Author: Ilse Marschalek – Centre for Social Innovation, Germany, Austria


  • Joshua Cohen – University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Eileen Focke-Bakker – Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
  • Elisabeth Unterfrauner – Centre for Social Innovation, Austria

The notion of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) reflects the changing relationship between science and society and calls for transformations of science-society relations. An open and transparent process is regarded as crucial for good scientific practices. While the inclusion of societal actors in research processes is becoming more important, the ways diverse stakeholders are included are still in development. Innovative and appropriate, which allow for real engagement and co-production of knowledge still formats need to be explored.

The New HoRRIzon project, funded by the EC, aims to further integrate RRI in research and innovation systems. It addresses RRI practices by focusing on the 19 funding programme lines of the EC. By bringing together stakeholders from the different fields of the programme lines from all over Europe, the project engages them in participative processes, in so-called Social Labs. A Social Lab is not a method, but rather a paradigm which is social, experimental and systemic that opens up space for reflection and discussion, developing new ideas and further implementing and assessing them. A Lab thereby consists of a series of workshops, enabling a highly participative process. The diverse stakeholders involved act on an equal and collaborate basis throughout the process of the Social Lab. Each of the Labs allows for an approach of doing, rather than just planning by using experiments and prototypes and involving most diverse groups of people and finally implementing the selected activities in pilot actions.

In the context of the New HoRRIzon project, we have adapted the Social Lab approach and used it as a tool to implement public engagement within an RRI process. Each Social Lab has co-designed several pilot-actions that are – with the support of the group – implemented and managed by the participants themselves.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Transformation

Author: Ilse Marschalek – Centre for Social Innovation, Germany, Austria

Kaisa Granqvist – Center for Social Innovation
Raffael Himmelsbach – National Technical University of Norway
Francesco Lescai – Aarhus University
Ralf Lindner – The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research
Maria Schrammel – Center for Social Innovation
Angela Simone – Fondazione Bassetti

Industry is an important site of techno-scientific development, yet interventions to fostering public engagement have mostly focused on academic institutions. The Horizon2020-funded project SMART-map aims to develop tools that enable research-intensive businesses to engage with societal values and expectations throughout their innovation processes. Our presentation reports on the project’s quest to design a creative workshop format, which we implemented in six workshops that took place during the first half of 2017, each in different European city. The workshops were shaped by the requirement to enable an eye-level dialogue between actors from academia, industry, the funding and regulatory sector, and civil society, which we identified as interested or affected by – but not necessarily aware of – advances in a given technological field (precision medicine, synthetic biology and 3D printing for medical applications). Moreover, these participants had to deliver concrete tools after one and a half day only. We adopted a creative design method that led around 20 participants through a series of activities, from defining key objectives for ecological and societal responsibility in their technology area, to designing and building physical mockups of tools to achieve these objectives in an industrial research setting. These mock ups were the results of interactive brainstorming and prototyping sessions, in which small groups worked on tangible objects with all kinds of craft materials. Although experience told us that the workshops were too short in duration to deliver sufficiently fine-tuned tools that would be ready for implementation in a company, it showed that this intense, creative method affords deep insight into a given industry sector and the work necessary to jointly define societal needs across different stakeholder perspectives.

Further co-authors: Daniel Bachlechner; Melek Akca Prill; Mari Carmen Álvarez; Javier García Planells; Anna Pellizzone; Enikő Demény; Péter Kakuk; Sally Randles; Mohammad Hajhashem; Rosalind Le Feuvre; Alexander Degelsegger

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual talk
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices