Session 1: The Social Lab Approach – Experiences from First Hand

Speakers: Peter BiegelbauerEileen Focke-BakkerKatharina Handler, Margit HoferRaj Kumar ThapaIlse MarschalekAgnes Szalkai-Lőrincz 

In the framework of the EC funded project NewHoRRIzon 19 Social Labs have been established all over Europe to address the diverse topics of the Horizon 2020 Working Programme. A Social Lab is not only a method, but rather a paradigm which is social, experimental and systemic that opens up space for reflection and discussion, developing new ideas and further implementing and assessing them. A Lab consists of a series of workshops, involving diverse stakeholders acting on an equal and collaborate basis. In the NewHoRRIzon project, we have adapted the Social Lab approach and used it as a tool to implement public engagement within an RRI process. Each Social Lab has co-designed several pilot-actions that are implemented and managed by the participants themselves.  

This session will focus on the format of Social Labs and will present experiences from first hand. The aim is to tell and spread message about the Social Lab methods on the one side and to present and discuss experiences, advantages and challenges on the other side, coming up with recommendations for further implementation of the Social Lab approach. A short input by the session hosts, referring to the purpose, the process and the reflexivity of Social Labs, will be followed by a panel discussion, involving Social Lab managers, facilitators and participants. Their perspectives and experiences will contribute in discussing outcomes and successes, but also in focussing on failures and learning cycles, reflecting what can be adopted for the further implementation of the Social lab approach. 

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