Conference proceedings 2016

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Research Day Conference proceedings 2016 OpenLivingLab Days


The “Research Day – Conference proceedings 2016” reports findings presented during the OpenLivingLab Days 2016, annual summit of the Living Lab community held in Montreal from the 23rd to the 26th of August. Now in its fourth edition (first call for academic contributions was launched in 2013), this publication is the result of the Call for Papers launched in December 2015 and tackles some of the numerous Living Lab related challenges recently investigated by scholars and practitioners around the world.

ISBN (e-book): 9789082102758

© 2016 ENoLL - European Network of Living Labs All rights reserved


Table of Contents

Session I .............................................................................................................................................. 7 Taking Real-life Seriously in Living Lab Research: An Approach for Decomposing Context Beyond “Environment”, Lynn Coorevits and An Jacobs ................................................................. 8 Empowering seniors to discuss transport provision to health services, Andree Woodcock, Deana McDonagh, Kam Kaur, Sinead Ouillon and Priscilla Chueng Nainby .................... 22 The potential of experimentation in Business-to-Business Living Labs, Ruben D’Hauwers, Aron-Levi Herregodts, Annabel Georges, Lynn Coorevits, Dimitri Schuurman, Olivier Rits and Pieter Ballon .................................................................................... 37 Methods for Supporting Older Users to Communicate their Emotions at Different Stages of a Living Lab Project, Sonja Pedell, Alen Keirnan and Gareth Priday .......................................... 50 Facilitating Social Innovation in Urban Living Labs: Challenges and perspectives for practical improvement, Andrew Switzer, Karin de Nijs, Elke van der Heijden and Stan Majoor ..... 64

Session II ............................................................................................................................................ 77 Innovation in the Public Sector: Exploring the Characteristics and Potential of Living Labs and Innovation Labs, Dimitri Schuurman and Piret Tõnurist ........................................................... 78 Exploring Living Labs Approach in Public Sector Innovation: a design-driven initiative in Chinese urban community, Fan Fei, Ni Minqing and Zhu Mingjie............................................ 91 Observing living labs to imagine tomorrow’s metropolises, Emmanuel Roux and Quentin Marron .................................................................................................................................................... 102 A Sector-Selection Methodology for Implementing Living Labs, Robert Viseur ......................... 114


Session III ........................................................................................................................................ 128 Towards FALL: a Framework for Agile Living Lab projects, Tanguy Coenen .......................... 129 Living Lab: Stimulating Adoption of Smart City Innovations, Anna Stahlbrost and Marita Holst ........................................................................................................................................................ 145 Perceived value of energy efficiency technologies in a sustainable neighborhood: an empirical enquiry from the Energy Living Lab, Joëlle Mastelic, Stéphane Genoud, Francesco Maria Cimmino, Deborah Previdoli and Emmanuel Fragnière ........................................................ 163 A design-driven Living Lab to explore innovation for societal challenges: A dementia case study Rens Brankaert ......................................................................................................................................176 Action Research as a framework to evaluate the operation of a Living Lab, Sara Logghe and Dimitri Schuurman............................................................................................................................. 186


Review Panel Chair Pieter Ballon

Reviewers Bram Lievens Dimitri Schuurman Brigitte Trousse Joelle Mastelic Ana Garcia Paolo Aversano Eva Kehayia Andree Woodcock Bonnie Swaine

ENoLL Office Contributors Paolo Aversano Spela Zalokar Pablo Modrego


Session I


Taking Real-life Seriously in Living Lab Research: An Approach for Decomposing Context Beyond “Environment� Lynn Coorevits a , An Jacobsb a

iMInds MICT, UGent b iMinds SMIT, VUB

Abstract The maturity of Living Labs has grown and several researchers have tried to create a uniform definition of what Living Labs are by emphasizing the multi-method and real-life, contextual approach. Although researchers thus recognize the importance of context in Living Labs, they do not provide insights into how context can be taken into account. The real-life context predominantly focuses on the in-situ use of a product during field trials where users are observed in their everyday life. The contribution of this paper will be twofold. By means of a case study we will show how context can be evaluated in the front end of design, so Living Lab researchers are no longer dependent on the readiness level of a product, and we will show how field trials can be evaluated in a more structured way to cover all components of context. By using a framework to evaluate the impact of context on product use, Living Lab researchers can improve the overall effectiveness of data gathering and analysis methods in a Living Lab project. Keywords Context, Living lab, real-life, prototype


1 Introduction The Living Lab methodology emphasizes that users should be aware of their participation (Dell’Era & Landiano, 2014) and involved throughout the entire innovation process. Demarez (2006) provides a literature overview of the latter and suggests a common framework consisting of five innovation development steps, namely opportunity identification, concept design, product design, launch and post-launch phase. Figure 1: The innovation Process based on Demarez (2006)

However, the literature used by Demarez (2006) was mostly written before open innovation was common practice and does not take into consideration that introducing users to the mix can require more adjustments to the design than initially anticipated. Especially, because it is hard to predict in advance what the user will need in a future use context (Von Hippel, 1986). To tackle this challenge Living Labs invite users to react to the innovation via surveys, evaluate a concept or prototype, participate in usability tests, … . Mulders and Stappers (2009) suggest that these methods are valuable, but they do not gain rich insights into the complex interactions of the user with the environment, or the use context. To cope with this, testing in a real-life setting is also mentioned as a solution by Living Lab researchers (Ballon et al., 2005; Følstad, 2008; Kjeldskov & Skov, 2014; Schuurman et al., 2013). When referring to a real-life setting, the majority of Living Lab researchers are talking about the ‘wild’ and the uncontrollable aspects of real life environments. But real life testing can only happen when an innovation has reached a certain level of maturity. As a result, Living Labs often miss then out on the innovation process as a whole, which is dynamic because relationships of people and activities cross boundaries in a multi-contextual environment (Johansson, Snis & Svensson, 2011). In other words, taking context into consideration in one phase of the innovation process is not enough. For this reason, the earlier phases of the innovation process, the fuzzy front end, often take place in a lab trying to replicate the ‘real life’ environment with a semi-real environment, for example making the usability lab look like a living room (Mulder & Stappers, 2009). The fuzzy front end exists out of the opportunity identification and concept design phases, in which important design decisions are being made (Sanders & Stappers, 2008). In certain circumstances researchers will choose this semi-real environment to remain in control, because the readiness level of the product is too low to let users interact with it as they would in their daily life. These semi-real environments raise some interesting questions, for example regarding the degree of realism needed to make an evaluation meaningful. How can complex contextual requirements of the product be researched in the fuzzy front-end of design? (Stewart & Williams, 2005; Dell’Era & Landoni, 2014 ; Mulder & Stappers, 2009). In answer to that question several solutions for contextual inquiry in the front end of design have been suggested such as Lead-Users (Von Hippel, 1986), Generative Design techniques (Sanders & Stappers, 2012), Context Mapping (Sleeswijk & Visscher, 2005) and experience prototyping (Sein, Henfridsson, Rossi, & Lindgren, 2011). So methods that enable us to measure or elicit context are already available for the different phases of the innovation process in Living Lab research, but they all remain vague on what context is and how it should be evaluated. Mulders and Stappers (2009) and Dell’Era and Landoni (2014) emphasize the importance of contextualisation in Living Labs for example,


but they do not provide any insights on what context is and how it can be taken into consideration throughout all the phase of the Living Lab methodology. In this paper we will therefore first clarify the concept of context based on a literature review. Subsequently we describe the methodology of the project that we use as a case study exploring and explaining the context components withheld from the literature. Next, we illustrate the context components with the case study project material and conclude with a reflection of its use for Living Lab research projects. 2 Context: a multi-layered concept, more than just the “environment” As already mentioned in the previous section, the concept of context is not enough problematized in Living Lab research. Yet, it should gain more attention, because the concept in itself is very complex. In previous work, published by Geerts et al (2010) we pointed out three issues: 1) it is too often treated as a container concept, with a vague definition encapsulating different aspects that influence use; 2) it is often conceptualised as something static, underestimating its dynamism and change during the use process; 3) it is recurrently used post-hoc as an explanation for results while operationalization upfront is neglected. Let us therefore focus on the dimensions and complexities of the context concept. This will allow Living Lab researchers to make more conscious decisions on the research design and more specifically the aspects that could be taken into consideration when studying context. The Webster Online dictionary defines context as “the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs” which gives a general idea, but does not help researchers to study the concept. We start our search for dimensions of context in the field of Human Computer Interaction since our Living Lab research focus on the digitalisation of society. Dourish (2004) distinguishes two different types of views on context: representational and interactional. In the representational view of context (post-positivist scientific wordview), context is a set of environmental features surrounding generic activities. Dourish states that context in this view is a form of information, which is delineable, stable and where it is possible to separate the context from the activity. In the interactional view of context the scientific viewpoint is a phenomenological one, trying to asses how, in the course of interactions, do people achieve and maintain a mutual understanding of the context for their actions. Context is thus not something external, surrounding the users. The actual context to take into account is the one arising from (inter)action, thus from the relation between the user’s internal characteristics (motivation, intention, internalised societal values, goals, ...) and the external characteristics (location, social aspects, technical components, …). Consequently context cannot be treated as static information, but is a relational property arising out of activity. A perspective that is closely in line with the Living Lab approach. In previous work we tried to integrate this interactional view in our quality of experience model (Geerts et al 2010) by making use of the framework of Mantovani (1996). For the purpose of this paper we focus on the short description of the three context processes during situated action of a person and its influence on the user experience. These processes, interactional, situational and socio-cultural 1are nested (during an interaction, one goes through all three) and they are dynamic (over time there is change e.g. from a new to a routine activity).


Mantovani added the socio-cultural level because at the time of writing the article this level was often forgotten in the HCI field.


The socio-cultural level of context is described as the result of the interaction between the structures or the cultural models (e.g. social norms) and the actions of people within and with this structures. Over time this reinterpretation of the cultural models create change and thus history. Secondly, there is the situational level of context. The interpretation of a situation emerges from interaction where a person, with plural interests and goals, interprets the opportunities in the everyday life environment. On this level, a person takes into account the cultural models of the previous level when making a choice between the opportunities to reach certain goals. Third, there is the interaction level of context, where the user interacts with tools or artefacts to perform a task (action) taking into account the previous situation and the socio-cultural context levels. Based on the goal prioritised in the situation, a project is made. To realise this project, a plan is created. The realisation of the plan can be cut down into several tasks or actions. Which aspects receive attention in the interactional level of context depends largely on the activity and the tools at hand. The tools incorporate certain goals and plans of their designers. The users add meaning to their purpose. In this interaction innovation on all levels is introduced because exact replication of interaction is impossible (see also Molotch, 2003) . The challenge with this interaction approach is: how to operationalise this within the human centred design research approach of our Living Lab projects? We think a viable approach can be found in the work of Jumisko-Pyykkö and Vainio (2012) on the context of use for mobile HCI. They refer to the ISO standard 13407 where the context of use is associated with “user characteristics, tasks, technical, physical and the social environment”. So the standard separates the user and system from the other components, but approaches context as something stable. Although it is better to treat context as a dynamic given, Dourish (2004) also pointed out that approaching context from an interaction perspective makes it more difficult to operationalize and describe in relevant dimensions. Therefore in this paper we will use the representational perspective as an analytical approach, separating the context components and observing it as external to the user and system. This is in line with for example the ISO standard, but we remain aware of the dynamic interactional nature of context when decomposing context into components. The different dimensions of context of use following the work of Jumisko-Pyykkö and Vainio (2012) are: physical, temporal, task, social, technical and transitions. In Table 1 a more detailed explanation is given on all 5 components, their definition, and the properties with examples. To emphasize the dynamic dimension of context we positioned the time component first in the list. The dimension “technical /informational context” is in overlap with the physical context when you deal with the property of artefacts. But since digitisations results in artefacts that are not that straightforward physical in appearance, an additional category as added by Jumisko-Pyykkö and Vainio (2012) is still a viable solution for our digital innovation domain. Therefore, we position the dimension next to the physical component, to be aware of this potential overlap. We assume that this dimension could be redundant in non-technical innovation domains. We suggest that by using these context components upfront in the design of each phase of your Living Lab research, one can receive more actionable insight into the context of use:


e.g. how to take those aspects into account to improve the innovation trajectory. We will illustrate by a case study in the next sections how to use these context components. Table 1: Components of context of use after Jumisko-Pyykkö and Vainio (2012) Components of context of use

Definition of component

Properties of component


Temporal context

“The user interaction with the system in relation with time”


Length of interaction, length of event

Physical context

Technical/ information context

“The apparent features of a situation or physically sensed circumstances in which the user/system interaction takes place”

"Relation to other services and systems relevant to the user's system "

Anytime, weekend, peak Before during and after

Preparations, documenting, triggers

Temporal tensions of actions

Hurry, wait, rapid reaction

Syn-/asynchronous interaction


Spatial location

Geographical location, distance

Functional place

School, work

Functional space

Space for relaxation

Sensed environmental attributes

Light, weather, sound, haptic


Motion of user and/or environment


Physical object surrounding interaction

Other systems and services

Devices applications and networks

interoperability, informational artefacts and access

Between devices, services, platforms

Mixed reality systems Social context

"Other persons present, their characteristics and roles, the interpersonal interactions and the culture surrounding the user systems interaction"

Other Persons present

Virtual, private/public; characteristics and roles with influence on user

Interpersonal interaction,

Turn taking, co-actions, collaboration, coexperience


Values norms and attitudes e.g. at culture of uncertainty avoidance


Task context

"The tasks surrounding the user interaction with the system"


Multiple tasks priority depends on goals, primary vs secondary tasks


Interaction interrupted by e.g. technical problem

Task domain

Goal oriented (effectiveness, efficiency) vs action/process itself (entertainment)

3 Method: Case study description Given the exploratory nature of this paper, the study employed a qualitative research approach, providing an example of how context can be approached in a Living Lab research project. Case studies are considered an appropriate research tool in the early phases, when key variables and their relationships are being explored (Yin 2009; Eisenhardt 1989). They are performed in close interaction with practitioners, which is also the case when dealing with multi-stakeholder Living Labs (Gibbert, Ruigbrok and Wicki, 2008). Living Labs in Flanders are one of the leading-edge members of Enoll ( Therefore, Flanders appears to be a relevant location to explore the research findings from. The case in this study is a project with a company providing coaching to managers and employees of large organizations. They focus on the individual dimension of change and guide employees, teams and companies in their soft skill development. By organizing coaching events, they invite participants to reflect on themselves in their work environment and set goals for personal improvement such as empowerment, delegation, ‌ The organizers noticed that although participants are very motivated to work on their skills during the coaching sessions, their motivation declines tremendously when being back in their regular professional environment. To bridge this critical phase, between motivation and actual behavioural change, in this project the goal was to develop an application to support and guide participants. The application ideally allows the participants to choose a behaviour they want to change, select small steps that could lead to that behavioural change and select coaches that can observe the participants during indicated training moments and provide them with feedback on the progress being made. The Living Lab project took place over the course of 1 year (from January 2014 till February 2015). The general research flow followed by iMinds-Living Labs is a combination of the innovation process flow created by Demarez (2006) shown in figure 1 and the design squiggle explained by Sanders and Stappers (2012). The flow is iterative in nature, because user input should be taken into consideration at any step of the innovation process and allow for optimization and change of the product at hand. We follow Sanders and Stappers (2012) in their reasoning that a project should entail at any stage of the design process (idea, concept, prototype, minimal viable product – MVP) different approaches to move the innovation forward: 1) exploration or understanding, 2) generation or making and 3) evaluation of the idea or concept (see figure 2)


Figure 2: research flow of project used in the case study

The company came to us with an initial idea and mock-up of what the prototype should look like. Then the research flow described in figure 2 was followed. To better understand the innovation, insights were gathered from current existing technologies supporting behavioural change in organisations. Additionally, a literature review was conducted on behavioural change, technology adoption and gamification (in organizations) (1). Based on this, a first idea of how the application could look like was developed (2). In a second phase, a matrix was developed to invite different stakeholders to participate in interviews. Coaches, coachees and HR personnel of large organisations were invited to provide input on the use context and concept developed in phase 2. Nine interviews (with a duration of 2 hours per interview) took place with different stakeholders to gain insights in the current way of coaching and behavioural change in the organisation. This happened in a meeting room of the organisation so the physical context component was explicitly included. A first confrontation with the concept happened towards the end of the interview (3 & 4). Based on these first insights, the designer started making wireframes for the application (5). In a next step of the Living Lab project these wireframes were further co-designed with 6 potential end-users (3 coaches and 3 coachees) of the application. This was done in one on one sessions of approximately 1 hour per potential end-user in a meeting room of the organisation (6 & 7). Based on the input of these potential end-users the wireframes were further optimized (7 & 5) and used as input for the next step: the implementation phase or wizard of oz assessment (8). For this phase the appropriate technology to replicate the application was selected, namely Qualtrics (a survey software) and Panelkit (an e-mail software). An invitation was sent to people that recently received a coaching session (n=20) by the company to attend a kick-off event giving them the opportunity to participate in the testing phase. During the kick-off event the goal of the test was explained as well as how the process would look like. 12 people showed up to the kick-off event and started the testing phase. In a last phase, the evaluation or feedback phase, we invited people to share their opinion on the testing phase, even if they dropped out, via a survey. During and after this testing period, different qualitative research methods were used (an online post-survey with mainly open-ended questions and interviews) to provide us with their feedback (9), and to ensure the participative design process (10). During the Living Lab project the participants were observed, conversations recorded and researchers took notes. The results were a priori coded via table 1.


4 Results: applying the contextual components on a Living Lab case By focusing on the different dimensions of context, the prototypes in the various research steps provided us with a strong indication of how the technology would be used in the professional lives of the users and the necessary features to enhance product-user interaction in that context. Without focusing on the different elements of context, certain critical features would not have been exposed, potentially resulting in failure of the technology (e.g. wording of the coach in the application). Because the application was not developed at the time of the test phase, the company integrated any feedback iteratively and changed the concept towards prototype accordingly. The following table (table 2) shows the insights the researchers gathered while focussing on context during the different steps of the research flow. In each phase we illustrate different properties of the component in the different phases of the project. Table 2: Applying Components of context of use applied to LL project case in subsequent phases involving users

Context of use: Temporal context

LL project phase: Concept/Idea

LL project phase: Codesign with Wireframes

LL project phase: Wizard of Oz evaluation of prototype

Duration: Time between evaluation less than 2 weeks

Duration: Evaluations should be as soon as possible/immediate after a training moment

Duration: One week time between evaluations too short

Temporal tensions of actions: Easy re-entry point: what if I drop out?

