint RRI booth was great; it acted as a know-how exchange point for interaction and networking and was a fantastic tool to communicate with varied stakeholders, though, it was a busy conference and people only had limited time to stop at the booth between panel discussions and workshops.”
The RRI Lab will also be present at the Smart City Expo World Congress in November 2019.
The next annual OpenLivingLab Days conference is held in Gent, Belgium in September 2020.
By Malene Vinther Christensen, Ines Vaittinen, and Andrew Whittington