February 12, 2019

Social Lab 11: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Diversity of approaches

The Social Lab 11 is set up to analyse the present state of RRI in research infrastructure, assess potentials and barriers and foster the uptake of RRI in research and innovation especially related to “climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials” as comprised by the present Horizon 2020 programme line Societal Challenge 5 (SC5). As such, the Social Lab brings together experts from research, business, funding organizations, politics and NGOs to share their experiences and expertise on RRI in research and innovation projects on the regional, national and European level.

Social Lab Workshops

Workshop 1 – Responsible Research and Innovation for a Resource Efficient and Climate Resilient Economy and Society

Date: 17th-18th May 2018

Place: Villa Elisabeth, Berlin

Description of the workshop

Workshop 2 – Promoting the Uptake of Responsible Research and Innovation in Research Funding and Practice

Date: 21st-22nd March 2019

Place: Magnus-Haus, Berlin

The objective of bringing the experts together is to assess and support the proceeding of the five pilot actions that have been set up after the first workshop in May 2018 to promote the uptake of RRI. The focus of this workshop thus lies on:

  • the present state of pilot actions;
  • the next steps of pilot activity, new options and opportunities;
  • optimizing the impact of pilot results in terms of advocacy, dialogue and partnerships.

Workshop 3

Date: December 2019

Place: Berlin

Pilot Actions

Pilot Action 1: Training on RRI

The idea is to provide training on RRI for consortium lead partners of EC research and innovation projects. The hope is that this training will be obligatory for all lead partners, at best being integrated in the official training day organized by the EC. This training should be the outcome of an accompanied multi-stakeholder process in order to identify barriers and chances for RRI and to develop advise on how to overcome these barriers and best take up chances. The pilot action has been integrated into a successful proposal applying for SC5 funding, and as such the pilot action can take place. Jill Jaeger, designing and implementing the multi-stakeholder process of the ENGAGE project, will be present at the Workshop.

Pilot Action 2: Urban Transition Coalitions

The main idea is to bring together the biographical ‘ends’ of society – the young and the elderly – in order to study interest formation, coalitions building and sustainability learning in a specific area of urban transformation conflicts. The pilot action does this with the example of urban garden activists (dominantly: young) and traditional urban gardeners (dominantly: old) in Berlin regarding their views and practices on gardening and its social and climate benefits for cities in a growing city. The pilot action wants to make the case that such urban coalitions have the potential to foster successful transitions towards resilient cities. The pilot action includes interviews and a workshop with selected scientists and stakeholders. As a relevant researcher, Eva Foos (HU Berlin) will be invited to the second Social Lab workshop.

Pilot Action 3: Public Scientists Hero Challenge

The pilot action intends to reward researchers who are deeply committed to engaging with active citizens and publics in the different scientific work stages: from project planning to implementation, and finally in the communication and dissemination of results. It is planned to combine different modules such as the co-production and delivery of an online course and webinar, and the co-design of a public science educational programme. In order to make such a project possible it is necessary to set the basis for a grant proposal. Having a workshop on RRI at the World Resources Forum in Feb 2019 is a great step in this direction: The interview sessions accompanying the workshop as well as the workshop itself will foster insights into the participants ideas on public engagement and their visions on needs and barriers. Insights will be reported to and discussed in the second workshop.

Pilot Action 4: Value Added Transfer (VAT)

The pilot group makes the case that RRI is a clear advantage as far as the EC’s objectives of jobs and growth are concerned. In order to grasp the interest or counter the arguments of those reluctant to consider participative and transdisciplinary research, RRI advocates on the policy level shall be provided with easy-to-grasp facts and figures. Thus, the brochure “RRI – Impact through Participation” is in the making: While most texts are finished the group is awaiting the last project example and then engage in a catchy design for the target group. It is planned to provide the brochure in mid-February in order to have first reactions to discuss at the second workshop.

Pilot Action 5: Public Engagement in SC5 – from “nice to have” to “must have”

The ultimate goal of this pilot action is to make public engagement a fundamental component of SC5 related research projects of Horizon Europe, thereby moving it from a “nice to have” to a “must have”. In order to achieve that the pilot action will write a text that defines the rationale and concrete provisions for public engagement in SC5 related topics in Horizon Europe. This text will incorporate insights and ideas from the pilot action team as well as other SC5 Social Lab participants. The pilot action team asks them to communicate their view on the integration of public engagement and the best arguments for implementing it through a survey. The resulting policy recommendation is to be written in a co-creating process whereby the input from the survey and the next SC5 Social Lab is going to be integrated.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Dr. Ulrike Wunderle, senior researcher at the FGS/VDW representing the scientists’ association in the EU-funded NewHoRRIzon project where she manages the Social Lab on “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials”.

Social Lab Researcher: Till Weyers, researcher at the FGS/VDW and project manager for the NewHoRRIzon project.

Social Lab Manager Assistant: Veronica Eck, manager assistant at the FGS/VDW collaborating in the project management of the NewHoRRIzon project.

Social Lab Facilitator: Caroline Paulick-Thiel, strategic designer and expert in facilitating responsible innovation in cross-sectoral learning environments.