Temporal tensions of actions: What if meeting is unexpectedly cancelled, can I reschedule my training moment

Before, during, after: Insights in availability of buddy during meetings is necessary to know before choosing who will be buddy

Before, during, after: Useful having something to remind you from time to time to work on habit change

Syn-/asynchronous interactions: Unable to start app, when requested buddy delays to reply

Before, during, after/duration: When having a free moment (e.g. on your way home) an extra trigger is needed: “time for reflection�

Before, during, after: More triggers needed, reminder is not enough to stimulate behavioural change

Before, during, after: When drop in motivation to change behaviour over time, system needs to spark motivation


Physical context

Functional places: Interview in the workplace

Functional places: Session in the workplace, in meeting room

Functional places: Test, Interview and survey in the workplace

Functional space: It’s use is in a professional environment and thus game elements are not appropriate

Functional space: The initial wireframes are still too playful, more professional look and feel necessary for their big corporate environment

Functional space: The proposed prototype took the professional space too much into account

Spatial location: Physical proximity of coach is necessary

Technical/ information context

Interoperability, informational artefacts and access: The organization blocks access to certain websites, applications, … e.g. personal e-mail

Movement/mobility: If you are offside you can’t access your professional mail address, which reminds you of the training moments Other systems and services: There are certain places in the buildings where you cannot access the wifi or 3/4G?

Interoperability, informational artefacts and access: The security infrastructure of the organization blocks any non integrated application Other systems and services: If I am on the move (going from one meeting to the next) I do not always have access to my emails and cannot receive/provide feedback

Context of use: Social context

LL project phase: Concept/Idea

LL project phase: Codesign with Wireframes

LL project phase: Wizard of Oz evaluation of prototype

Interpersonal interaction: face to face interaction is preferred

Culture: The word “coach” refers to the company’s hierarchy and associated with evaluation

Culture: Buddy is “too” sweet, because giving personal feedback is not part of corporate culture

Other persons present: Chosen coach needs to be already present in your activities (e.g. meetings)

Interpersonal interaction: It is important to choose your own coach (buddy) as someone you trust that can provide feedback in a safe environment

Other persons present: The habit you want to change is not always observable by the coach.


Task context

Culture: Being asked to become someone’s coach is perceived as an honour

Other persons present/interpersonal interaction: The coach needs to perform two roles: witnessing the behaviour and motivating. One or more persons can take on these roles.

Culture: Autonomy is highly valued for example choosing your own training moments, coach, ...

Other persons present/interpersonal interaction: People experience difficulties to define their habits correctly. They need other their buddy to guide them in the process such as choosing an observable habit, defining the right steps to get there,...

Multitasking: High level of multitasking, work priorities make difficult to focus on soft skills

Multitasking: Link to own calendar is needed to integrate behaviour change in between or during appropriate work tasks

Interruptions/multitasking: The timing of reminders should not interrupt an ongoing task flow (ok after meeting, but not when at work at desk)

Interruptions/multitaski ng: It is difficult to combine being active in a meeting and observing one's behaviour, when not being experienced in observation techniques. Task domain: Not every type of meeting is appropriate, ability to choose a good meeting to make first attempt of small step improvement of one’s behaviour

Because of the duration of a Living lab project, temporal context is always intuitively integrated in Living Lab evaluations. Yet, the example in table 2 shows that the time context component should be made more explicit to detect nuance and added value of the iterative approach. For example, in the idea/concept phase the suggested time between evaluations of two weeks was perceived too long. When adding more detail on the experience of the task flow by simulating the Wizard of Oz, the expected future experience was enriched by the other contextual dimensions and thus the perception of the ideal duration changed towards more than two weeks. In other words, the time context should be made more explicit. Especially because sometimes components will not be noticed by researchers, while in other circumstances multiple components will appear simultaneously. The physical context component, was guiding in our research design to operationalize context (grey area, table 2; supra method). We purposefully held all research activities in the functional place for which the application was designed, namely an office. Over the different design phases it can be noticed that taking into account the user concerns and feedback on


the appropriateness of the application for their functional space is an iterative process, looking for the right balance between professionalism and fun engagement. The artefact component of the physical context is not used in this analysis, since the project is oriented towards a mobile service, where both virtual and physical product aspects are active. They are discussed in the technical/ information context components. There is ample room for improvement to define the components of the technical information context. With the social context components one can see the three layers of the Mantovani model reappearing: culture for the social-cultural; the other individuals present as a proxy for the situational level, and interpersonal interaction for the micro interactional level. We experienced that culture is easier to elicit in interviews, while reflections based on experiences in daily life are necessary to elicit aspects of interpersonal interactions on a micro level while there is higher likelihood of missing out on cultural aspects. So both approaches are needed to elicit the different aspects of social context. The situational level should be maybe more explicit. Having attention for the component of task context is just as the temporal context, an inherent part of user experience research. In each step of the Living Lab project there is a focus on the tasks/actions that users will fulfil to reach the goal of the application, in this case the goal was behavioural change. In the wireframe session the researchers assumed a given flow of tasks being executed by the users, which makes it more unlikely to discover new contextual task components. The session focuses more on validating previous task context components. The danger when focussing too hard on this task component is that other components are easily neglected. 5 Conclusion In this paper we decomposed the container concept of context into different dimensions and components to enable a more structured approach including the everyday life context in each stage of Living Lab projects. We illustrated the use of these components of context via a case study. We were able to show that it is feasible to detect the different components and their properties. The results clearly indicate that contextual input can be gathered at any phase of the Living Lab project. Contextual input can also vary depending on the research method being used. This emphasizes not only the importance of the multi-method approach in Living Labs projects, but also the necessity to not only focus on context during field trials, but during the front end of design as well. In the co-design phase, we focused less on the contextual use of the application, but the participants still provided us with some useful input. A first aspect was the element of gamification. Considering this is an application that will be used in a work context, all participants indicated during the interviews and co-design phase that they did not want gamification elements in the application. The more professional and plain it was, the better. Yet, when evaluating it in real-life context, all participants indicated they were missing a ‘fun’ element in the application to show them how well they were doing. These results indicate that a single prototype is never enough and context should be researched over time. Multiple methods such as different prototypes, contextual observation, user testing and participatory design in real life environments all bring important perspectives to complete the picture and improve the outcomes of the Living Lab. The model helps the researcher to structure the research approach, but it does not mean all properties of the components need to be found. Components of context, for example temporal and place can be present in the same example, but that is a normal consequence of the multidimensionality of context. All components can influence each other. By experiencing difficulties decomposing, one becomes more aware of the interrelations, which is an interesting analytic insight in itself. The decomposition into different properties


and examples is, as already mentioned, oriented at mobile services, and is in itself open for improvement (new components, new examples) in this digital and other innovation domains. This case shows the approach added value in the evaluation phase, independent of the maturity of innovation. However, this approach of structuring context is also helpful in the design of the research flow where different “understand, make, evaluate� cycles will be executed. For example, spontaneous dimensions mentioned by interviewees (e.g. I don’t want a coach, but a buddy) can indicate their priority, but making a list of different components in your interview topic guide can guide the search for more components (e.g. other artefacts that can support behavioural change such a sticker on your computer).


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Ries, E., 2011. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses 1st. ed., New York: Crown Business. Sanders, E. B. N., & Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. Codesign, 4(1), 5-18. Schuurman, D., Baccarne, B., Kawsar, F., Seys, C., Veeckman, C., De Marez, L., & Ballon, P. (2013). Living Labs as Quasi-experiments: Results from the Flemish LeYLab. In: ISPIM Conference Proceedings (p.1). The International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM). Schuurman, D. (2015). Bridging the gap between Open and User Innovation?: exploring the value of Living Labs as a means to structure user contribution and manage distributed innovation. Doctoral dissertation, Ghent University. Sein, M. K., Henfridsson, O., Rossi, M., & Lindgren, R. (2011). Action Design Research. MIS Quarterly, 35, 37–56. Stewart, James K and Williams, Robin, The Wrong Trousers? Beyond the Design Fallacy: Social Learning and the User (2005). User Involvement in Innovation Processes. Strategies and Limitations from a Socio-Technical Perspective, Edited by Harald Rohracher, Profil-Verlag, Munich, 2005. Available at SSRN: Trimi, S. & Berbegal-Mirabent, J., 2012. Business model innovation in entrepreneurship. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8(4), pp.449–465. Available at: [Accessed November 11, 2013]. Von Hippel, E., 1986. Lead Users: A source of Novel Product Concepts. Management Science, 32(7), pp.791–805. Yin, R., 2009. Case Study Research: Design and Methods, London: Sage.


Empowering seniors to discuss transport provision to health services

Andree Woodcock a, Deana McDonagh b, Kam Kaur a, Sinead Ouillona and Priscilla Chueng Nainby c a

Centre for Mobility and Transport, Coventry University and Coventry Living Lab, UK; b University of Illinois U-C, Champaign, Illinois, USA; c Lemon Grass Hut, UK

Abstract Coventry (UK) is aspiring to become an Age Friendly City by bringing together a range of stakeholders to collaborate in implementing the World Health Organisation’s Continual Improvement Cycle. One of the priorities identified in Stage 1 (planning) related to transport. This paper provides an introduction to the Age Friendly City Initiative (AFCI) in Coventry, involvement with seniors, and initial activities undertaken to address the priority area of access to health care. The aims of the paper are to provide information for those commencing on Age Friendly City Initiatives and engaging with elders.


1 Introduction The number of people aged 60 and over is predicted to rise to 22% by 2050. With increasing urbanisation, the quality of life for senior city dwellers is often significantly low. Despite the (WHO, 1996) assertion that “healthy older people are a resource for their families, their communities and the economy” most cities are not rising to the challenge of appreciating this resource or realising the opportunities working with seniors can provide. To be sustainable and attractive, cities must provide the structures and services to support all residents’ wellbeing and productivity. The need to provide seniors with supportive and enabling living environments to compensate for physical and social changes associated with ageing was recognised as one of the three priority directions of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing endorsed by the United Nations in 2002. Being mobile and having access to transportation is a critical to not feeling isolated and sustaining a high quality of life. Seniors need to be part of consultation processes, listened to, and environments/facilities provided which enable them to take an active place in their cities. Too frequently their engagement is tokenistic or ignored, despite their extensive knowledge accrued from successfully living, working and negotiating in an urban environment. Not only do seniors possess knowledge accrued through formal education and employment, they also have a wealth of tacit knowledge that, if released and valued could be used for product, service and system innovation. This paper reflects on the experiences the AFCI team and associates have had in working with seniors in Stage 1 of the 5 year Continual Improvement Cycle (Figure 1, participatory action learning model, adapted from Cycle of WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities) using work of the transport group as a case study. Coventry Older Voices (an active group of older people in the city who campaign for the voice of older people to be heard) have been key to shaping Coventry’s early programme development. A range of consultation and community engagements have been undertaken which are essential for those working towards Age Friendly City status, including • Establishment of a governance board chaired by the City Council cabinet lead for Health and Social Care; • Recognition of 6 key ingredients necessary for success derived from a scoping study of UK Age Friendly Cities; i.e. political leadership and commitment, partnership working, engagement and co-creation with older people, project management, research and evaluation and communication; • Stakeholder mapping of service providers key to implementation; • Raising awareness with stakeholders and developing routes to engagement through working with older people, local statutory and voluntary organisations.

Figure 1: Continual Improvement Cycle


Engagement with 2,000 stakeholders led to the following priorities: • Responding to loneliness and social isolation • Developing skills in understanding and using information technology to access information • Having a one stop shop for information • Embedding intergeneration relations and activities • Improving the perception of older people as active citizens • Better access to buildings, more amenities (e.g. public toilets and sitting areas) • A need for more minority ethnic volunteers. This was further refined in to 3 priority areas for (2015/16) in a consultative workshop relating to social participation, communication and information, and transport. Working groups were established for each priority area, with involvement of seniors to develop detailed action plans for improvements, oversee implementation and evaluation (Kaur et. al., 2015). 2 Transport case study Public transport systems are ubiquitous, complex large-scale systems. For those unable to drive, they form an essential gateway for participation in social, civic, education and employment opportunities. In order to have the freedom to live independently, socialize, or hold a job, one must be able to understand and navigate these cognitively complex and physically demanding systems. The Americans with Disabilities 1990 Act (ADA) was passed to encourage integration and eliminate discrimination in critical areas including transportation, health services, and access to public services. Although transport is essential for health and well-being, quality of life, and the ability to engage in equal opportunities, the mobility needs of certain groups are not being discovered, acknowledged or responded to in the design of new transport services. In their global consultation processes, the WHO noted 16 transport areas of importance for seniors and developed a checklist to assess the age-friendliness of each factor (i.e. availability, affordability, reliability and frequency, destinations, age friendly vehicles, specialised services, priority seating and passenger comfort, drivers, stops and stations, taxis, community transport, information, driving conditions, courtesy towards older drivers and parking). The WHO checklist was completed by 24 participants who rated areas of transport provision as falling ‘short of the mark’ of being age friendly, having room for improvement, or being well provided for(Kaur et. al., 2015). Issues rated as needing most improvement included safety, sufficiency and convenience of parking and drop off areas; regulation of traffic flow; accessible, affordable taxis with courteous and helpful drivers; accessible transport stations and stops; reliable and frequent public transport; public transport costs which are fare and transparent. This formed the basis for developing ground up, user centred priorities for age friendly transport provision. When the baseline results were matched to previously identified priority areas, attention was placed on how access to transport could be improved to reduce isolation and/or enable active healthy ageing. Tables 1 and 2 illustrate the key points.


Table 1: Reducing isolation through transport

Barriers • Bus routes do not cover all the city e.g. no services to sheltered flats • Unreliability of public transport (buses missed out, cancelled) • Concessionary fares only at certain times • Frequency of service throughout the day (e.g. after 6) • Clarity and availability of transport information • Cost of taxis/willingness/ability to take wheelchairs • Passenger attitudes towards older people • Volunteer schemes/community transport not available • Ring and ride service provision inadequate for some • No transport to churches on Sunday • Accessibility of bus stops – too far from where people live • Lack of consultation about changes to service provision • Lack of (knowledgeable) staff at the bus station • Lack of transport interchange – bus station is not used by all operators

Consequences 4 Social isolation increased if people have poor access to services 4 Increased reluctance to use public transport 4 Limitations to travel times 4 Limitations to travel times 4 Increased isolation because cannot find out information easily 4 Cost and unavailability may reduce travel choice 4 Journey made unpleasant 4 Reliance on poor services 4 Lack of trust in the service 4 Hard to maintain social networks 4 Travel becomes more difficult and represents a barrier 4 Service provision may fail to support journeys people want to make 4 Increases in confusion and isolation as key information is hard to find 4 Travel between services and making connections is difficult to maintain social networks

Table 2: Enabling healthy ageing through transport

Barriers • Poorly maintained pavements • Poorly maintained cycle paths • Provision of transport to hospitals poor from certain areas • Poor design of transport stations and stops – lack of shelters and seating • Poor driver skills and awareness e.g. not waiting to sit down, not stopping by dropped kerbs • Signage and time to cross road inadequate leading to confusion and stress • Shared spaces (traffic and pedestrians) perceived as dangerous for those with mobility and perceptual problems

Consequences 4 Health and safety , reduction in walking and cycling 4 Difficult to get to appointments, increased stress 4 Discomfort 4 Health and safety issues relating to bumps, grazes and strains

4 Stress in crossing roads, reduction in walking and cycling


A series of meeting were held by the Transport Theme Group to develop and implement actions, to address some of the identified priorities (Table 3). Table 3: Priority areas and associated initiatives

Priority areas 1. Accessible, affordable and convenient transport options to support older people access to social and medical appointments 2. Encouraging older people to engage in active travel

3. Design of transport and outdoor spaces encourages travel

4. Supporting older drivers to drive safely for longer

Initiatives • Volunteer Transport/ Community Car sharing Scheme – Individual drivers • Use of social/commercial Fleet for social groups to access opportunities • Taxi incentivised scheme • Travel buddies • Review of bus routes • Community Connectors – voluntary led scheme to encourage walking Schemes • Volunteer Cycle buddy/learn to ride scheme • Better bus shelters/seating • Timing of pedestrian crossings • Multimodal, accurate real time information • Travel assistance card • Better publicity of online journey plans and changes to bus routes • Driver awareness scheme • Assistive technology in cars • Mobility Scooters

• • • •

• • •

Delivery Review of bus routes Travel buddy scheme established Taxi providers have been mapped in the city Use of social/commercial fleet for social and medical appointment is being explored as well as a car volunteer scheme.

Transport assistance cards developed by transport providers, to support older people with a hidden disability. Walking groups encouraging all ages as well as older people Review of bus shelters/seating by transport providers Review of timings at pedestrian crossings where these have been raised as a concern Online journey planners and real time information being rolled out

Addressed by engagement in wider initiatives

Through setting up the AFCI and conducting workshops with elders in Coventry and Champaign (US) (see section 3) a number of generic key issues have emerged which should be considered by Living Labs and others wishing to work with elders. The final column in Table 4 considers ways in which the situation could be improved.


