Co-creation is heralded as a promising approach to foster better-aligned outcomes in the technological and social innovation. The active recruitment and engagement with a diverse set of stakeholders can allow for increased flows of knowledge, insights, and experiences, which are necessary to address the complexity of wicked problems.
While many co-creation initiatives do include a variety of actors, power differentials between stakeholders persist. This may take the form of formalized decision power and/or more informally assigned roles (e.g. experts vs. lay people) as well as how/when these roles take the stage in the co-creation exercise. Thus, through this deliberate inclusion of stakeholders, challenges arise as to how this inclusion is managed, and maintained
One way to address these challenges has been to view co-creation through the concept of power. Power is often not considered in co-creation, despite its ubiquitous presence throughout the process. From the formulation of goals and expectations, the determination of which ideas and views are incorporated, to who can join these processes—these are matters that can be negotiated collectively but are often decided beforehand by more power-holding and influential stakeholders (e.g. firms). This in turn can limit the ownership in the co-creation process of other relevant stakeholders (e.g. future users, citizens, academics) participate and engage with co-creation. Their role becomes less self-determined, and more pre-determined. Practical implications of this can mean decreased commitment and sense of ownership, and low quality of participation.
In this workshop, we invite you to reflect on power in co-creation, namely its role in influencing inclusion, participation and decision-making processes, and to find creative ways to address power differentials among stakeholders and in the governance of co-creation. A guiding question can be: What can be done to ensure that co-creation promotes equality of ownership in the process or power among all stakeholders?
This session is organised by SCALINGS partner, Eindhoven University of Technology.
This session is part of SCALINGS Online Series, Innovating together: Responsible scaling of co-creation.
Scaling of innovations is seen as an inescapable answer to the growing urgency to tackle grand societal challenges. Co-creation is an increasingly key method for the involvement of a variety of actors to realize the inevitable scaling. Not all co-creation methods, however, spread equally and work to the same success in different contexts.
This online workshop series will explore and analyze the apparent paradox between, the (cultural, political, social) local situatedness of co-creation practices; and the (perceived) need for generalizing, transferring, or ‘scaling up’ co-creation practices to different socio-cultural settings.
The online workshop series is part of the SCALINGS.eu H2020 project and will bring together practitioners, policy-makers and academics in the fields of Urban Energy, Robotics and Autonomous Driving.