Social Lab 9 – Workshop 3

Date: 7 & 8 November 2019

Venue: Vienna, Austria


Ten participants from 9 different European countries took part in the last workshop of Social Lab ENERGY.
Participants represented 3 different staholders groups, with the research institution stakeholder group being the most represented (6 participants), followed by two participants from the governing and funding stakholder group, and two more participants belonging to civil society organisations.

Objectives of the workshop

This workshop was successfull in reaching the 4 objectives listed below:

  • learn about status quo and further development of pilot activities;
  • discuss and reflect on pilot activities, process and context;
  • develop narratives;
  • acknowledge the achievements of the workshop and of the social lab

Description of the activities and of the methodology

Science and society do not interact on eye-level with each other. Whilst research on secure, clean and efficient energy effects everyone, current and future generations all over the globe, society does currently not have a role in most of the research activities that are done in this realm going beyond the role of a mere end-user.

A series of three workshops was developed by SL Energy team on these issues, implementing self-designed small projects to test and see their implications. This workshop is the last one of the series thus it was used to look back and ahead, using the technique of a fishbowl discussion, an online-self-reflection tool as well as reflecting teams, the small initiatives were scrutinized each by itself.

A gallery walk, which is a guided walk through a set path solving specific task while moving from one panel to the next, was used to stimulate reflection on the whole journey. Using a matrix, the uptake of responsible research and innovation has been plotted on personal, institutional, national level and the level of the energy programme line.

Update on Pilot Action 1: NCP Trainings

The way we produce and use energy lies at the heart of the current climate crisis. Technological developments, but also broader transformations of energy production, storage and use are burning questions of energy research at the time. The social impact of these topics, be it with regard to environmental and ecological consequences, be it with regard to the prices paid for energy useare undeniable.

Many researchers are ready to take on the challenge and develop technologies for secure, clean and efficient energy. In order to ensure that society has a stake in these research projects, special consultants (e.g. national contact points), who work in this field to support researchers in using funding sources of the European Union, need to know about the dimensions a responsible energy project needs to consider.

In order to create this knowledge a one and a half day training was organised in Vienna, inviting these special consultants. During this training the 6 key dimensions of responsible research and innovation have been explained and a best practice example of a locally already implemented energy project was invited. The training equipped the consultants with basic skills and further resources to broaden them according to their personal needs.