Table 4: Key learnings

Good Awareness raising

Emergence of tacit knowledge

Bad Raising awareness before and after events

Instrumental factors/issues Knowledge of networks, calendars, local champions, building of resilience and capacity in local communities, Knowledge Seniors are expert users of capture transport services, the culture and the context of the city. Capturing and representing their collective knowledge is challenging because of the level of detail and personalisation Communicat • Difficult to access elders ion who are not members of organisations or on social networks • Elders need to be communicated in ways that they are comfortable with Visual cues are critically important

Collective consciousn ess raising

Capitalising and extending this

Eliciting information and developing deep understanding requires research techniques that go beyond the quantitative

Gathering insights

Acting on knowledge

There is a great will to improve transport issues in the community and transport groups. This has led to discussion locally at various levels about what works well and what does. Information is being shared by seniors representing COV at the Transport theme groups and this has had an impact on transport providers looking at specific localised issues

Using acquired information to effect change

Proposals to improve Use of text based media, radio, newsletters and libraries. Sharing of contacts across groups in the sector More appropriate empathic research methods, allowing rich pictures to be developed

Use of radio, newsletters, set research days, libraries and community groups • Language should be of the elders’ vernacular not the researchers’ language • Ensure elders are engaged in their home environments, their social group spaces) • Timeliness of information (plan and notify months in advance) • More appropriate empathic research methods, allowing rich pictures to be developed • Ensuring that this information is not just collected but used The will needs to change into more collective action •

• •

The information gathered needs to effect change at a bigger scale locally. A process for communicating this in a way that ensures this


Changing focus of priorities Lack of funds

Transport providers to prioritise changing practice and influence policy and understand the concerns of seniors

Interorganisation communicat ion and action

Political support

happens on an ongoing basis needs to be developed Transport and other priority Find a means of ensuring needs have been well longevity of current priorities, articulated, but through so that the information is not engagement and top down lost /schemes abandoned. directives these may change • No tangible funding to • Access to resources for make changes which is improvements needs to be difficult for elders to identified across partner understand when organisations wanting swift • Access to funding grants, improvements including those in the community needs to be • More resource required at a programme/ project explored with level to oversee stakeholders. developments and • Longterm commitment of improvements with key decision transport providers and makers/funders key communicate this with seniors on a more regular basis. Transport providers are • Identifying the key competing against a number priorities will be of demands at national and undertaken through a regional level. Changing process of involving organisational structures stakeholders. and depleting resources for • The process will involve a transport providers coupled collective decision making with uncertainty means that process so that actions can some are not able to be agreed and prioritised prioritise the concerns and issues of seniors, as quickly as they would like. Meeting the accessibility • Ensure representation needs of older people is not from all transport just the responsibility of the providers and policy transport provider issue but makers at the Age Friendly requires a number of key Transport theme group to providers and statutory enable inter-organisational organisations to work communication. together for effective and • Ensure continual political sustainable change. leadership for meetings and overseeing of progress against agreed actions and priorities. Cabinet lead has been This needs to continue with supportive in building on changes to cabinet leads. best practice initiatives, listening and addressing issues at a strategic level, 28

more support wanted by elders on pressing local issues at a personal level 3 Codesign and empathic research to understand changes in seniors’ mobility As previously explained seniors can offer significant lived experiences, insights and unique needs that may be overlooked and neglected. By accessing this rich pool of knowledge and experience, we can begin to develop a deeper understanding of existing, emerging and unforeseeable needs of elders and other community members. Mobility and transport contribute significantly to seniors’ sense of independence and well-being (Loe 2011). In order to address these issues a more participatory action/empathic research approach is needed to generate, capture and use stories to inform product, service and system design. As indicated in Table 4, such engagement activities need to be carefully planned from the outset if they are to deliver against objectives. 3.1 Empathic research Empathic design refers to products, services and environments satisfying the needs of customers/consumers that goes beyond functional requirements. It assumes that all functional needs are satisfied and focuses upon the ‘supra-functional’ ones, such as cultural, social, aspirational and emotional (McDonagh 2016, Kyungo et. al., 2014) needs. Empathic design research methods aim to uncover and access these needs by going beyond standard measurements. Surveys, one-to-one interviews and questionnaires may not gather information that uncovers unmet needs. Approaches are needed that take into account the lived experience which cannot easily be expressed in words, but which can be captured by experiencing it in person – such as in daily journals of experiences, mood boards to communicate emotional and aspirational needs using abstract images, that are explained using personal vernacular. The empathic design researcher needs to be sensitive to their participant, agile with research tools and receptive to needs beyond the functional (McDonagh 2015). Taking this approach one stage further to include empathic modelling would acknowledge that the only way to experience the experience of another person is to experience it yourself (Pullin 2009). The overall aim is that the researcher seeks knowledge from a new position of understanding. By experiencing a bus journey while experiencing impaired vision, and/or limited mobility in either hands and/or legs, will bring a new perspective to the researcher. Once such sensitivity has been established (and this may take a more longitudinal study) the application of empathic design research methods will lead to more intuitive design outcomes. 3.2 Codesign In co and participatory design, the designer works with participants to gain insights from which artefacts and systems can be co-created. The designer develops empathy and greater understanding of the participants and their world above and beyond functional needs. Codesigning complex systems, such as transport is challenging. Bradwell and Marr (2008) compared codesign across health, transport, social welfare and educational sectors in UK, EU, USA, Asia Pacific and Latin America, finding fewer examples of this approach in the transport sector. This is significant considering the acknowledged effects of improved accessibility on quality of life. Worryingly, operators and authorities still find it difficult to


engage with hard to reach users such as seniors and those with additional needs, or those who do not use their services (Woodcock, 2015). The challenge for design researchers is to develop tools that are intuitively simple and which can be used by diverse communities to achieve societal transformation (Fulton Suri, 2008). For example, Chueng-Nainby and Gong (2013) experimented with sustainable, physical tools (threads, strings and sticks) to enable participants to collaboratively generate design elements in the form of keywords or drawings, and connect them into narratives. These narratives were used to create physical structures representing a common creative space for conceptual understanding of collective wishes (Chueng-Nainby et al, 2015). The resultant weave becomes a collective space to create public awareness of the issue in question, such as mobility, going beyond the statement of functional needs. The installations facilitate social innovation by envisioning and enacting a common human-centred design goal. 3.3 Workshops to understand changes seniors’ mobility Developing accessible, affordable and convenient transport options to support access to social and medical appointments is a key area of concern for seniors who have complex needs which often necessitate multiple appointments to unfamiliar, distant health providers. Problems include increases in journey related stress and anxiety (e.g. due to complex, unfamiliar, multi leg journeys, rudeness of staff and passengers), travel exacerbating health problems, health service issues (e.g. cost of missed appointments, attitudes of staff to lateness), inadequacy of public transport provision and parking at health centres. ‘Collective imagery’ workshops were held in June 2016 with representative seniors and transport stakeholders in Champaign (south of Chicago, Illinois, USA) (n=15) and Coventry (UK) (n=35) to 1) identify problems of access to health care in the light of age–related changes to mobility; 2) identify the collective wish of seniors with regard to access to health services; 3) create holistic integrated service innovations. In both workshops, participants shared stories, identified mutual problems and solutions/strategies at product, service and system level. For example, stories included the need to downsize and then upsize cars as children moved out of parental homes, but then returned with grandchildren; having a house with an empty garage space (when the car had to be given up); lack of public transport to health providers, lack of access to public transport for wheelchair travellers. Sharing stories enabled connected narratives to be developed from which collective wishes could be developed, Rather than presenting the results of these workshops, the aim of this paper is to reflect on ways in which many-to-many forms of engagement (such as co and participatory design) with seniors as part of Living Lab concept development stages can be made more effective. 4 A framework for formative evaluation of engagement The aim of formative evaluation is to produce recommendations for design improvement, in this case in relation to the design of ‘senior friendly’ design methods. Breakdown analysis (BA) has been shown to rapidly provide diagnostic information from rich data created in task focussed system usage (Woodcock and Scrivener, 2003) where users speak or act naturally. A breakdown may be defined as the moment when a user becomes conscious of the properties of the system and has to mentally breakdown of decompose his or her understanding of it in order to rationalise the problem experienced (Winograd and Flores, 1987). Codesign may be viewed as a collaborative task in which participants are encouraged to think aloud in order to share and develop ideas. In workshops participants typically work with a system of materials (e.g. tags, sticks, coloured pens) on one of more specific tasks (e.g.


generating and telling stories, linking ideas to together to form concepts). During workshop observations it became apparent that participants were naturally vocal and active and would comment naturally on areas where they were struggling. Such breakdowns (whether they are verbal or nonverbal) can be captured unobtrusively and could be useful in designing more participant friendly, rigorous engagement methods. Although most typically used in computer mediated communication (CMC), this approach is an extension of Scrivener et al (1996), Woodcock (1999), Puphaiboon et al (2003) who combined breakdown analysis with Task-User-Tool-Environment (TUTE) (Shackel, 1991) analysis to the design of computer systems, teaching materials and international computer mediated communication. Breakdowns were classified (Scrivener et al, 1996) as shown in Table 5. Table 5: Overview of breakdowns.

Type of breakdown 1. User - task 2. User - tool

3. Userenvironment 4. User-user

Definition 1.1 User has difficulties understanding the task 1.2 User does not have the necessary knowledge to accomplish objectives In CMC these related to hardware and software interfaces. In codesign there may be a number of tools provided, but the breakdowns may still be classified as relating to: 2.1 tool failure (where a technical problem occurs) 2.2 user not understanding how to use the tool The user becomes aware of an intrusive property of the environment e.g. bright light shining on the screen, noise from other rooms, accessibility Breakdowns in communication between users in terms of: 4.1 Sufficiency; information provided is not sufficient for understanding intention 4.2 Clarity; message is inaudible or illegible 4.3 Comprehension: cultural differences lead to failures of comprehension 4.4 Attention: loss of attention because of absorption in task or distraction 4.5 Co-ordination: users fail to co-ordinate their utterances/action and interrupt each other 4.6 Feedback: when the source does not receive any acknowledgement from the receiver

Understanding breakdowns which occur in codesign and empathic research enables more effective, immersive and rigorous user engagement activities to be designed which can address some of the challenges shown in Table 4. Therefore BA was used to determine whether it could provide a suitable framework for the design and evaluation of citizen engagement activities, in this case with seniors. 5 User-task breakdowns Clarity is needed in terms of task outcomes, focus, delivery and management of expectations especially when professional and/or non–university participants are included, who may expect immediate results and have different expectations as to the way in which their inputs will be used. Breakdowns can be reduced through planning meetings with the clients,


facilitators and key participants/community champions who can convey messages in the participants’ vernacular. Our participants consisted of two groups: 1) seniors (from 50 – 95) with a number of disabilities (e.g. mobility and cognitive impairments), age related conditions (failing eyesight, arthritis) and differing levels of education and 2) transport stakeholders (professionals). 5.1 Understanding the task Seniors needed longer than expected to settle into the task, gain an overview of the workshop, its aims, and to understand the flow of sessions. Both groups struggled with secondary tasks (e.g. registration and ethical compliance forms). Proactive, roving facilitators briefed in the ‘journey’ and the overall aims provided essential support (e.g. reminding, writing, recording. Although tasks and schedules were kept on the screen for reference, verbal reminders were needed. Tasks needed to be reinforced, presented in different ways, using the participant’s vernacular, and related to their experience – especially as people joined the workshop at different stages. Workshops were adapted and reframed to reflect the abilities/interests and experience of the participants. The language used should be non jargonistic, straightforward with a high level of information redundancy and information presented in different ways. The leader and facilitators needed to be empathic, adaptive and have first-hand knowledge of the users ‘world’ and abilities. If there is lack of clarity about the objectives and how to reach them or they change, participants become confused, discouraged and use the workshop for other purposes. When participants are interested in the topic, they will discuss it and exchange information, but this ‘data’ needs to be captured quickly in a usable form. Tasks which required dismantling constructed artefacts were not understood. Although recording of events on social media is successful with some groups, this was not appropriate for seniors in our workshops, who were found new media/ICT difficult to use. 5.2 Skills needed to meet objectives The workshops required participants to write down key words, tell stories and relate items to each other. Tasks which require seniors restructuring and carrying of materials, fine or gross motor control, visual acuity, standing and moving around obstacles should be minimised. During the workshop, more age friendly materials were introduced and tasks requiring high levels of dexterity performed in advance or by workshop helpers. 5.3 User-tool breakdowns Although the process of writing on tags and joining words/ideas/stories together has proved successful with certain populations, it was not appropriate to the seniors in our workshops. The age appropriateness of workshop materials needs to be considered: e.g. seniors have poor eyesight, arthritic hands, cannot write easily or manipulate small objects, and may become cognitively overloaded when a lot of instructions and alternatives are presented (a notable problem arose with regard to the use of colour coding). Methods which rely on sight and text based communication were perceptually and cognitively challenging. Not being able to use the materials or retain an oversight of how activities joined together would have led to frustration, disengagement and tasks being completed incorrectly without the intervention of facilitators. Notably some seniors, did not enjoy experimenting with how different materials could be used together. They were confused by the plethora of material


provided which detracted from their ability to concentrate on the task. Workshop materials had to be tested to make sure that they were compatible with each other, usable and fit for purpose (e.g. clips need to be the right size to attach items together). 5.4 User-environment Rooms were selected which were accessible, with large spaces for manoeuvring wheelchairs, guide dogs and provision for carers. Thermal, acoustic and visual comfort was considered ion relation to blinds and air-conditioning, hums from machines and movement of large parties in shared spaces. Tables need to be height adjustable, set up in advance with consideration on how they will be reconfigured through the workshop. Activities which require participants to move round tables, look over tables, read writing across tables in non-standard orientations, or look at /interact with materials need to be avoided. All material presented via a computer (e.g. ppts) should be reproduced beforehand in different formats, in large fonts, and be relevant to the workshop. A variety of hot and cold refreshments should be made available bearing in mind allergies and conditions such as diabetes. 5.5 User-user breakdowns In BA research, interactions were mediated by computer, sometimes over limited channels. In codesign, the agents may be collocated, communication can be synchronous or asynchronous, face to face, or mediated through workshop tools, little time may be provided to build up working relationships. The communicants can be from similar or dissimilar backgrounds, ages, cultures and disciplines. Dialogue was found to be purposeful and mostly task related, about sharing experiences and linking ideas. Participants quickly engaged on the task and enjoyed telling others what they have done. The following points should be considered in reducing user-user breakdowns bearing in mind different disciplines/stakeholders, the drifting of participants and the need to use information/data after the workshop. a) Sufficiency; is the information communicated sufficient for understanding? Personal narratives and joint stories create rich pictures from which an empathic designer can work. However, as narratives become reduced to phrases or words on post it notes without context, misinterpretations and misrepresentations can occur, especially when initial instructions (such as colour coding) have been forgotten and material is merged. This was of key concern to elders, who did not understand that the ‘tags’ were building blocks and would be discarded/reappropriated later in the workshop. b) Clarity; messages may become inaudible in rooms with poor acoustics, where people speak at the same time on or the speaker has a quiet voice (as with seniors). This also effects the quality of data capture. Where writing is used to convey key points it may become illegible if written quickly, on small pieces of paper, with large sized pens of where people have lost the ability to manipulate writing instruments e.g. with arthritis. Clarity may also be effected by poor/inappropriate word choice. Participants need to be allowed time and space to understand the contributions of others and make their own contributions. c) Comprehension: the data from the two workshops was not combined to avoid issues related to differences in the use of language and cultural issues. However, differences in comprehension might occur within a workshop because of stakeholder involvement (e.g. between elders and transport planners and researchers). One person in a group may understand the task and drive a group, which was seen as distorting power relationships and leading to tokenistic engagement. d) Attention: loss of attention because of absorption in task or distraction. In workshops where everyone is talking, has limited attention spans, or is progressing at different rates,


attention is a major issue which requires good communication and time management skills from the leader and facilitators to keep the group on track. e) Co-ordination: users fail to co-ordinate their utterances/action and interrupt each other. The seniors worked on different narratives, at different rates, and with different levels of understanding of the task. Here facilitators are needed to ensure methodological rigour e.g. that actions are coordinated, completed and comparable across groups. f) Feedback: Participants and related stakeholder groups need timely feedback about outcomes and how their input contributed to the results and the impact this might have. This obligation should be addressed as an integral part of all citizen engagement activities and is essential for persevering continued commitment of participants, who may have contributed their time and knowledge for no tangible reward. Likewise feedback from the participants should always be used to improve workshop design and show consideration for the participants. It has been argued that BA may provide a starting point in opening up the need for more careful consideration of experience of participants, their needs from workshops and the use of data derived from workshops. The data from three workshops (an additional workshop was held with designers using input from other sessions) is being analysed. Indicative results point to the need for more integrated, personal mobility services centred around health care, which addresses the supra-functional requirements of patients through their entire interaction with the health service. 6 Summary As a community we all benefit from an integrated aging community, where individuals can live independently for as long as possible. As researchers it is our challenge to understand and elicit the needs, fears and aspirations of our seniors. We need to develop research approaches that suit this population to ensure more intuitive, empowering and enabling outcomes for future communities. In presenting some of the work undertaken over the last 18 months by AFCI at Coventry, we have illustrated how the WHO framework has been implemented, how transport themes have emerged through working with seniors and challenges overcome. Codesign workshops have been used to develop integrated and holistic transport concepts to address access to health care. A framework has been presented which could be used to ensure greater rigour during engagements with seniors in living lab activities. Acknowledgements: The research has been funded by Coventry University, the Transport Systems Catapult (IMPART UPP) and the Frank Jackson Foundation. Ethical approval was gained for all studies from Coventry University (FAH ethics). The authors would like to thank the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (Olli Center, Champaign USA), Coventry Older Voices and all participants for their support.


7 References ADA, D. A. Americans with Disabilities Act. Title II Public Services and Transportation (2011). Bradwell, P. and Marr. S. (2008) making the most of collaboration: an international survey of public service codesign, DEMOS Report 23 Brasilia Declaration on Ageing. World Health, 1997, No. 4: 21. Chueng-Nainby, P. and Gong, M. S. (2013) Collective Imagery: A Framework for Co-Design. In Proceedings of the Consilience and Innovation in Design, 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) (Tokyo, 2013). IASDR. Chueng-Nainby, P., Lin, X. and Hu, J. (2015) Kindness as a Collective Wish to Co-Design with Communities using Physical Installation. Experiential Knowledge Special Interest Group. Fulton Suri, J. (2008) Informing our intuition: Design research for radical innovation. Rotman Magazine, 52-57. Kaur, K., Ouillon, S., Knight, C. and Woodcock, A. (2015) Creating transport services for an ageing population. Poster presentation at Humane Cities Conference, Novi Sad, Serbia. Kyungo, K., Chodzko-Zajko, W., Schwingel, A., and McDonagh, D. (2014), “Understanding Older Individuals’ Emotional Responses to New Technology Associated with Healthy Lifestyle Choice.” Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 14 (2): 138-147. Lee, L-C., Woodcock, A. and Scrivener, S.A.R. (2002), Intervention strategies for alleviating problems in international co-operative design projects, Common Ground Conference, September 2002, 99. Loe, M. (2011), Aging Our Way: Independent Elders, Interdependent Lives. New York: OUP McDonagh, D. (2016), “How Products Satisfy Needs Beyond the Functional: Empathy Supporting Consumer-Product Relationships.” In Penny Sparke and Fiona Fisher, Routledge Companion to Design Studies, Ablington, UK: Routledge (in print). McDonagh, D. (2015), ‘Design students foreseeing the unforeseeable: Practice-based empathic research methods’, International Journal of Education through Art, 11: 3, pp. 421– 431. Nelson, G., Ochocka, J., Griffin, K. and Lord, J. (1998), Nothing about me, without me: Participatory Action Research with self help/mutual aid organisations for psychiatric consumer/survivors, American Journal of Community Psychology, 26, 6, 881-912. Pullin, G. (2009), Design meets disability. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. Puphaiboon, K., Woodcock, A., and Scrivener, S. (25 March 2005), "Design method for developing mathematical diagrams". In Bust, Philip D.; McCabe, P.T. Contemporary Ergonomics 2005 (Taylor & Francis, UK)


Shackel, B. (1991), Usability-context, framework, definition, design and evaluation, in B. Shackel and S. Richardson (eds.) Human Factors for Informatics Usability ( CUP, UK). Scrivener, S.A.R., Urquijo, S.P., Palmen, H.K. (1996), The use of breakdown analysis in synchronous CSCW system design. In P. Thomas (ed.), CSCW requirements and evaluation (Springer, London). United Nations Population Fund, (2007). Urbanization: a majority in cities. New York. Accessed from United Nations, (2002), Report of the Second World Assembly on Ageing, Madrid, 8–12 April 2002. New York WHO, (2007), Global Age Friendly






Winograd, T. and Flores, F. (1987), Understanding computers and cognition: A new foundation. Norwood, NJ, USA: Ablex: Woodcock, A. (2015) Transport users; knowledge gaps and the potential of real time transport information In: S. Sharples, S. Shorrock and P. Waterson (eds). Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors 2015. London: Taylor & Francis, 520–527. Woodcock, A. and Scrivener, S.A.R. (2003), Breakdown analysis, P.T. McCabe (ed.) Contemporary Ergonomics, 258-263.


