On the 23rd and 24th of May, the first SGI Transport Social Lab workshop took place in Vienna, in which 15 different stakeholders of the field participated. The workshop provided time and space for discussions and exchanges about future visions, current views, gathered experiences and prevalent challenges. The major challenge the participants focused on was inclusion/exclusion which, from a research/RRI perspective would be considered to be in the realm of ‘public engagement’. Realising future visions requires present action and also entails change; but those feeling excluded might oppose change, as they do not have the opportunity to bring in their interests/values – leading to a future where their stakes might matter even less.
Starting from this assessment, three pilot ideas were created that deal with this social challenge in different ways:
- Experimenting with fostering bottom-up approaches by getting diverse sets of actors closer to people. People from policy, research, civil society organisations etc. would engage populations where they live, to foster mutual exchange and give insights into the actual living conditions and transport means available (Pilot Action 1).
- Experimenting with national dialogues amongst NCPs in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic about the topic of Transportation/RRI and public engagement. Later on, a wider variety of stakeholders could be included, bringing debates about societal challenges out of the realm of this workshop into the wider public (Pilot Action 2).
- Experimenting with collectively interpreting data to prevent misuse and misinterpretations. Starting amongst peers, lay people could be involved in later stages, leading to a situation where experts and non-experts exchange their views on interpreting specific sets of data (Pilot Action 3).
The participants were highly interested in the different experiences and perspectives they encountered during the workshop, exchanging ideas that went beyond the ‘classical’ realm of transportation. Pilot activities are currently specified further in terms of timeframe, places, methods and support needed.
- Elke Bossaert (Mobiel 21)
- Bogdan Cernat-Gruici (NCP, Bucharest University of Economics)
- Ivo Cré (Polis Network)
- Lucia Cristea (European Integrated Projects)
- Delia Dimitriu (Manchester Metropolitan University, Transport Advisory Group)
- Toni Eiser (Toni Eiser Innovations- und Förderberatung)
- Evangelos Genitsaris (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
- Artemios Kourtesis (European Commission)
- Carlos López Galviz (Lancaster University)
- Evelien Marlier (European Passengers’ Federation)
- Richard Randell (Webster University Geneva)
- Stefan Seer (Austrian Institute of Technology)
- Wouter Van den Berghe (Vias Institute, HUMANIST)
- Isabela Velazquez Valoria (Gea21)
- Michaela Vlková (NCP, Technology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
Research assistant of the Techno-Science and Societal Transformation research group at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, Austria.