What is Co-creation?
When diverse actors such as companies, universities, policy makers, and citizens collaboratively participate in mutually enabled or supported innovation processes, they engage in co-creation practices. Co-creation takes many shapes, which is why we employ different disciplinary angles to better identify and understand its characteristics and outcomes. In building our analytical framework, we make use of critical perspectives stemming from Science and Technology Studies (STS), with particular attention to:
- Responsible Innovation
- Social Robustness
- Diversity in Innovation
- Limits of Standardization
Our approach complements insights informed by other disciplines, such as Innovation Studies, Public Policy and Law, Management and Economics, Philosophy and Ethics.
We study 3 Co-creation Instruments …
… Across 3 Technological Domains
Why Scaling up?
Just as businesses scale up their activities to increase their market presence, the EU research framework relies on scalable concepts, such as smart cities, to broaden its outreach. Mainstream co-creation practices across different contexts rarely reach their identified targets. In fact, in today’s diverse social, cultural, and organizational context, standardized practices are unlikely to solve the issues that arise. Take as an example a social robot developed together with patients and doctors specifically for a hospital in Barcelona: while it may be successful in that space, it may not be optimally suited every care environment.
SCALINGS aims to understand how co-creation relates to unique contexts; it is interested in learning the conditions under which co-creation practices can scale up across regional and technical domains.
Our Research Unfolds in 3 Stages
1 Collect Experiences
Through qualitative methods, we carry out the in-depth analysis of various case studies involving leading co-creation practitioners. Each consortium partner focuses on cases located in its geographical proximity.
We compare how different actors use co-creation instruments in different local and technological contexts, aiming to identify and reflect on similarities and differences, best practices or failures.
2 Test & Engage
We seek to operationalize our findings by bringing them back into the field and, together with our empirical partners, conduct experimental interventions. We organize workshops and other opportunities for reflection to actively engage with our partners and their initiatives, offering our insights for the enhancement of their current co-creation practices, as well as our support to achieve more robust results.
Throughout numerous public and case-study-specific events, we disseminate our findings among diverse communities, reaching out to co-creation practitioners, technology developers and manufacturers, public authorities, citizens, students, and researchers.
An EU policy roadmap will present key takeaways from our research to inform future co-creative instruments and practices of innovation and guide their scale-up within and beyond Europe.
SCALINGS will be the anchor point for future scaling activities across different contexts. We have and will continue to develop sound frameworks for ‘situated co-creation’ and ‘socially robust scaling’, an educational training program, as well as an EU policy roadmap. Through this work, industry practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and citizens both within the EU and beyond will benefit from our results.
We foster co-creation practices that are aligned with the needs, norms and values of local populations. To achieve this, we work in close cooperation with our case study partners and implement our findings in collaborative and reflexive settings.
We hereby place great emphasis on questions of social justice, diversity, and inclusion. Not only does this contribute to better-targeted innovation practices and policy support, but also meaningful roles for citizens in the innovation process.
We draft an EU Policy Roadmap to mainstream co-creation in a responsible and socially robust way. The roadmap is based on a comparative analysis of both existing co-creation policies across the EU and the specific opportunities and challenges for socially inclusive and diverse co-creation practices at the SCALINGS field sites.
In this way, we synthesize our findings into a programmatic agenda that will help policy-makers harness international “best practices” in a manner that is suited to their own socio-cultural particularities.
We will shape industry and business practices by providing guidance for scaling up activities across contexts.
As we cooperate closely with case study partners, we implement our frameworks for ‘situated co-creation’ and ‘socially robust scaling’ together with practitioners and thus co-create enhanced practices that feed directly back into their work and strategy.
Moreover, we will disseminate our findings to other European consortia-in-the-making through a training program (‘boot camp’) to enhance their sensitivity for socio-cultural differences in co-creation while learning from international best practices.