The potential of experimentation in Business-to-Business Living Labs

Ruben D’Hauwers a, Aron-Levi Herregodts b, Annabel Georges b, Lynn Coorevits b, Dimitri Schuurman b, Olivier Rits a, Pieter Ballon a a

iMinds-SMIT-VUB, iMinds-MICT-UGENT Corresponding author: b

Abstract The demand for business-to-business (b-to-b) Living Lab projects is growing significantly within iMinds Living Labs. Real-life experimentation is a key requirement for Living Labs as it enables deeper insights in the potential success of the innovation. However, literature has not provided insights on whether the Living Lab methodology is an appropriate approach for real-life experimentation with b-to-b innovations and does not provide conditions where experimenting in b-to-b Living Lab projects is applicable. Within this paper we performed a cross-case analysis of eight b-to-b Living Lab cases. We conclude that real-life experimentation is possible in Living Lab projects but the possibilities vary on a case level. Three barriers have been identified that help to determine the possibility of reallife experimentation in a b-to-b Living Lab project: the technological complexity, the need for integration and the difficulty to identify testers. Finally, we also described how these blocking factors can be overcome. This can be interesting for the reader to identify whether real-life experimentation will be possible or not in a b-to-b context. Keywords Living labs, business-to-business, experimentation, user research, testing


1 Introduction Contemporary organizations offering Living-Labs-as-a-service (Ståhlbröst, 2013) are confronted with an ever-increasing demand of business-to-business oriented projects. iMinds Living Labs offers Living-Labs as-a-Service since 2009 in order to reach its mission to facilitate digital innovation in Flanders. The service offering of the iMinds Living Labs is focused on exposing potential users to SMEs their innovations. iMinds Living Labs works on bilateral projects with SMEs, where one project usually lasts three to six months. Table 1 shows a significant increase of b-to-b projects in the portfolio of the iMinds Living Labs. In the period from 2014 to 2016 more than half of the projects were b-to-b oriented. Table 1: Evolution of b-to-b Living Lab cases in the iMinds Living Labs from 2012 to 2016

However, the proof-tested methods used in b-to-c projects are not always applicable in the more complex and demanding b-to-b environments. In the context of Living Labs, the innovation process evolved from a single-inventor perspective towards a collaborative development of two or more actors. In these collaborative efforts, the crucial role of cocreation has to be emphasized (Bogers, Afuah, & Bastian, 2010; Schuurman, De Marez, & Ballon, 2015), which poses complications in the context of b-to-b projects as will be discussed below. Organizations want to utilize co-creation in order to tap into the knowledge of (end) users (Kristensson, Matthing, & Johansson, 2008). Følstad (2008) argues that, in order for users to provide valuable contributions to the innovation at hand, they need to be able to experiment with the innovation in this real-life context. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to provide users with ample opportunities to experiment with the innovation, at least in a familiar and preferably real-life context. The application of real-life experimentation in b-to-b oriented Living Lab projects poses methodological as well as practical challenges and implications for organizations offering Living-Lab-as-a-service. The key focus of this paper is on the application, the challenges and the implications of reallife experimentation in b-to-b oriented Living-Labs-as-a-service projects. In the first part, we will briefly review the relevant literature of b-to-b Living Labs and b-to-b experimentation. In a second part, we will describe eight Living Lab projects with their used methodologies, the level of experimentation and the barriers for experimentation. In a final part, we will discuss our findings and suggest the appropriateness of b-to-b Living Lab projects and provide guidelines for b-to-b experimentations. Last, we will offer avenues for future research.


2 Real-life experimentation in Living Labs Schuurman (2015, p. 8) describes “Living Labs as a tool for distributed innovation that drives cocreation between the different involved actors, and with a central role for users.” He considers the following five main characteristics of Living Labs: active user involvement, real-life experimentation, a multi-method approach and an innovation process based on co-creation facilitated by a multi-stakeholder organization (2015, p. 169). One of the most distinctive characteristic concerns real-life testing or experimenting. In Schuurman’s framework ( 2015) real-life experimentation is situated at the meso-level, bridging user (micro-level) and open innovation (macro-level). Living Labs distinguish themselves by testing in real life environment and by confronting (potential) users with products and/or services in the innovation process (Niitamo, Kulkki, Eriksson, & Hribernik, 2011; Schuurman & Marez, 2012; Coorevits, 2015). Testing enables the innovation to first develop context-specific insights on the development and acceptance of the innovation, second to inform researchers about the conditions of acceptance of the technology and last the impact of the innovation on the society and on its environment (Frissen & van Lieshout, 2004). Test and experimentation platforms (TEPs), being one of the conceptual predecessors of Living Labs, share the crucial characteristic of real-life testing or experimenting. One of the main notions of TEPs is on the “confrontation of (potential) users with (prototypes or demonstrators) of technology early on in the innovation process”: providing context-specific insights, and conditions for the stimulation of societal and economic technological embedding and the generation of images of potential societal impacts of innovation (Ballon et al., 2005). Følstad (2008) describes, amongst others, two contexts inherently connected to Living Labs: the familiar context and the real-world context. The familiar context can serve as an alternative to the real-world, by allowing more balance between the threat of low ecological validity related to test-labs and the uncontrollable aspect of field studies. In b-tob contexts a familiar context might be a pilot-environment or prototype environment wherein the real-life context is simulated as best as possible. Researchers often opt for the familiar context so they can maintain control over a selection of elements they want to investigate e.g. pre-defined task execution to determine the learnability of an application. Next to the familiar context, the real-world context is described. Here, in the context of bto-c oriented Living Labs, (end-)users are confronted with technology in their everyday lives. In this situation researchers cannot control the users’ actions and the external elements influencing their behavior. The real-life aspect of the test environment has to provide the researcher with ‘unexpected’ outcomes to improve the innovation (Sauer, 2013). To put it in the words of Almirall et al. (p16, 2012): “Real-life contexts are much more than a more realistic scenario for validating proposals; they form an arena where new meanings can emerge, tacit knowledge can be captured, and the whole ecosystem can be validated.” The academic importance attained to real-life testing and experimenting supports us in our thoughts to assess the applicability in b-to-b oriented Living-Labs-as-a-service projects. Especially because these projects are more complex we need to research whether real-life testing is possible in these environments and how it can be done.


3 Lack of insights of real-life experimentation in b-to-b Living Labs Although some authors (Ballon, 2005; Almirall, 2012) explicitly mention b-to-b Living Labs, no clear insights are provided on the application of real-life experimentation in these distinctive environments. Ballon (2005), for example, makes note of considerable differences to experiment with innovations between b-to-b and b-to-c test and experimentation platforms (TEPs). However, no guidelines were provided on this matter. Further, Almirall et al. (2012) mention most cases in the Catalan Living Labs being b-to-b projects. Also here, the authors refrain from going in-depth on the methodological differences between b-to-c and b-to-b contexts. The lack of well-grounded methodological as well as practical guidelines for this distinctive b-to-b context, supports this paper’s relevance when focusing on a more profound and indepth assessment of these b-to-b Living-Lab-as-a-service projects. This is supported threefold: first, the interest in b-to-b oriented Living Labs is growing, but the literature has not yet followed this emerging trend as only a few authors made reference to b-to-b Living Labs. Second, the iMinds Living Labs experiences difficulties with the translation of b-to-c methods in a b-to-b context in a practical manner. Finally, the literature shows that real-life experimentation in Living Labs is of a crucial nature, which is expected to be similar in bto-b Living Labs. Supported by these observations this paper wants to fill the gap in literature by finding an answer to the following two research questions: - To what extent is real-life experimentation in b-to-b Living Labs possible? - What are the conditions for real-life experimentation in b-to-b Living Labs? 4 Methodology In order to provide an answer to the above-stated research-questions, we opted to use an exploratory action research approach (Davision, Marinsons & Kock, 2004). We selected eight cases which were executed by iMinds Living Labs as part of their Living-Lab-as-aservice tailored towards SMEs. The authors were actively involved in these projects, and assisted the project-owners to implement the outcomes of the Living Lab projects. We performed an analytical exercise where different blocking factors for field studies and experimentation were identified. The blocking factors were applied on the eight selected cases by means of a cross-case study. The use of a case study approach is supported due to the absence of a clear supporting theory (on b-2-b Living Labs) and its exploratory nature whereby key variables and their relationship are under investigation (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 2009). Case study research is defined as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in its real-life context, when the boundaries between the phenomenon and context are not self-evident, and when multiple sources of evidence are used (triangulation of data) (Yin, 2009). To ensure reliability, relevance and comparability, the cases were selected according following criteria: 1) the Living Lab projects had to be completely finished, 2) the cases were carried out between 2012 and 2016 and 3) the cases were of b-2-b nature. The cases were anonymized. An overview of the selected cases is provided in table 2.


Table 2: Overview and description of the 8 utilized cases in the research

5 Findings We analyzed the different methods used in the eight selected Living Lab cases in order to identify the most commonly used research methods in a b-to-b setting. Next, the level of user-involvement in a b-to-b setting is assessed throughout the different cases, which led to blocking factors that prevent Living Labs to operate in a b-to-b setting. 5.1 Level of user involvement in business-to-business experiments Living Labs utilize several research methods (see table 3) to involve users, identify needs and experiment with the innovation. Interviews is the most common research methodology and is mainly utilized to identify the needs. The focus group is not as prevalent when compared to b-to-c Living Labs. Attracting sufficient participants and/or respondents is generally a challenge to organize in focus groups and surveys. Usually, the blocking factor is to attract sufficient participants, as the pool of potential participants is smaller in a b-to-b setting as very specific profiles are required. The events are therefore used to attract more stakeholders, as more information is shared with the participants. In the eight cases, two field studies have been performed in the context of the Living Lab project. In one project the results of a field study performed out of the context of the Living Lab had been used (case 1). Two other Living Lab projects resulted in a field study out of scope of the Living Lab case (case 6 and 8). The blocking factors specific to the field study will be subject to the further research in the paper. At each research step in table 4, a scale between 1 and 4 was utilized in order to measure the extent of user involvement. Level 1 stands for users who are being asked what their needs are in an exploratory manner. Level 2 is when users are able to see an innovation, but do not have the chance to interact with the innovation in order give valuable feedback. Coorevits and Schuurman (2015) argue that innovation is unpredictable because of contextual factors


influencing the product usage (Sein, Henfridsson, Rossi, & Lindgren, 2011) and therefor the testing of products built in the front end of design is crucial. Forlizzi and Ford (2000) stress the importance of the context of use which influences the interaction of the user with the innovation. Therefore, Level 3 (testing in a familiar context) and 4 (real-life context) go one step further, as the user can interact with the innovation. Følstad (2008) makes a difference between familiar (semi-real-life) contexts (level 3) and real-life contexts (level 4). Allowing users to try out the innovation in a familiar (semi-real) context makes Living Labs a useful supplement to traditional experimentation environments such as usability laboratories field studies. Testing in the real-life context goes one step further as users will interact with the innovation in their real-life setting. We interpreted level 3 as testing where the innovation is tried out, but it is not interacting with the entire ecosystem the product usually would operate and thus not integrated with other processes. When level 4 experimentation occurs, the entire ecosystem is involved and integration is included as well. In this research, we identified whether users were asked about their needs (level 1), have seen the innovation through a demo or video (level 2), have interacted with the innovation but on a familiar, semi-real context (level 3) or on a real-life context (level 4). Table 3: Level of user involvement in b-to-b Living Lab research methodologies,

Level 1: Needs were asked, Level 2: Visual (demo/video), Level 3: Semi-real-life context, Level 4: Real-life context, if kept empty this research step was not taken *Field study happened out of the scope of the Living Lab project but were directly linked to the project as the results were used or as a continuation project

One can observe that in surveys, interviews, B2B workshops and focus groups, the user in a professional context never gets exposed to the innovation in order to experiment. Field studies usually go beyond this step and are able to test the innovation in a semi-real and/or real-life context. In 5 cases, iMinds Living Labs was able to perform a field study in a reallife context (level 4), while in one case the research was performed through a Proxy Technology Assessment (level 3) (Coorevits and Schuurman, 2015). Users can be brought in contact with existing technologies that are configured to mimic the behaviour of the prototype that the project team has in mind. This is done through a Proxy Technology Assessment (PTA) (Pierson et al., 2005).


5.2 Blocking factors for testing in Business-to-Business Living Labs As identified in an analysis the iMinds researchers performed of the b-to-b projects, the different blocking factors can be divided between firm specific and project specific factors as described below The company and project specific blocking factors were validated throughout the eight case studies, to identify which blocking factor was applicable in which case. A. Company specific blocking factors The company specific factors which can block the innovation are inherent to the innovation, and are usually a given in a Living Lab project are: ● Addressed Need: the problem-solution fit of the innovation ● Product Stage: A product evolves from the idea/concept phase into a prototype into a product (launch vs. prelaunch). ● Integration with other processes: The level of integration of the innovation with processes in a company can be a blocking factor, as a company is not always willing take the risk to adapt processes for an uncertain innovation. ● Complexity of the technology: The complexity of the technology of a product can be a blocking factor, as the expertise of user researchers is not always sufficient in the case of highly complex, technical problems. In table 4 one can observe the different company specific blocking factors for experimentation in a b-to-b Living Lab. Values in bold show a blocking factor and can explain why no field study was performed, or was a factor that explains field study that did not succeed entirely. In the first column, we made clear whether experimentation happened in the context of the innovation. Additionally, the four blocking factors in a company setting (addressed need, in which product stage the company is, the need for integration and the complexity of the technology) were assessed. If one of them was an actual blocking factor, the factor was put in bold and italic.


Table 4: Company specific blocking factors for experimentation in b-to-b Living Lab

*Field study happened out of the scope of the Living Lab project but were directly linked to the project as the results were used or as a continuation project

One can observe that the in case 1 and 7 no field-trial was performed in the context of the Living Lab, as the need was not addressed which led to difficulties to identify a testing entity. In case 7, the company was still in an early idea phase without any product or prototype, which could be tested, which is a blocking factor for testing. Thus, interviews were held, but the conclusion was that there was no need for the innovation. In cases 6 and 8, the field study was not performed within the context of the Living Lab as integration with processes was required leading to a high barrier for the companies to engage into testing. Combined with a higher technological complexity this led to a potential limited added value of the researcher. An extended IT expertise was required in these cases. B. Project specific blocking factors Additionally, project specific factors as discussed in table 5 are generally inherent to the Living Lab project, and can be more flexible: ● The research question: A research question can be to explore the market, to investigate how the innovation can be positioned or to validate and develop a product. In the case of an explorative question a field study can be a blocking factor as in some cases the innovation context is less clear and needs to be investigated. ● The budget: Living Labs can he highly unpredictable and field study are resource intensive. Due to these reason, it is possible that at the stage of a field study no more budget is free to allocate to perform a field study ● The ability to identify testers: Living Labs depend on the ability to identify/recruit potential users who want to test the innovation


Table 5: Project specific blocking factors for experimentation in b-to-b Living Lab

In cases 1,3,5,7 and 8 the blocking factor to perform a field study was that no testers were found (within the context of the Living Lab). The core reason for this difficulty is similar to the roadblock to attract sufficient participants and/or respondents in focus groups and surveys. The blocking factor to attract sufficient testers is complicated as the pool of potential participants is smaller in a b-to-b setting as very specific profiles are required. Testers are recruited based on sector, type of business, size of business, on a company level and seniority, position, expertise on a personal level and the willingness to cooperate linked to a business need. These different criteria make the pool of selection rather small, and lead to difficulties to attract testers. In case 3,6 and 8, many resources went into the identifying testers, which proved to be difficult and resource intensive. As more time than expected is spent on identifying testing entities, the budget is an additional constraint.


6. Discussion: 3 b-to-b specific blocking factors for experimentation The results indicate that certain company and project specific factors are interconnected barriers to implement a field study, while others are stand-alone blocking factors, which are specific to experimenting in a b-to-b context. The b-to-b specific blocking factors results into a three layered model for B2B experimentation which can be found in Table 6. Table 6: Three-layered model for B2B experimentation within Living Labs

Identified Problems

(Possible) Solution Process Integration

Simulate innovation


Apply filters and/or


integrate technology experts

Identification testers


Project-owner organizes field test and/or


existing clients 6.1 Factor 1: Process integration When setting up a field study, e.g case 4, 6 and 8, integration was required between the innovation and the existing processes in the companies. If integration is required, the company needs to make a larger commitment to adapt existing processes in the firm and the IT department of the company will need to be included in the project leading to higher complexity. Nevertheless, in case 4 a Proxy Technology Assessment was made, where the technology was simulated through an alternative, simpler solution that could circumvent the difficult integration with existing procedures. A proxy technology assessment allows to take into account the context influencing the interaction of the user with the innovation in the front end of design and thus can provide an alternative to a field study early in the innovation process (Coorevits & Schuurmans, 2015). In cases where real-life testing proves to be difficult due integration with other processes we argue to utilize simulations of the innovation, such as Proxy Technology Assessments. 6.2 Factor 2: Technological complexity In Case 6 and 8, the technology was highly complex, as the target market was IT professionals in organizations. The user researchers do not necessarily have a deep background on an expert level of these innovations, which made it difficult to provide meaningful inputs of a Living Lab. For that reason, throughout the project the decision was made not to perform a field study nor was it possible to test the concept, as the observation of the impact of the context on the


product was not possible for the user researcher, which is a crucial part. The complexity in both cases was linked to the need for integration, thus factor 2 and factor 3 (possibly) go hand in hand, but needs to be subject to further research. We argue to either exclude too complicated technologies from Living Labs, or to train technical experts to perform experimentation in technologically complicated environments. 6.3 Factor 3: Identification of testers Case 3 and 6 did not perform a field study, or did less field study as expected due to the difficulties to identify B2B testers due to a smaller pool of potential testers. Due to this smaller pool of potential testers, the recruitment of testers is more resource intensive as in b-to-c projects. We can overcome this factor by utilizing existing clients of the instigator, as this might make the process of identifying testing entities more efficient. A Living Lab project can as well be a starting point for another research project focusing on the field study in a one-on-one relationship between two research partners, as was the shown in case 6. Alternatively, the Living Lab can coach the instigator to perform the field study to structure the field study organized by the instigator itself. 7 Conclusion Based on eight b-to-b living lab cases one can conclude that experimentation in a (semi-) real-life level is possible, but depends from case to case. We identified three blocking factors for experimentation on a project level and on a company level. â—? The first blocking factor to integrate with existing processes indicates it will be important to gain support from the IT department within an organization to allow the field study to take place and to avoid a sales cycle. To overcome the integration, prototypes, which do not integrate as heavily with the existing processes, can be utilized to test the innovation. â—? Second, the technological complexity requires experts in different domains to be part of the Living Lab project and guide it in the right direction. IT profiles can be integrated in the project in order to overcome the technology barrier. â—? Third, the difficulties to recruit testers can be solved by performing tests on existing clients of the instigator and by performing field study out of the scope of the Living Lab project. Living Lab researchers can coach instigators how to perform tests. Additionally, in order to recruit testers for field study within the context of the Living Lab, existing clients can be used. Further research could identify whether these 4 guidelines can be applied to all cases. iMinds Living Labs will also need to identify whether the guidelines need to be extended and applied into different cases.


