Date: 11 & 12 December 2019
Venue: Vienna, Austria
Sixteen participants from research, business and policy discussed about Institutional barriers within transport R&I to address contemporary challenges within the sector, as increasing societal inclusion in research processes and climate change. Through world café sessions, plenary discussions and ideation about practical policy advice based on practical experiences, the participants stated a divide between experts and society: As research and innovation processes remain rather closed, experts’ and (lay) peoples’ views on the problems societies are facing and potential solutions and opportunities for change diverge.
Thus, the main outcome of the event was to keep up cooperation beyond the workshop and further engage with society, to unearth the “deeper needs” of people, foster exchange between society and research, and aim for more inclusiveness of R&I processes.
Updates on Pilot Action 4: GenVoice
On November 26th, a school class gathered in the Synagogue café of Zilina, Slovakia, to attend the workshop “GenVoice – Giving Future Generations a Voice on Mobility”. The aim of this event was to give a “voice” to young public transport users who are not usually heard in transport planning. Through this one-day workshop, the claims of this stakeholder group should be heard and valued, while also gaining Insights and an understanding of the needs of young generations. The event followed a three-step process: First, the participants debated about their personal experiences with transport in the area in Zilina, talked about their expectations for this workshop and described the travel experiences they make in their everyday lives. Second, the pupils created visions of a desirable future and an Idealistic present mobility system. Third, solutions were created on how to make these visions become reality. The visions the pupils imagined revolved (amongst other things) around increased protection of the environment, clean trains, stable WIFI connections, increased comfort of public transport, increased bike-usage (also to foster healthier lifestyles), safety (no drinking while driving; car-drivers having to pay more attention to actually stop before crosswalks), and freedom – as transport is envisioned as a means to be free. When ideating about the creation of their desirable visions, the participants concluded that banning cars from the city center of Zilina would be a necessary step, while also focussing more on bicycles and aiming for a greener city. However, the pupils also assessed that while the environment plays a stronger role in public discourse nowadays than it did before, getting people engaged to think and debate about issues (not necessarily limited to mobility, but also beyond) might help to trigger change. Thus, survey, presentations or workshops were suggested to be fostered more systematically – and to potentially Integrate events like this one into the curriculums of schools. The organizers are satisfied with the results of the event, concluding that open setups like this provide valuable insights not only for the researchers, but also for the (young) participants, who gain knowledge through open exchanges and debates.