April 2, 2019

Social Lab 12: Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Societal Challenges

Social Lab 12 “Society” brings together different stakeholders addressing urgent and cultural transformations within our societies. Migration managements, the role of memory and digitalisation of governance are only three amongst the most compelling ones.

The concept of responsibility is thus discussed and developed according to the needs of these specific challenges and of the overall objectives of reflexivity, inclusiveness and innovation characterizing the programme line. Social Lab 12 welcomes all citizens willing to contribute to the dialogue about shared values and principles, and their adaptation to the changing needs of plural societies. 

Social Lab Workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 3-4 May 2018

Place: Tallinn, Estonia

Description of the workshop

Workshop 2

Date: 2-3 May 2019

Place: Rome, Italy

Description of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date: 4 & 5 February 2020

Venue: Seville, Spain

Pilot Actions

Pilot Action 1: Solidarity for Europe

The pilot aimed at discussing the role of solidarity in addressing societal issues within the RRI framework. The background of RRI served as a basis to understand what measures that are beyond the given legal framework can be adopted to increase the general level of social justice. The workshop involved researchers and policy-makers from various disciplines discussing the idea of solidarity against the backdrop of responsible innovation. The side objective of this pilot was to raise awareness about RRI to researchers who are not explictly adopting such framework.

Pilot Action 2: Data for tomorrow

The pilot aims at analyzing the role of data in improving RRI approaches. In an era of growing digitalisation it is important to understand how the governance of research and innovation can be supported or eventually jeopardized by data processing. The pilot will consist of one workshop where different stakeholders will analyse and discuss the relation between digitalisation and RRI and how the latter can benefit from the former. The pilot is strongly in line with the objectives of the Work Programme in particular with the subject “digitalisation of governance”. Besides, the pilot aims at spreading knowledge about RRI to researchers who are not dealing with its themes.

Pilot Action 3: Responsible democracy: The role of deliberationto establish the trajectories of research and innovation

Deliberation is a core dimension of RRI. However, the process and extent to which we can reasonably expect a deliberative process to be helpful and successful are often not detailed in RRI literature or practices. We encounter similar issues in the field of participation, posing some main questions like who are the actors that RRI is supposed to integrate; the general public or only stakeholders? Moreover, participation is often evocated as a panacea to achieve or increase legitimacy, but a poorly determined process might lead to counterproductive or even instrumental forms of consultation and popularization.

Furthermore, the current digital divide amongst different parts of the population and the limitation of democracy to the expression of preferences are becoming increasingly pressing issues. The pilot aims at discussing these issues and provide a way forward in the uptake of a meaningful and efficient model of deliberation. These reflections are expected to feed into the model of deliberation and complete some limits of the theory of deliberative democracy especially when applied to highly technical domains like research and innovation, to make inclusive, collective and rational decisions, in a pluralist and uncertain world. Moreover, they will serve to address the role of digitization for democratic processes and deliberative approaches can be integrated into digital forms of governance.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Robert Gianni r.gianni@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Social Lab Facilitator:Ülle Must ulle.must@archimedes.ee