8 Bibliography Almirall, E., Lee, M., & Wareham, J. (2012). Mapping living labs in the landscape of innovation methodologies. Technology Innovation Management Review, 2(9), 12. Ballon, P., Pierson, J., Delaere, S. (2005) Test and experimentation platforms for broadband innovation: Examining European practice. The 16th European Regional Conference by the International Telecommunications Society, Porto, Portugal, September 4-6, 2005. Bogers, M., Afuah, A. & Bastian, B. (2010). Users as Innovators: A Review, Critique, and Future Research Directions. Journal of Management, 36(4), 857–875. doi:10.1177/0149206309353944 Coorevits, L., & Schuurman, D. (2015). Increasing relevance of living lab outcomes through proxy technology assessments. Open and User Innovation Conference, Abstracts. Presented at the Open and User Innovation Conference. Davison, R., Martinsons, M. G., & Kock, N. (2004). Principles of canonical action research.Information systems journal, 14(1), 65-86. Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, (1989), Building Theories from Case Study Research, The Academy of Management Review Vol. 14, No. 4 ,pp. 532-550 Følstad, A. (2008). Living Labs for innovation and development of information and communication technology: a literature review eJOV: The Electronic Journal for Virtual Organization & Networks, 10. Forlizzi, J., & Ford, S. (2000). The building blocks of experience: an early frameworkfor interaction designers. In Proceedings of the 3rd conference on Designing Designing interactive systems (Vol. pp, pp. 419–423). Frissen, V., & van Lieshout, M. (2004). To user-centred innovation processes: the role of living labs. In TNO-ICT. Delft, NL. Per Kristensson, Jonas Matthing, Niklas Johansson, (2008) "Key strategies for the successful involvement of customers in the co-creation of new technology-based services", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 19 Iss: 4, pp.474 - 491 Niitamo, V., Kulkki, S., Eriksson, M., & Hribernik, K. A. (2006). State-of-the-Art andGood Practice in the Field of Living Labs. In In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising: Innovative Products and Services through Collaborative Networks (pp. 341–348). Milan. Pierson, J., & Lievens, B. (2005). Configuring Living Labs for a “Thick” Understanding of Innovation. In Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (Vol. 1, pp. 114–127). Redmond, WA. Schuurman, D., & Marez, L. De. (2012). Structuring User Involvement in PanelBased Living Labs. Technology Innovation Management Review, (September), 31–38.


Schuurman, D. (2015). Bridging the gap between Open and User Innovation?: exploring the value of Living Labs as a means to structure user contribution and manage distributed innovation (Doctoral dissertation, Ghent University). Sauer, S.C. (2013) User innovativeness in living laboratories: everyday user improvisations with ICTs as a source of innovation. Thesis, University of Twente Sein, M. K., Henfridsson, O., Rossi, M., & Lindgren, R. (2011). Action Design Research. MIS Quarterly, 35, 37–56. Ståhlbröst, A. (2013). A living lab as a service: creating value for micro-enterprises through collaboration and innovation. Technology Innovation Management Review, 3(11). Westerlund, M., & Leminen, S. (2011). Managing the Challenges of Becoming an Open Innovation Company: Experiences from Living Labs. Technology Innovation Management Review, (October), 19–25. Yin, R. K. (2009) Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.


Methods for Supporting Older Users to Communicate their Emotions at Different Stages of a Living Lab Project Sonja Pedell a, Alen Keirnan a, Gareth Priday a


Swinburne University of Technology, Centre for Design Innovation Future Self and Design Living Lab, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia {spedell},{akeirnan},{gpriday}

Previously Published No Abstract In this paper, we present methods that are used at different stages of a typical Living Lab cycle to create innovative design solutions while giving older users a strong voice in the design and development process. The methods required to effectively involve users can differ immensely depending on the stage the project is in. Here we focus on the transition from the conceptual to the prototyping phase with a particular emphasis on exploring emotions during use – a key success factor in whether a solution will be taken up and accepted over the long term. We demonstrate the use of emotional goal models for helping to understand what is relevant for the target user group in early phases of design. For the transition to the prototyping phase, we promote animations and storyboards to envision the context of use and to gain an understanding of how design ideas will integrate into people’s lives. For the evaluation of ideas and to further understand user needs in the early prototyping phase, we show how technology probes facilitate natural interactions with a suggested solution concept. All methods have in common that they enable older adults without design or development experience to participate in the design process and help to communicate often hard to define feelings and goals, working towards a meaningful solution. Keywords Co-design Methods; Motivational Goal Models; Ageing Well; Cultural Probes; Animations


1 The Role of Communication for Design Design is a social process that involves communication and negotiation (Brandt, 2006). Yet the design of technology often involves jargon and terminology that is not always shared and well understood between end users and designers (Muller, 2007). In order to communicate effectively, design participants need a shared language that is sensitive to their specific needs, experiences and mental models (Dearden & Rizvi, 2008; Miller, Pedell, Vetere, Sterling, & Howard, 2012). Co-design techniques such as workshops, storytelling, performance techniques, games and human-centred iterative prototyping, improve understanding and communication between stakeholders in participatory technology development (e.g. Brandt & Grunnet, 2000; Brandt, 2006; Esnault, Daele, Zeiliger, & Charlier, 2009; Muller, 2007; Sanders, 2000). However, the effective exchange of the results of these participatory techniques is often problematic due to the lack of one shared ‘language’ among multiple stakeholder groups (Markus & Mao, 2004; Pekkola, Kaarilahti, & Pohjola, 2006; Robertson & Simonsen, 2012). At the same time, the priorities and values of each group can make effective communication difficult. Research has shown that effective communication can help build trust, share ideas and promote increased comprehension of issues and concepts (Muller, 2007). In order to create effective dialogue, all parties must be able to express themselves clearly and be able to contribute to the overall discussion. This is particularly important in the health and wellbeing sector where patients often feel vulnerable, need conversation beyond the medical facts and strategies for long-term behavioural change that is crucial for preventive measures or gaining control over chronic illnesses. 1.1 Aims Each design and research process consists of a variety of tools and methods that are fundamental to ensuring a project’s success and ultimate realisation of user goals and needs in both products and services. In this paper, we aim to demonstrate how tools and methods can be used to bridge the gap between the three typical design activities: conceptualising, prototyping, and evaluating. Furthermore, this research aims for the achievement of a twoway communication process to explore older adults’ emotions in a Living Lab project while particularly giving older adults a strong voice. Fundamental to this paper is the case study of Personal Emergency Alarms that we used to apply our methods. Our objective was to develop an innovative personal emergency alarm that achieves positive emotions in older adults, and negates the feeling of ‘being monitored’. In doing so, we ask two questions. Firstly, “How can we co-design with older adults’ to cater for their emotions in innovative solutions?” and secondly, “What process, including research methods best captures and evaluates their desired goals and emotions?”. We propose a toolkit with several artefacts: motivational goal models, animations and technology probes. We argue that the use of these artefacts at different stages of the Living Lab project cycle will help to mediate effective communication between participant stakeholders and will contribute to innovative designs. Here we base our project cycles on the use of innovation design and service design methodologies. Service design and user driven design methods are increasingly important aspects of Living Labs and are recognised as a means of increasing user acceptance of innovations (see for example Form IT Methodology according to Ståhlbröst &Holst (2012), Citizen-Driven Innovation (Eskelinen et al. (Eds.) 2015) and Gray et al. (2014)). We illustrate our proposed toolkit we applied with older participants in the conceptual and early prototyping phase and show how we bridged the two stages.


2 Emotions in Designing for Health In the discipline of design, emotions have traditionally played a large role to make decisions about the look and feel of a product or service. However, the situation in the domain of health services is still functionality driven. This is in particular the case where institutions are the main stakeholder who have to fulfil government policies and are more worried about compliance and liability towards patients than their feelings, design is not driven by emotions. However, when it comes to a personal topic such as health, people’s emotions play a major role in the success of a technology and it is an opportunity to increase compliance (Lo Bianco et al., 2015). 2.1 Personal Alarm Systems Personal alarm systems are an example of technology that has high impact potential, but does not address the emotional needs of older people (Miller et al., 2015). Personal Alarm Systems typically have two features: (1) a wearable emergency alarm: the user can raise an alarm if they require emergency attention; e.g. via pushing a button on a pendant worn around the user's neck (see figure 3) or a wristband; and (2) a wellbeing check: the user informs the service provider that they are fine, on a daily basis; e.g. via a button on a base station connected to a telephone line. If no indication of wellbeing is received during a specified period, the service provider initiates checks on the user (Pedell et al., 2015). Both the wearable emergency alarm, referred herein as ‘pendant’ and, the wellbeing check are independent products, that is they both function separate from one another and have unique and defined tasks that can be performed by the user. However, when viewed as a unified service to provide an indication of wellbeing, the pendant and the wellbeing check are synonymous and considered as one system. For the purpose of this paper, the term Personal Alarm System will be used to describe both the wellbeing check and the pendant. 3 Conceptual Phase The overall project aimed to generate a better understanding of the emotions, challenges, benefits, and opportunities that are encountered when older people use Personal Alarm Systems, as a means of innovating both the function and the service offering. The study reported here focusses on the use of methods to enable the exploration and evaluation of emotions with older people around personal alarm systems and their wider context of use. 3.1 Participants, Data Collection and Analysis Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with users of Personal alarm systems, broken broadly into three groups: (i) Older people who either currently or previously had a personal alarm system installed in their home. Their age ranged from 85 to 91. All participants lived on their own, except for one who lived with her husband. (ii) Family members of older people whom either currently or previously had a personal alarm system installed into their home. These are important stakeholders as they are often the people who drive the purchase and installation of the system. All of the older relatives of these family members lived on their own. (iii) Older people who have never had a personal alarm system installed into their home. Their ages ranged from 66 to 79. The interview guideline aimed to explore three key questions: What should alarm technology do? How should it be? and How should it feel? We transcribed the data and used content analysis ( Patton,2002) to derive common themes from the data.


3.2 Results: Emotions around Personal Alarm System Use Despite the good intentions of carers organising the implementation of these systems to increase the safety for their ageing relatives, they overwhelmingly felt that they were neither independent nor cared about. Our field interviews revealed that older people view the wearable pendants as “cowbells” forced onto them: “She always would joke about her cowbell, and complain about it. "Look at what my kids are making me do," kind of comment. A slight resentfulness about it. And it was kind of an area against her independence. She'd occasionally make comments about, "Look what I'm resorted to," comments about it.” [feelings of his mother described by a participating relative] The pendants worn around the owner's neck were viewed by the owners as having a “stigma” attached to them, which indicates to others that the wearer is no longer independent and cannot care for themselves – hence it became very clear that a personal alarm system needs to consider more than just merely safety aspects. Therefore a common theme was that the pendant was not worn at all or only in specific situations. However the considerations and social environment around the decision to wear it or not were quite complex and loaded with emotions. The complexity is expressed well by the nephew of one of the users: “So we did have the discussion and essentially she sort of admitted that she didn't want to wear it and she didn't think that she should and she understood the risks and she was prepared to take the risks and that she didn't want to upset me and she didn't want me, to feel like she wasn't cooperating with me. And so she said [mimicked aunts voice] 'so at least I wore it some of the time'. You know so that these times when she was wearing it was when someone was there and she didn't really need it. But for her, that was her compromise.”[feelings of his great aunt described by participating relative] The pendant offers only limited mobility, in that the alarm signal activated via the pendant will only work in the owner's house, meaning that the wearer might be hesitant to leave the house. Interestingly, most of the pendants do have a range of 300 meters. However, older users are told that there is a maximum of 50 -70 meters as they want to avoid people walking too far from a known environment and thus making it difficult to pinpoint a wearer’s location in case of an emergency. Hence despite the strong feeling of being restricted and confined to a small space, considerations of how this affects the daily use of the overall personal alarm system by the older person were not undertaken. The wellbeing check (the second component of the system) requires the user to remember to push a button each day. When they forget to do this, the service provider calls to check upon the client, which leads many older people to feel they are a burden, despite paying for the service, or to feel that they are perceived by their families as suffering from memory loss. “And no matter what system I try [claps with hand on his knee in frustration and enforcement several times] I still manage out of 10 days that I miss out 2 or 3 times by completely forgetting and that is what ANNOYS [emphasis] me.” [older user]. The reason is that pressing the button on the wellbeing check base station does not convey any meaning to them and it is therefore forgotten. Additionally, the wellbeing check does not provide any tactile, audio, or visual feedback whether the button of the wellbeing check has already been pressed on one particular day. Pressing the button on the wellbeing check


a second time on the same day initiates an inquiry to the service providers and is perceived as an emergency. Hence some older people don’t feel confident using the system. Aside from the poor feedback mechanisms, many of the properties of the personal alarm system are not easily configurable. For example, the time period in which the wellbeing button on the base station is pushed, or changing the list people who will be notified if it is not activated, leaving the users feeling that they are not in control of the system.

Figure 1: Mapping functional, quality, and emotional goals with stakeholder roles and system interactions

The main feelings that older people would like to feel when using a personal alarm system, in particular the wellbeing check were: Feeling, independent, safe, in touch with other people, in control, integrated and most importantly cared for. These emotional goals were integrated into a motivational goal model according to the notation of Sterling and Taveter, (2012; see figure 1). The emotions were further used as high-level specification in the following stages of the design process to develop a prototype and the final design of the personal alarm system. In order to ensure a smooth transition from the concept to the prototyping stage we suggest that there is a need to validate the outcomes of this phase in its context of use with the prospective end users. The goal models are intended as high level specification for designers and developers to create a prototype. They are not in a format to evaluate with the users if the goals indeed will create a product suited for their everyday life needs. So instead of having the older adults commenting on a monotonous model, these emotional goals were used to create animations to illustrate how they play out in context. 4 Bridging Conceptual and Prototyping Phase In technology development we face the challenge that we as designers are not able to exactly anticipate how technology will be adopted and integrated into people’s life long term. Also the technology itself changes our lives — how we perceive and handle situations. This is described by Carroll and Rosson (1992) as the task-artefact-cycle. While user-centred and experience design (Buxton, 2007) has helped to envision future use according to a better understanding of user’s lives, we still face the same problem of validating future use scenarios before creating a technology. In particular, the future users themselves have often


not a clear understanding what implications new technologies will have on their current and future lives and are often limited in giving input into actual design decisions. When changing existing situations into preferred ones (Simon, 1982), with an innovative solution a designer with the input of end users should strive to fully understand the contexts, issues, relationships and environments a design problem sits within. Scenarios are among one of many useful tools in a designer’s toolkit (Loke et al., 2005) and are used to understand the complexities of a design contextual problem (Iacucci et al., 2002). Mathews and Heinemann (2012) advocated that scenarios are useful means to explore design options as well as to anticipate future problems. Furthermore, Lim and Sato (2005) considered scenarios to describe the context of a user’s experience with products, arguing scenarios as imagined stories of events. We therefore were developing a new approach to animate current use problems and future use scenarios to envision and visualize future technology use. We expected that animated scenarios can be used as a tool to co-evaluate earlier insights of user research with participants, particularly surrounding sensitive issues such as feelings and personal life goals. We also expect that, co-evaluating insights from the conceptual phase using animated scenarios, participants can express their own emotions using personas and that emotions can be better expressed in animations than written or sketched scenarios. 4.1 Creation of Animated Scenarios We created three animations (see figure 2) which was based on the existing interview data from the conceptual phase and emotions around personal alarm system use.

Figure2. Screen captures of animated scenarios. Top 'I forgot', middle 'Dress Code', bottom 'Cow Bell'.

These animations were used to co-evaluate the goal model in an anticipated context and validate the barriers and reasons older adults do not to use current personal alarm systems. We had three aims for the use of the animations for co-evaluation. The first objective was to determine whether the problems presented in the scenarios where identified and interpreted in similar ways by the participants reflecting their own situation. This is important as it checks if the data collected in the conceptual phase (focusing on the high level emotional goals) reflect the realities of personal alarm system use and whether the research is accurate in its identification of problems and relevance of people’s lives. The second objective was to determine if the animated scenarios reflected a realistic story


(context) of a user involved with personal alarm systems, with particular focus on operating both the pendant and conducting daily wellbeing checks. The third objective was to encourage participant feedback for suggestions toward a redesign of a new personal alarm system once a shared understanding about the relevance of the scenarios was established (already bridging towards prototyping). In a co-design workshop with four older people we discussed these animations (which from a design point of view take on the role of use scenarios including Personas of older adults). The size of four participants was considered to be suitable due to the personal nature of the topic, creating a more familiar environment of having tea together. Massimi et al. (2007) also stress the importance of a familiar environment that encourages older people to participate in the research process. People with and without emergency alarm pendants discussed the scenario in pairs according to their feelings, intervention points in the scenario and design ideas to improve feelings and living situation of the depicted Persona. We anticipated that the use of visualised animations based on users emotions support this process and empower older people into part taking in the design process giving them a strong voice. 4.2 Results Using Animated Scenarios and Storyboards When showing the animations participants were very engaged with the plot of the story. This was particularly clear after participants commented on the animations after viewing, comparing the feelings of the Personas immediately to their own life situation. Not only could we confirm that the three scenarios and the depicted emotions were perceived as realistic and something they could relate to in their own lives, but we were also able to create an atmosphere of openness that provided a good ground for engaging the participants into co-creative design activities. They identified aspects in the animations on printed storyboards (see figure 3) where Personas needed a better understanding by their surrounding and implications for design.

Figure 3. Storyboards of the animations used by the participants for commenting

Design ideas were directly put into context of the scenario and ideas were adjusted until the scenario reflected a truer reality for an emergency alarm user. For example, the size of the pendant was not problematic for participants, but merely the look of it. Figure 4 shows an example of one of the ideas generated in the workshop how pendants could be worn as piece of jewelry.


Figure 4. User with wearing an alarm pendant (a) – participant with her own jewellery (b)

We suggest here that the animated scenarios helped us to better include older people in the decision and design processes and validate some of the imagined everyday scenarios of use. The older adults’ emotions and their motivations were key in this process and animations are well suited to express such emotions. The storyboards were a good way to capture comments and ideas generated by the animations. 4.3 Methods for Bridging between Conceptual and Prototyping Phase

Figure 5. Bridging the gap between conceptual and prototyping phase using co-creative methods

Figure 5 gives an overview on the methods used to bridge the gap between conceptual and prototyping phase. The model is demonstrating the transition activities into using animated scenarios, and how evaluated animated scenarios transition into the prototype stage. 4.3.1 User research in conceptual phase (goal model) The first stage of the working model begins with the designer conducting user-research around a design problem or theme. In the case of this paper, the design problem focused on personal alarm systems for older adults. Collections of insights are formed during this stage into a goal model with a focus on emotions. 4.3.2 Co-evaluation of emotions visualised in context (animated scenarios) The emotions that were gathered from the conceptual phase stage represented in the goal model are crucial in moving towards a designed outcome. It is important for researchers to evaluate these emotional goals to ensure that they are reflecting the true nature of the design problem. After the emotional goals have been captured, the researcher begins to create individual scenarios that show the emotional goals of the user and the functional goals of the system in context. It is presented to end users in the format of animations to co-evaluate initial user research from the conceptual phase to ensure the goals reflect the key concerns and emotions of the users that need to be addressed in the design solution. In our case we focused on the older adults as the main users of the system. We suggest when the timeframe


of the project allows repeating the co-evaluation with other main stakeholders such as relatives and carers. 4.3.3 Co-design with the user Design development is the last stage of the working model. It is here, after the scnearios have been refined and themes and insights have been developed and evaluated with the user that a designer can continue working towards a designed outcome. It is also presented here that scenarios continue to be used throughout the design development process to derive problem descriptions, future predictions, concept generation, requirements analysis and detailed system design (Lim and Sato, 2005) as each of these scenario classes are useful to the design process. 5 Evaluation in early Prototyping Phase The pendant could be improved by visual qualities and was therefore a subject of a cocreative design workshop, while the wellbeing check was seen as the more difficult component to be improved. We felt that before we were able to go into the design phase we needed to explore in more detail how a wellbeing check could work focussing on the goals of “feeling cared about” and “feeling in touch”. Probes are particularly suited to investigating people’s everyday life in situations difficult to reach with traditional social science methods such as questionnaires, interviews, focus groups or participant-observation. Rather than relying on the presence and intervention of the researcher, probes are designed to encourage and empower subjects to collect data themselves (Arnold, 2004). The participants use the probes to provide some insight, at their discretion, about their daily lives. Personal information and story generation are two important benefits that we see in the use of probes as artefacts contributing the users’ point of view. Due to their logging functionality, technology probes ensure that participation of a user is highly visible and recountable (Graham & Rouncefield, 2007). The technology probe was seen as instance of the goal model and also had logging capabilities (as is typical of technology probes) to monitor and record the use of the application. At the beginning of the field study neither the researchers, designers nor the older adults had a clear idea about how the final personal alarm system technology would look like. It was particularly important to engage the participants in simple technology use first that they could confidently handle in the interaction with their family members to ensure that future design is grounded in a thorough understanding of users’ experiences, requirements, and preferences (Lindsay, Jackson, Schofield, & Olivier, 2012). Generally, it is important that technology probes are able to collect data about use to inform a better understanding not so much about how to improve the technology but the actual needs in supporting specific activities (in our case activities evolving around building and maintaining interactions of older adults and their relatives to communicate wellbeing) within this domain (also see Hutchinson et al., 2003). Hence this phase is still before the actual prototyping of the future system. 5.1 Prototype Development – Wellbeing Check Technology Probe The wellbeing check technology probe was motivated by the goal model (see Figure 1) and facilitates the involvement with the user. When combined with the models and field data, these shared artefacts help designers and older adults to move between the worlds of activity, design and development. That way, the artefacts become bridging elements or


“information vessels” (Paay et al., 2009) that allow the social activities in the home to permeate discussions of designers and end users. While we focused in the consecutive development of a personal alarm system on the older user’s emotions, we also considered the needs of the relatives to feel reassured or service providers’ obligation to be compliant with safety regulations. However, the emotions took the lead in the design of the technology probe. Furthermore, the technology probe was strongly focused around the daily wellbeing check, rather than a pendant. We collaborated with a software company that followed an agile development approach. The emotional goals were communicated to the company and they would define their development goals in alignment with the emotional goals and mirror their daily progress on each of them. Hence, the technology probe development and communication about alternatives was driven by the emotional goals. The technology was developed and implemented in nine households is shown in figure 6.

Figure 6: IPad with picture app used as base station for wellbeing check

The prototype enables relatives to send photos with captions. The user has the opportunity to scroll through photos and /or send a message back. Only when no interaction takes place over a defined period of time the app asks the user for their wellbeing. Once connected to a backend of a service provider the existence or missing of this “ping” will be interpreted as wellbeing check. 5.2 Evaluation. Results from Wellbeing Check Technology Probe Implementation Again older people and relatives (nine older participants and five relatives) were interviewed after a four week trial with the implemented wellbeing check technology probe. Overall people liked the social and personalised aspect of the app and the resonance was positive. This is expressed by one relative very strongly: “It’s really fantastic. Because it’s not masquerading or trying to pretend it’s something that it’s not. It’s harnessing that activity, or harnessing that interaction to mine it for really useful data, so it’s not the sense of… you know, the hidden camera – so you might have the teddy bear with the hidden camera in it monitoring what’s going on in the room, it’s not presenting in that way. It’s very upfront.” [relative]. However, one participant was happy with the social aspect, but not comfortable with the monitoring aspect of the alarm and still felt that control was taken away from her. “I wouldn’t want to have any automatic checking on me. I want to be in control whether someone is coming. I want to make a conscious decision. Last year I


had really high blood pressure and I went to bed and thought ‘either I will wake up or not and that is fine’.” [older person]. The wellbeing check technology probe, coupled with interviews enabled us to view the goal qualities in the light of the user activities. There is a very fine line between monitoring people for care and interacting with them in a social manner. While the technology probe tried to find a balance between the two it was still not social enough for some and still too much of a monitoring system for others. In our solution we expect a certain commitment of relatives and carers to spend some time in communicating with the older person. It was difficult to find people for this trial who would send a photo a day to the older person. While we try to meet the emotions of older people we are aware that we rely on other people whose emotions or time allowance might not be in alignment with the ones of the older person. Hence it was very difficult for us to meet the expectations of some older people to truly feel “cared about”. The following quote summarises well the different expectations: “I think that that’s the conflict because for me as a relative and a carer, the assuredness was related to the functional aspects of the device, whereas for the user, their assurance isn’t related to that at all. Their assurance is much more around the emotional ideas and that idea around the connectivity. And I think that in my situation that was the kind of the clash, is in that what I emotionally needed was very different to what my aunt emotionally needed.[…] and the reason that we implemented or tried to implement the system was... I mean to put it really bluntly you were farming out a task.” [relative]. 6 Conclusions In parallel to the development of a more visually appealing pendant alarm we were developing a socially oriented wellbeing check. We have created models of more aesthetically looking pendants – some of them looking like jewellery similar to the real jewellery of one of our participants (see figure 3 right) and created a wellbeing check technology probe used to emphasise the social aspects of a wellbeing check. The methods used to evaluate the early design concepts enabled the older adults to articulate their feelings and give input. Figure 7 gives an overview about the key activities for user involvement in the conceptual and prototyping phase and how to bridge the gap between both phases.

Figure 7: A process model showing the key activities for user involvement between the conceptual and prototyping phase


Motivational goal models are a suitable way to express field data derived from interviews – in particular the emotions of the users. Motivational goal models are part of a development methodology and can be combined with scenarios expressing user’s emotions and motivations and roles (Sterling & Taveter, 2009), each of them describing and providing context of the domain. Context is key in understanding social activities. Therefore, it is necessary to record and represent the emotions together with the context in order to prevent this important part of the data being lost after the data analysis (Hemmings et al., 2002; Hagen & Robertson, 2009) and moving to the next phase. We achieved this successfully in creating animated scenarios validating them with older adults. In reflection of our initial aim to give older adults a strong voice in the design process, the technology probes facilitated natural interaction between family members and a real insight into how they used the system and its barriers. Data gathered using technology probes are fragmentary and unstructured, the process of translation from field data to the abstract generalisation required in development is difficult. A process of combining technology probe data collection and motivational goal models allows us to talk about intangible outcomes which can be surprising, complex, and subtle. The motivational goal models provide a place where abstract design concepts can be collected and represented (Pedell et al., 2009). They are a lens through which use activities can be analysed and recorded and then discussed among researchers and older adults. Concluding, we demonstrate how goal models, animations and technology probes can be used to refine, link and strengthen the transitions from different phases of the design process. We were able to show through the use of Personal Emergency Alarms how older adults and their emotions can be actively involved into design when careful consideration is applied to method adoption and its allocation within the various stages of the design process. Ideally, several stakeholder groups represented by the roles in the goal model are involved in all phases and their perspectives and input integrated the design solution. While we demonstrated this approach in the health and wellbeing domain with older adults, we suggest that these methods are also valuable and used to good effect to give users in other domains a strong voice. Acknowledgements We would like to thank the Australian Research Council for funding some of this research (DP130102660). A big thank you to all our participants for sharing their experiences and providing input into the design process.


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Lindsay, S., Jackson, D., Schofield, G., & Olivier, P. (2012). Engaging older people using participatory design. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1199-1208). New York, NY: ACM Press Lo Bianco M, Pedell S, Renda G, Kapoor A. (2015). HCI Methods for Empowering Discussion on Person-Centered Fall Prevention with Older Adults. In Ploderer, B. Carter, M. Gibbs, M. Smith, W. Vetere, F. (Eds.), Proceedings of OzCHI, New York, NY:ACM Press. Markus, M. L., & Mao, J. (2004). Participation in development and implementation – Updating an old, tired concept for todays’ IS contexts. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 5(11-12), 514-544. Miller, T., Pedell, S., Lopez-Lorca, AA., Mendoza, M., Sterling, L. and Keirnan, A. (2015). Emotion-led modelling for people-oriented requirements engineering: the case study of emergency systems. The Journal of Systems and Software 105 (2015), 54-71 Miller, T., Pedell, S., Sterling, L., Vetere, F., Sterling, L., & Howard, S. (2012). Understanding socially-oriented roles and goals through motivational modelling. Journal of Systems and Software, 85(9), 2160-2170. Muller, M. J. (2007). Participatory design: The third space in HCI (revised). In J. Jacko & A. Sears (Eds.), The human-computer interaction handbook (2nd ed., pp. 1051-1068). Mahway, NJ: L. Erlbaum. Paay, J., Sterling, L., Vetere, F., Howard, S., & Boettcher, A. (2009). Engineering the social: The role of shared artifacts. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 67(5), 437-454. Pedell, S., Lopez-Lorca, A., Miller, T. and Sterling, L. (2014). Don’t leave me untouched: considering emotions in personal alarm use and development. Health Care Informatics and Analytics. In M. Tavana, A. Ghapanchi, and A. Talaei-Khoei, eds, Emerging Issues and Trends, IGI Press, Ch. 6. Pedell, S., Miller, T., Vetere, F., Sterling, L., Howard, S., & Paay, J. (2009). Having fun at home: Interleaving fieldwork and goal models. In M. Foth, J. Kjeldskov, & J. Paay (Eds.), Proceedings of the 21th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (pp. 309-312). New York, NY: ACM Press. Pekkola, S., Kaarilahti, N., & Pohjola, P. (2006). Towards formalised end-user participation in information systems development process: Bridging the gap between participatory design and ISD methodologies. In G. Jacucci & F. Kensing (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Participatory Design: Expanding Boundaries in Design (pp. 21-30). New York, NY: ACM Press. Robertson, T., & Simonsen, J. (2012). Participatory design: An introduction. In J. Simonsen & T. Robertson (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of participatory design (pp. 1-18). New York, NY: Routledge. Sanders, E. B. -N. (2000). Generative tools for co-designing. In S. A. R. Scrivener, L. J. Ball, & A. Woodcock (Eds.), Proceedings of Conference on CoDesigning (pp. 3-12). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer Ståhlbröst, A., & Holst, M. (2012). The Living Lab Methodology Handbook. Sweeden: Lulea University of Technology and CDT. Sterling, L., & Taveter, K. (2009). The art of agent-oriented modelling. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Facilitating Social Innovation in Urban Living Labs: Challenges and perspectives for practical improvement

Andrew Switzer a, Karin de Nijs a, Elke van der Heijden a, Stan Majoor a a

Urban Management Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) Amsterdam, Netherlands

Abstract In this paper we critically assess the attempts of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) to facilitate social innovation through living labs. These living labs are seen as local innovation milieus with potential to deliver new governance arrangements making it possible to develop context specific solutions to complex and intertwined social, sustainability and economic problems that modern cities are facing. As developing new routines, relationships, positions and rules between stakeholders – central in social innovation - will require institutional change, learning, and more specifically second-order learning, are a key element of the AUAS living labs. In terms of conceptualisation this paper is exploratory in nature. We have identified trust as one of the central enabling conditions for learning and a number of issues that need to be accounted for when attempting to facilitate learning at the operational level (e.g. stakeholder involvement, the utilisation of scientific research and the end-user focus). The practice of the AUAS living labs show the challenges that can arise when in the complex and open environment of the living lab. Of central importance are project leaders who can manage the expectations of participants while retaining focus on the needs of end-users, provide understandable insight into the causes of the issues at hand and are able to build coalitions between key actors. Keywords Social living lab, second-order learning, practice issues, social innovation


1 Introduction Contemporary cities face a diversity of pressing – and often interrelated – social, sustainability and economic issues. Finding context-specific, ‘local’ solutions to create innovation in the way complex problems are approached has gained relevance in the last decades. Some critical observers link this development to the dominance of neo-liberal policies in many Western states in which governments are restructured around ‘core tasks’. By facilitating market and civil society arrangements they claim to move away from elaborate government steering (Uitermark, 2014). This argument is often made in a context of disappointing experiences with central state interventions regarding a range of policy problems in the Twentieth Century (Scott, 1998). Others observe a movement of local scale governance innovation more in the context of an expanding capacity of civil society partners and active citizens to take initiatives and responsibilities (e.g. Hajer, 2014; Healey, 2015). In a timeframe of a better understanding of the multi-scalar and interconnected dimensions of many contemporary problems this move towards local arrangements of problems and solutions is both refreshing and troublesome. In this paper we critically assess the attempts of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) to orchestrate a local innovation milieu in Amsterdam. We place these attempts in the context of literature around Living Labs. The majority of living labs is technical in nature, however the idea of using the living lab approach to develop solutions to wicked social problems at the local level is increasing in Europe and abroad (Franz, 2014; Mulder, 2012). These living labs provide a setting for user co-creation and involvement to realise social innovation. Social innovation is defined here as “...the creation of long-lasting outcomes that aim to address societal needs by fundamentally changing the relationships, positions and rules between the involved stakeholders, through an open process of participation, exchange and collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including end-users, thereby crossing organizational boundaries and jurisdictions…” (Voorberg et al., 2015, 1334). In the AUAS living labs, the so called field labs, the aim is to the deliver lasting change in practices and institutions through both second-order learning and facilitating the institutional imbedding of ensuing innovations. As such they can be seen as part of a wider societal attempts to reflexively address the challenges of late modernity (Bos et al., 2013; Lissandrello & Grin, 2011; Grin et al., 2010; Bos & Grin, 2008; Medowcroft, 2007; Grin et al., 2004). The AUAS Field Labs were established in 2013-2014. In the short history of practice, a number of issues have been encountered pertaining to the creating the conditions for and facilitating learning. In this paper we reflect these and utilise an extensive discussion of the issue of trust development (one of the issues) to illustrate the approach we intend to follow in relation to the other issues in further research. In this paper we first introduce how the living labs are applied at the AUAS to bring about social innovation in the city of Amsterdam. Then we discuss how the critical issues mentioned manifest themselves conceptually and empirically and suggest courses of action to tackle them. We see this paper as contributing to the debate around living labs in three ways: 1) It presents a way to apply the living lab methodology to the social domain. So far, literature on theories and methodology for living labs is limited (Schuurman et al., 2015), especially for ‘social’ living labs. 2) It further conceptualises how the living lab methodology can facilitate learning and institutional imbedding. This is something that has been seen as lacking in the area of living labs). 3) It suggests concrete strategies which could be promising in supporting learning and reflexivity and thereby institutional change.


The expectation is that the findings in these last two respects will also be relevant for technology based living labs, given the findings of many researchers in the area of transition studies that technical innovation (e.g. renewable energy, electromobility) is not hindered by the technical possibilities, but rather by the practices and institutions in the social and societal systems in which they are imbedded (see Grin et al., 2010). 2 The AUAS Field Labs approach The AUAS has initiated living labs in collaboration with stakeholders in three areas in the city: Nieuw-West a post-war, a predominantly residential district on the edge of the city; Zuidoost, a post-war, largely high rise district restructured in the 1990s encompassing a major service sector industry; and Oost, a district developed in the 19th and early 20th centuries at the edge of the city centre (see Figure 1). The field labs focus on developing areabased solutions to tangible urban challenges through co-creation. Together with local stakeholders, a shared long-term research and innovation agenda is formulated at the start of the Field Labs. To ensure a focus on challenges that are specific for the areas in which the field labs are based, the local strategic development plan of the city district forms the starting point in developing this agenda. For instance, these projects target youth unemployment, neighbourhood safety, poverty, local economy and neighbourhood branding. To guarantee research is relevant to local stakeholders the projects are worked out in a process of cocreation. Formally, the field labs are a knowledge alliance between the city district and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences formalised in a mutual long-term agreement. Together the AUAS and the city district fund between 50 - 75 percent of the budget of the activities in the field lab. This construction ensures the stability of the field lab. The remainder of the budget is provided by participants in the specific projects. As a result, a field lab with several projects is funded by multiple stakeholders which supports the open innovation character of the field labs. Additionally, the city district and AUAS maintain a local infrastructure of a field lab team that is responsible for the organisational aspects of the field labs. They also guard the core values of the field lab, such as the openness to newcomers, the focus on tangible results and local value as well as the interdisciplinary approach to urban issues. The field labs function as continuous learning environments focusing on the development of knowledge, but also on the improvement of practice through direct application of acquired knowledge in tangible interventions. Because of the dynamic, complex and multi-faceted character of urban issues, addressing them will never be possible by only focusing on one aspect. Therefore, an integrated approach is used. The aim is that innovation with regard to social, physical, economic and political/governance aspects will be mutually reinforcing.


Figure 1: Field labs in Amsterdam

3 Issues and challenges in Urban Living Labs As stated, in the experience of the living labs a number of issues have emerged as being of central importance in relation to the creation of conditions for or stimulating second-order learning. Learning can be seen, together with the imbedding to be of central importance in living labs. Below we illustrate the systematic approach we plan to employ to further develop urban living labs both conceptually and in practice by extensively considering the creation of one of the key enabling conditions for learning, trust (for an extensive discussion see Bos et al., 2013). Subsequently, operational strategies to facilitate learning are discussed in a similar way: conceptual discussion followed by a description of challenges relating to the issues that arise in the Field Labs and a consideration of how they could be addressed. 3.1 Trust in living labs One of the key challenges in living labs for social innovation has to do with to the establishment and retention of trust and common ground between actors in these local innovation milieus. In many cases, actors with highly divergent backgrounds, ideas, values and interests come together in social living labs.


3.1.1 The conceptualisation of trust development Trust is defined here as the more or less stable, positive perception among participants of the intentions and behaviour of other participants in situations that are complex and/or risky (Edelenbos & Klijn, 2007). In the limited living lab literature on trust it is seen as the foundation of continuity, one of five key principles of successful living labs (BergvallKåreborn & Ståhlbröst, 2009), and thus important for long-term collaborations in living labs (Ogonowski et al., 2013). This is because it often takes a long time before tangible results are delivered and the exact outcome of living labs is impossible to foresee. More general research on trust emphasises similar reasons for the importance of trust when collaborating. Firstly, trust eases the collaboration between participants in complex situations with many different interests at stake (Klijn, 2010), which is the case with many of the challenges that are addressed in social living labs. Secondly, trust is required in situations that are risky and complex. When we are vulnerable to the impact of other people’s behaviour, trust ensures a willingness to accept this vulnerability (Nooteboom, 2006). This willingness to take risks is needed in living labs, since it is impossible to know beforehand to which results actions and experiments will lead. Thirdly and most importantly, given the focus in the living labs on learning, trust is an important condition for collective learning (Grin & Hoppe; 1995; Loeber et al., 2007). In an atmosphere of trust, actors are more likely to be receptive to new and possibly counter-intuitive information from others with different cultural and professional backgrounds, which stimulates reflection upon deeper notions and values underlying their practices (Loeber et al., 2007). As such, trust stimulates and accelerates ‘second-order learning’, which may result in major changes to an actor’s strategic choices, objectives and preferences. Therewith, trust creates the setting in which innovative approaches for tackling problems may be developed. Trust may be based upon various sources, including (1) shared social norms and values, leading to the establishment of a joint code of conduct; (2) the ability to empathize, which can form the basis for identification and the formulation of a common destiny; and (3) routinization, when collaboration is taken for granted because no problems have occurred before (Nooteboom, 2006). Empathy and routinization bring with them the risk of reduced flexibility and are therefore less preferred than shared social norms and values. Ogonowski et al. (2013) define the process of making users open up to researchers as an “artful business” and emphasize the need for social skills among researchers as well as participants in living labs. Since building mutual trust takes time without delivering very tangible results, it can be a challenge to keep the interest and voluntary engagement of living lab participants (Nevens et al., 2013). 3.1.2 Trust in AUAS field labs The issue of building trust was encountered in various phases of development of the AUAS field labs. While the foundation for trust is being laid in the start-up period of a living lab, maintaining and reconfirming trust over time is just as important. In one instance, AUAS did an extensive explorative study into citizen initiatives in one of the involved city districts. The research outcomes were captured in a publication and presented at an event to which many local stakeholders were invited, but which was mostly meant for local citizens that participated in the research. Even though de researchers especially aimed at local inhabitants, it were mostly local policymakers, civil servants and active citizens that attended. Out of respect for the research participants and a true belief that innovation cannot be achieved without involving the people whom it concerns, the researchers decided to let citizens speak about their experiences with community participation, rather than presenting an analysis of research results. Because of this set up, the event didn’t meet up


the expectations of different parties in the audience, who expected to gain new insights and benefit from in-depth analysis to improve their work. At that moment the trust of a number of participants in this living lab project seemed to be compromised, even though additional analysis was provided in the publication and further meetings for policy makers and civil servants were already planned. This example confirms that shared values and expectations are important to build and maintain trust in living labs (Nooteboom, 2006). Underlying this situation were conflicting ideas about which results the living lab had to deliver, how this should be done, and which roles the various participants had in this process. As a result, the positive perception among a number of participants of the intentions and behaviour of the researchers was adversely affected. Quite some work was needed to sustain the collaboration, as the belief among living lab members that they will benefit from participation in the long run had to be restored. This experience shows that it is a challenge to keep the interest and voluntary engagement of living lab participants (Nevens et al., 2013), and that trust is crucial for long-term collaboration (Ogonowski et al., 2013). How should living labs be designed so that bonds of trust between stakeholders are reinforced and such vulnerable moments can be used for joint learning? 3.1.3 Methods and strategies for action Although trust cannot be enforced, various methods and strategies for action can be deployed that facilitate the establishment and maintenance of trust relationships. Considering that shared social norms, values and expectations lay a strong foundation for trust (Nooteboom, 2006), a good start would be to make differences and similarities between actors explicit and up for reflection. A helpful tool in this process is the Value Design Canvas, which intends to support multi-stakeholder co-creation processes in design and innovation workshops (Atasoy et al., 2013). The tool optimises collaboration by creating a shared understanding of the issue at stake, developing scenarios for solutions together and clarifying each participant’s role in the process. Furthermore, as in other types of governance networks, active network management can be helpful to bring about trust (Klijn, 2010). In this, connecting is found to be a promising strategy, which includes activities such as securing ongoing contact between actors and continuously improving their relations (Klijn et al., 2010). Hillgren et al. (2011) use the concept of ‘infrastructuring’ to refer to the continual creation of essential communication structures and processes with the goal to foster long-term relationships between actors, in order to build networks from which innovations can emerge. Living lab facilitators can play an important role in creating the infrastructure for perspective brokering and building relationships (Budweg & Kristensen, 2009). An important note to make here is that too much trust and elimination of differences may reduce flexibility and space for innovation (Nooteboom, 2006). Rather than to opt for complete consensus, the aim of the described methods is to reach some congruency of understanding and meaning between the actors involved (Loeber et al., 2007). Collective learning processes are facilitated by a common space where controversial perspectives, values, interests and concerns can be explored and discussed (Höflehner & Zimmermann, 2016; Loeber et al., 2007). Thus, trust must be viewed not as a goal in itself but as an essential condition for collective (second-order) learning, to which we will now turn.


3.2 Stimulating reflexivity and second-order learning It is widely accepted that second-order learning and reflexivity are essential in bringing about changes in institutions and practices necessary to address wicked problems and the body of research in conceptualising and facilitating learning has developed continues to grow (e.g. Loeber et al., 2007 Bos et al., 2013; Bos & Grin, Lissandrello & Grin, 2011) also regarding the role of living labs in facilitating learning (e.g. Almirall & Wareham, 2011 Edwards-Schachter et al., 2012). Below we discuss the theory of learning followed by a critical reflection on attempts to bring about learning and reflexivity in the AUAS living labs, and finally a discussion of strategies of action to address the observed challenges 3.2.1 Facilitating learning Bos et al. (2013) argue that what we consider second-order learning requires experimental, multi-scale governance approaches that appreciate and facilitate the input of a diversity of actor, allowing for formal and informal interactions between core and non-core stakeholders both horizontally and vertically within and beyond organisations. However, these approaches need to go further than participation and should pursue a learning agenda. Such an agenda should focus on helping actors to appreciate the various mental models that exist the system nature of the situation and the interdependence of actors. Governance experimentation should be structured to guide and support learning among a variety of independent actors. In focus projects that resemble the field lab projects of the AUAS and aim to understand the systemic nature of the problem at the local level. They draw on a variety of stakeholders aiming to simulate (informal) social interaction between various societal actors and disciplines. In addition to the informal interaction Bos et al. (2013) emphasise continued reflection on the problem issue, its wider context and interdependencies at different levels and the history of the issue generating changes in understanding and enabling participation of new actors. Furthermore, this reflection and interaction can also increase the organisational capacity around the issue at hand, which in addition to the development of understanding (see above) can increase pressure for change within organisations. Finally, the projects can contribute to the development of political capital through the development of publics, who are encouraged to participate in policy implementation and contribute to the creation of supportive policy images which can later influence socio-political processes. Bos et al. (2013) suggest further the importance of generating small wins contributing to a larger vision as contributing to motivation. Although we consider the work of Bos et al. (2013) extensively the points of attention and process resemble the work of others (Switzer et al., submitted; Lissandrello & Grin, 2011; Bos & Grin, 2008) Turning to the operationalization Bos et al. (2013) emphasise the following: 1) Facilitation: Of importance here is facilitation by various actors to coordinate learning processes and organise feedback loops between processes, activities focus projects and the wider agenda. At the level of the focus project leaders likely posses the ability to influence and connect actors. 2) Cooperation with researchers: This offers the potential to increase rigour and credibility provided continuous feedback and access to expertise. In addition, this can offer links to key academics and executives in the sector (Bos et al., 2013). When actors from other disciplines are involved clarity on roles and responsibilities is needed.


3) Adaptability and flexibility: Acceptance of fallibility and that timelines and outcomes can not be predicted beforehand is needed. Strong leadership and openness and time to develop trust (see 3.1) are essential. 3.2.3 Learning and reflexivity in the AUAS living labs & methods and strategies for action The living labs of the AUAS incorporate many of the elements mentioned above: interdisciplinary focus, the use of research, attention for the complexity of issues, openness to stakeholders. Below we reflect on these attempts highlighting challenges in the expectation that this will enable us to refine our approach, thereby aiding us in the future, but also assisting others embarking on similar endeavours. When possible we make use of existing literature to consider strategies to address challenges. A) Interdisciplinary work Despite the recognised advantage of approaching problems from an interdisciplinary perspective the separation between disciplines that has developed historically and reinforced in education and the composition of research teams has proved to be difficult in practice especially when discussing and trying to understand issues from different perspectives (e.g. local economy). B) Research in living labs In facilitating the living labs experience shows how important it is that the use of research is problem lead. If this is not the case researchers can carry out interesting research, which runs the risk of not being useful for understanding or addressing issues or, worse, not being recognised as valuable, e.g. when participants feel that the results do not add to existing knowledge and had other expectations). Te Brömmelstroet (2010:59), in research on planning support systems, emphasises the importance that researcher and participants together decide on the analyses to be carried out and the complexity, making modifications when necessary. C) Selection of actors The selection of actors and when they are involved is an important issue. Fostering involvement of actors who have the potential to contribute to the development of innovative practices. Starting with actors with innovative ideas about how to understand and address problems is seen as having the potential to create energy to develop new practices, but the involvement of established organisations is needed to ultimately bring about change. If these actors don’t feel ownership for the outcomes than the [implementation] will not be successful. Starting with established organisations can limit the creative potential (see ‘preconceptions’ below). This paradox was observed by Smith (2007). He identifies the importance of ‘pragmatic system builders’ who make compromises and help make the translation of novel practices into forms amenable for actors in the regime. Research on historic transitions (Switzer et al., 2015; Ottosson & Magnusson, 2013; Geels & Schot, 2010) emphasises the importance of incumbent actors open for change in facilitating the articulation between niche and regime which can lead to common ground between the two.


D) Preconceptions One issue not mentioned above, but of importance was dealing with preconceptions about problems and solutions. Parties participating in living labs, as they work with the issues they try to address in the living labs in their daily work, bring preconceptions on where the problems lie and which solutions are effective. Given the diversity of participants these can also differ considerably. This can lead to resistance to fully explore why problems come in to being and to do this from other perspectives (e.g. indebted youth). In the living lab in Zuidoost this was addressed in the start up of by explicitly emphasising that value to the end-user needed to be the first priority considering the final objective and considering the roles that various actors could play. Researchers as an unbiased party facilitated the exploration of the needs or the end-users using a variety of methods depending on the situation (e.g. survey or interviews with users). Furthermore, other approaches such as Reflexive interactive design (Bos & Grin, 2008) offer insight into how systems can be redesigned in interaction with stakeholders to meet the needs of users and reflexively account for complex causality of problems. E) Inclusiveness Essential in the living lab approach is the user driven character. In the field labs involving and facilitating meaningful exchange end users, researchers and policy makers has proven challenging. For example, the inclusion of end-users in developing models (e.g. models behavioural change in the area of indebtedness problems). Also involving mall, local stakeholders are difficult when the living lab is in development and outcomes are not concrete. Finally, starting with all groups together can be detrimental for communication and trust building in the critical start up phase as the expectations will differ considerably (e.g. establishment actors focused on existing policy, end users focused on their specific issues and non-establishment actors/organisations focused on innovative practices and policies). With regard to actors who do not or cannot participate from early on Bos et al. (2013) see the open network character of a focus project, or in our case living lab project, with various activities which can be appealing for different actors as a way to enable their participation when it is appealing for them. 4 Discussion & Conclusions The first experiences at the AUAS in connection to social living lab practices offer insight in a series of practical and conceptual challenges of setting up and running a social innovation milieu. Most importantly we learned the contingent complexity of living lab practices. A first phase of establishing a new setting for learning and experimentation on social issues requires formidable skills in bridging worlds and connecting a diverse array of partners. Once such a setting is ‘created’ in a basic form, with some agreed principles, financial arrangements etc., the danger immediately occurs that it is institutionalised in such a way that it loses much its potentially innovative character. A major challenge for social living labs in general, and for the once established with help of the AUAS is to sustain their innovative character over a longer timeframe. Different pressures are at work at the same time however, since a form of institutionalisation is necessary to make the connection between the innovation milieu and mainstream practices of urban governance. Learning at different geographic levels in the network surrounding an issue which support each other is a possible way of addressing this. Bos et al. (2013) suggest the


importance of multi-organisational peer groups in contributing to momentum building and institutional and governance transition. In these groups learning experiences are shared between projects or living labs. The presence of executives in addition to project leaders and experts is seen as having the following advantages allow project leaders to utilise position power, networks and relational knowledge of executives (Taylor et al., 2011). As such they support the building of advocacy coalitions, the selling ideas to higher level actors and the utilisation of windows of opportunity. Furthermore, these can develop into networks connecting communities of practice institutionalising learning (Pelling et al, 2008). If successful this could deliver the long-lasting outcomes changing the relationships, positions and rules between the involved stakeholders across organisational boundaries making it possible to adequately address societal needs: the essence of social innovation. As stated, this paper forms the first step in the research agenda of the AUAS with regard to living labs. Clearly, follow-up research will need to systematically consider the conceptualisation and practice of fostering and scaling up of innovation making use of experiences in other disciplines with a traditional focus on bringing about transformative change (e.g. planning and transition studies) Acknowledgements We would like to thank Koen Raats for sharing his valuable insights into the challenges arising in the practice of the AUAS living labs.


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Grin, J., Rotmans, J. & Schot, J. (2010) Transitions to Sustainable Development: New Directions in the Study of Long Term Transformative Change, London: Routlidge. Healey, P. (2006). Transforming governance: challenges of institutional adaptation and a new politics of space. European Planning Studies, 14(3), 299-320. Hillgren, P. A., Seravalli, A., & Emilson, A. (2011). Prototyping and infrastructuring in design for social innovation. CoDesign, 7(3-4), 169-183. Klijn, E.H. (2010). Vertrouwen in bestuurlijke netwerken. Zoeken naar de voorwaarden voor innovatieve oplossingen en uitkomsten, in Voorbij de beheersing? Bijdragen aan de stadsontwikkeling in Amsterdam (pp. 18-25). Amsterdam: Project Management Bureau. Klijn, E. H., Steijn, B., & Edelenbos, J. (2010). ‘The impact of network management on outcomes in governance networks’. Public administration, 88(4), 1063-1082. Lissandrello, E. & Grin, J. (2011) ‚Reflexive Planning as Design and Work: Lessons from the Port of Amsterdam’, Planning Theory & Practice, 12(2), 223-248. Loeber, A., van Mierlo, B., Grin, J., & Leeuwis, C. (2007). The practical value of theory: conceptualising learning in the pursuit of a sustainable development. Social learning towards a sustainable world. Wageningen Academic Publishers: Wageningen, the Netherlands, 83-98. Meadowcroft, J. 2007. Who is in charge here? Governance for sustainable development in a complex world. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 9(3):299–314. Mulder, I. (2012). Living Labbing the Rotterdam Way: Co-Creation as an Enabler for Urban Innovation. Technology Innovation Management Review, 39-43. Nijboer, G. (2015). ‘City labs in Rotterdam’. Bestuurskunde, 24(1), 24-25. Nooteboom, B. (2006). Vertrouwen en innovatie. Innovation lecture, Universiteit van Tilburg. Ogonowski, C., Ley, B., Hess, J., Wan, L., & Wulf, V. (2013). Designing for the living room: Long-term user involvement in a living lab. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1539-1548). ACM. Ottosson, M. & Magnusson, T. , (2013) ‘Socio-technical regimes and heterogeneous capabilities: the Swedish pulp and paper industry's response to energy policies’. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 25(4):355-368. Pelling, M., High, C., Dearing, J. & Smith, D. (2008). ‘Shadow spaces for social learning: a relational understanding of adaptive capacity to climate change within organisations’, Environment and Planning A, 40, 867-884. Schuurman, D., De Marez, L., & Ballon, P. (2015). Living Labs: a systematic literature review. In Conference Proceedings 2015 of Open Living Lab Days 2015 (pp. 16-28). Smith, A. (2007) Translating sustainabilities between green niches and sociotechnical regimes. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 19(4):427–450.


Switzer, A., Bertolini, L & Grin, J. (2015) ‚ Understanding transitions in the regional transport and land-use system: Munich 1945 – 2013’, Town Planning Review, 86(6) Taylor, A, Cocklin, C. Brown, R., & Wilson-Evered, E. (2011) ‘An investigation of championdriven leadership processes’, The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 412–433


Session II


Innovation in the Public Sector: Exploring the Characteristics and Potential of Living Labs and Innovation Labs

Dimitri Schuurman a, Piret Tõnurist b a

iMinds – MICT – Ghent University b Tallinn University of Technology

Abstract Living Labs and innovation labs share a lot of common traits and characteristics and are both linked to the public sector, but appear in separated literature streams. Both concepts can be regarded as coping mechanisms to deal with contemporary changes in the innovation landscape and within society as a whole. Both also build further on past initiatives and practices, but both concepts are also struggling to find their own clear identity and raison d’être. As they are largely practice-driven, the theoretical underpinnings and foundations are mostly established ‘post hoc’, making sense of current practice, rather than carefully researching and planning the further development. Starting from a review of the current issues and challenges with innovation in the public sector, we look for links between both concepts by analyzing the current definitions, the predecessors and the state-of-the-art in terms of empirical research into both concepts. Based on these findings, we summarize a set of similarities and differences between both concepts and propose a model towards more collaboration, mutual exchange and integration of practices between innovation labs, that can be regarded as initiators of innovation, and Living Labs, that can be regarded as executors of innovation. By doing this, this paper adds to the conceptual development of both concepts and proposes a roadmap for the further integration of both theory and practice of Living Labs and innovation labs.

Key Words Living labs, innovation labs, public sector, open innovation, user innovation, collaborative innovation


1 Introduction In the private sector, the rapid development of technology has provided opportunities for firms to launch new products, transform their production processes, and do business in new ways. Different paradigms and frameworks have been developed to assist private organizations to deal with innovation, such as open innovation (Chesbrough, 2003), (lead) user innovation (von Hippel, 2005) and distributed innovation (Sawhney & Prandelli, 2000). This has led to different innovation management approaches and organizational forms to cope with these new innovation models. However, the public sector has for long been regarded as an environment that is more resistant to innovation, not willing to embrace and implement new principles and modi operandi. In recent years, the general point of view with regards to innovation in the public sector has changed, but compared to innovation in the private sector, scholars as well as practitioners are still lagging behind in terms of practical and concrete organizational structures and forms to organize and implement innovation. Therefore, within this paper we look into two promising concepts related to public sector innovation: Living Labs and innovation labs. Whereas Living Labs involve public sector organizations and can result in public sector innovation, but are also dealing with other forms of innovation, innovation labs in the public sector are specifically created to foster public sector innovation. As in current literature and debates, both concepts are sometimes mixed and used interchangeably, we perform a comparative literature review and metaanalysis into the nature and outcomes of both organizational forms that are put forward as facilitators and generators of public sector innovation. We outline the similarities and differences between both approaches and propose a model that integrates both into a more longitudinal vision on public sector innovation. 2 Innovation in the public sector Whereas in the private sector innovation is regarded as essential for the survival of organizations, public sector innovation for long has been regarded as a contradictio in terminis. Borins (2002) mentions three main issues why public sector innovation has long been regarded as an oxymoron. First, the fact that public sector agencies are usually monopolies, with no competitive pressure to innovate, second, the ‘fishbowl management’ effect as powerful impediment to innovation, where the media and opposition forces are constantly pursuing the exposure of public sector failures, and third, the fact that public sector organizations are usually large bureaucracies structured to perform their core tasks with stability and consistency, fostering resistance to change or disruption of these tasks. Therefore, public organizations are mostly characterized by a culture of risk aversion, and a focus on short-term delivery pressures (Mulgan & Albury, 2003). However, in recent years this vision has shifted, as in more recent literature, there is consensus that innovation should be a core activity of the public sector (see the review of literature in De Vries et al. 2016). Furthermore, there is pressure from politicians who push for public sector innovation for both efficiency and popularity gains with the general public (Potts and Kastelle 2010). Borins (2002) indicates the public sector has faced challenges such as driving down costs to reduce the debt burden and encountered opportunities such as applying information technology. Therefore, public sector innovation helps public services to improve performance and increase public value, respond to the expectations of citizens and adapt to the needs of users while increasing service efficiency and minimizing costs (Mulgan & Albury, 2003). Mulgan & Albury (2003) point out to the fact that it is crucial to foster continual development and improvement within public sector organizations, as only half of all innovations are initiated at the top. Therefore, maintaining a diversity of staff, paying attention to the needs and expectations of users and frontline staff, and promoting formal creativity techniques


are all valuable tools to this end. Managing risks and incubating new ideas means that there is a need for prototypes, as well as the willingness to invest time and resources for their evaluation. The replication of successful pilots and prototypes is often achieved centrally through legislation, or through the dissemination of evaluations, but in contrast to these ‘idea-push’ models, the private sector literature has emphasized ‘diffusion’ rather than dissemination. Therefore, the ‘push’ model of public sector organization contradicts with the more organic ‘diffusion of innovation’ model that is dominant in private sector innovation. Hartley (2005) identifies an important lesson for policy, practice and research: the need to develop an understanding of innovation which is not over-reliant on the private sector manufacturing literature but reflects the distinctive contexts and purposes of the public sector. There are some similarities in innovation processes and outcomes (from which it is important to learn), but also distinctive and important differences between innovation in private firms and in public service organizations. The private sector literature still focuses mainly on technological innovation, especially new product development, and as innovation in the private sector is driven primarily by competitive advantage—this tends to restrict the sharing of good practice to strategic partners. By contrast, the drivers in the public sector are to achieve widespread improvements in governance and service performance, including efficiencies, in order to increase public value (Moore, 1995). Hence, while public sector can be indirectly the producer of technology (e.g., Internet etc.) as part of being an ‘entrepreneurial state’ (Mazzucato 2013), it is rarely, if ever, at the core of public sector activities. Public sector innovation is rarely about bringing new products to the market, but covers a wide continuum of process, service, governance, conceptual and also product innovations (De Vries et al. 2016). Overall, these features suggest that the transfer of theory and empirical findings from private firms to public services is far from straightforward. Accordingly, there is a need for robust theory and evidence derived directly from the public sector. Bommert (2010) states that one might readily accept that the public sector faces complex challenges, which are unmet. However, one might less readily accept that a different form of innovation constitutes a convincing alternative. One reason for this doubt is that research about public sector innovation is rather thin and the level of conceptualization low (Hartley, 2005). For example there are various definitions of what counts as an innovation in the public sector (Moore, 2005; Kattel et al. 2013, 5-7). In this research environment it is difficult to distinguish innovation from change and clearly establish what is different about the alternative forms of innovation and to claim that one form possesses characteristics which make it more suitable. Consequently, it is very difficult to find a single best way to organize innovation in the public sector (Bekkers et al. 2011). In accordance with a lot of public sector innovation scholars, Bommert (2010) claims that there is a need for a new form of innovation in the public sector because bureaucratic (closed) ways of innovating do not yield the quantity and quality of innovations necessary to solve emergent and persistent policy challenges (Borins, 2014: 5-7). Modern debates about how to organize innovation in the public sector outline the importance of public sector entrepreneurs, boundary crossing networks, empowerment of citizens and experimental policies – these are issues for which traditional bureaucracies are not well-equipped. Based on these shortcomings the article defines a set of criteria, which a suitable form of public sector innovation needs to fulfill. The article shows that collaborative innovation meets these criteria because it opens the innovation cycle to a variety of actors and taps into innovation resources across borders, overcomes cultural restrictions and creates broad socio-political support for public sector innovation. Collaborative innovation, or the idea to include a broad variety of internal and external actors, can be connected to the concept of networked government (the third mode as discussed by Hartley, 2005), but also refers back to the notions of open innovation (Chesbrough, 2003) and user innovation (von Hippel,


2005) that were conceived primarily in a private sector setting. By means of two case studies, Bommert (2010) illustrates the potential of collaborative innovation for the public sector. However, there is a lack of practical organizational forms that facilitate collaborative innovation. And although innovation in the public sector has received considerable academic interest, most studies have focused on detailed, and sometimes comparative, case studies (Borins, 2002; De Vries et al. 2016). Therefore, within this paper, we will introduce and discuss two contemporary innovation approaches with links to public sector innovation. Both Living Labs and innovation labs are ways of dealing with innovation without relying purely on the mechanisms and insights from innovation in the private sector. While there is a lot to learn from product and service development in the private sector, policy-makers, managers and researchers in the public sector need to recognize their own contexts more explicitly. Both Living Labs and innovation labs are linked to open and user innovation (Schuurman, 2015; Tõnurist et al., 2015), but have been conceived in a public sector context. However, both concepts seem to be mainly practice driven and are sometimes used interchangeably. Therefore, in the remainder of this paper we will investigate the definitions of both concepts, their main predecessors and the research that has been carried out with regards to their characteristics and outcomes. This will enable to compare both concepts, illustrate similarities and differences, and propose a theoretical and practical link between both, as the literature streams have been strictly separated until now. 3 Innovation labs 3.1 Definition Innovation labs are defined as hybrids of think tanks, digital R&D labs, social enterprises and charitable organizations (Williamson, 2015). Their mission is twofold: to foster ICTenabled user-driven service production logic in the public sector as well as to cope with external changes (ICT change, austerity, demand for individualized services). Therefore, innovation labs can be defined as ‘islands of experimentation’ where public sector can test and scale out public service innovations. It follows logically that experimentation assumes some level of autonomy from the existing structures and institutions, and one can understand innovation labs as an attempt to create independent change champions (experimental organizations) within the public sector. Building further on this argument, Tõnurist at al. (2015) define innovation labs as change agents within the public sector that operate with a large autonomy in setting their targets and working methods. They are structurally separated from the rest of the public sector and expected to be able to attract external funding as well as ‘sell’ their ideas and solutions to the public sector. However, depending on context their organizational build-up can considerably differ. Innovation labs typically have relatively low budgets, are generally small fluid organizations and are dependent on the resources (funds, human resources) they are able to co-opt to their activities externally. 3.2 Predecessors Innovation labs as an attempt to structure (radical) change processes within public organizations are not an entirely new phenomenon (see, e.g., Thompson & Sanders (1998) on the US reinvention labs in 1990s). However, what is different in case of the current wave of innovation labs is the context and logic why these structures have emerged, that is, the combination of user-driven service production logic, the ever-increasing computing power and fiscal austerity. As public sector change is always contextual (Pollitt 2009), there is, thus,


a need to gain better understanding on the nature and potential of innovation labs in public sector change. One of the organizational origins of innovation labs in the public sector can be seen in the think tank culture predominant in Anglo-American politics (Williamson, 2015). As such they have been described as purpose-driven do-tanks (Bellefontaine, 2012). They form a loose hybrid of the think tank, the social enterprise and the charitable organization, merged with aspects of the digital R&D lab (all of which are themselves contested, elastic and emergent organizational forms). Broad based characteristics of innovation labs are discussed in various reports and papers (e.g. Westley et al., 2011; Torjman, 2012; John 2014; Puttick et al. 2014; Williamson 2015). 3.3 Research Although in recent years innovation labs have become relatively popular in the public sector – especially since 2010 –, the literature and studies on the subject are still scant. The available papers and reports remain descriptive and informative in nature; most of the provided evidence relying on insider ethnographies (e.g., Mindlab: Christiansen, 2014; Policy Lab: Kimbell, 2015) or document analyses (e.g., Williamson 2015). A report on 16 innovation labs was published in 2013 by the Parsons DESIS lab, whereas Nesta and Bloomberg Philanthropies have published a report on public sector innovation labs that covered 20 such units around the world (Puttick et al., 2014). These reports confirm the definition of innovation labs as hybrid forms, composed of characteristics of other organizational forms in the context of the public sector such as think tanks, R&D labs and social enterprises. Both reports note that what binds innovation labs, is the fact that they act as newly created organizations within the public sector. This way they do not reform existing organizational routines within the current public sector organizations, but also avoid to call on private organizations. With regards to the section on public sector innovation, this avoids the bureaucratic structures that characterize existing public sector organizations, and also avoids a pure implementation of private market innovation logic. Other efforts to analyze innovation labs include categorizing them by their segment of specialism (e.g. design-focused, psychology-based or technology-based); by sector (e.g. healthcare or education), if they are government-led or -enabled or their potential level of change (incremental or systematic), (Armstrong et al. 2014; Parsons DESIS lab constellation, 2013), and based on their operations: developers and creators of innovation (those who respond to specific challenges), enablers (those who bring in insights from outside the public sector), educators (transformers of processes, skills and culture) and architects (concentrating on system and policy level change) (Puttick et al. 2014). Most discussed innovation labs are on the city or national level (a minority on the regional level) and were established in 2000 or later. However, the mentioned studies do not provide deeper insights into the way innovation labs function. This is done in the most detailed study by Tõnurist et al. (2015). Their study reports an empirical investigation of 26 innovation labs. Mostly based on interviews of the managers if the innovation labs, the specific characteristics are related to the envisioned outcomes and the specificities of innovation in the public sector. By having a self-generated income and low operating budgets, innovation labs do not illicit strenuous performance evaluations nor the need to collect quantitative metrics to make the output of the labs measurable. As innovation labs are relatively small and agile, this forces them to perform in a ‘quick and dirty’ fashion, resembling start-ups. However, when projects become too big, innovation labs run against existing structures and procurement rules which causes them to hand-over the projects to other departments, which can chose to continue or disband the project. Stakeholder engagement and co-creation with citizens is seen as key, but the outcomes of innovation labs are produced for ministerial departments and other government agencies.


This relates to the fact that the a large share of the innovation lab activities is funded by the public sector funds, so this potentially conflicts with the ‘self-generated income’, smallness, physical separation and autonomous from existing public sector structures key characteristics of innovation labs. Therefore, Tõnurist et al. (2015) conclude, based on the interviews, that innovation labs operate in a constant tension between the potential to disrupt the existing organization and the necessity to deliver value for their ‘sponsors’. They do this by jump-starting and showcasing user-driven service re-design projects, specializing on quick experimentations without having the capabilities and authority to significantly influence upscaling of the new solutions or processes, focusing on prototyping without too much worry for IT capabilities. However, they are not yet an organic part of public sector and its change. The main source of autonomy as well as survival is high level political and/or administrative support, meaning that once an innovation lab loses its sponsors the survival chances diminish radically, creating an interesting paradox and tension, where smaller innovation labs are easier to close down, whereas larger ones face the risk of losing flexibility and freedom to act. 4 Living Labs 4.1 Definition Living Labs refer to user-centered, open innovation ecosystems based on a systematic user co-creation approach integrating research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings (Ballon & Schuurman, 2015). Living Labs are both practice-driven organizations that facilitate and foster open, collaborative innovation, as well as real-life environments and arenas where both open innovation and user innovation processes, can be studied and subject to experiments, and where new solutions are being developed. This unique capability enables Living Labs to generate concrete, tangible innovations based on user and communities’ contributions, and at the same time to advance the (academic) understanding of open and user innovation principles and processes. Leminen (2013) defines living labs as: "physical regions or virtual realities, or interaction spaces, in which stakeholders form public-private-people partnerships (4Ps) of companies, public agencies, universities, users, and other stakeholders, all collaborating for creation, prototyping, validating, and testing of new technologies, services, products, and systems in real-life contexts". This definition is complemented with Schuurman (2015) who sees Living Labs as an organized approach (as opposed to an ad hoc approach) to innovation consisting of real-life experimentation and active user involvement by means of different methods involving multiple stakeholders, as is implied in the Public-Private-People character of Living Labs. Ståhlbröst (2012) also acknowledges this point of view by referring to Living Labs as both an environment and as an approach, characterized by five main principles: value (delivered to all participating stakeholders), sustainability (of the Living Lab organization), influence (of participating stakeholders on the innovation outcome), realism (integrating real-life context into the innovation process) and openness (towards the contribution of different stakeholders). 4.2 Predecessors At least three important predecessors for the living labs-movement as we know it today can be discerned (Schuurman, 2015). The cooperative design movement, or the Scandinavian tradition of user involvement in IT design processes (Ehn, 1989), can be traced back as far as the 1960s and 70s. Next to the active user involvement, this cooperative design also


introduced the facilitation of trial use situations as part of the design process, so as to stage users’ hands-on experience with future applications, which puts the focus on the real-life context. In the 1980s there were the European ’social experiments’ with IT (Oestmann & Dymond, 2001; Qvortrup, 1987), when all over Europe, various social experiments with IT were started. Social experiments originated in the field of psychology and refer to experiments taking place outside of laboratories and therefore with less physical isolation of subjects and materials, less procedural standardization and longer-lasting treatments when compared to experiments in laboratory settings. From the 1990s onwards ‘Digital City’-projects started to blossom (Paskaleva, 2011). The digital city concept took hold in Europe and elsewhere, referring to a number of digital initiatives undertaken by cities, especially related to digital representations of the city, digitally related economic development and urban regeneration initiatives and the provision of Internet access for citizens. Then, towards the end of the 1990s, the proper living lab concept came into use, first in a US setting, which mostly Følstad (2008) refers to as ‘living labs as testbeds’. Soon primarily in a European setting, living labs were more regarded as a research concept dealing with the context of the innovation, focusing on co-creation, which is in line with Følstad’s second archetype of living labs. These predecessors all had their impact on the current Living Lab movement, with elements still present in current Living Labs (cf. Schuurman,2015). 4.3 Research Ballon & Schuurman (2015) mention a five year gap between the first Living Lab projects (mainly EU-funded, from 2000 onwards) and the first scientific publications that defined the notion of living labs (Ballon et al, 2005; Eriksson et al., 2005), which they see as evidence of the practice-driven nature of the phenomenon. While there is now a certain body of literature that attempts to clarify and analyze the concept (Følstad, 2008; Almirall et al., 2012; Leminen et al., 2012), living lab practices are still underresearched, and a theoretical and methodological gap continues to exist in terms of the restricted amount and visibility of living lab literature vis-à-vis the rather large community of practice (Schuurman, 2015). Schuurman (2015) proposes to make a distinction between three different levels of analysis within Living Lab phenomena, as Living Labs are complex entities with various activities and interactions taking place between different actors. This model for Living Labs is based on a practical and theoretical assessment of different Living Labs and helps to define more precisely to what activities or phenomena one is referring to. The three layers that can be distinguished are the following: a macro level (the Living Lab constellation), the meso level (consisting of a Living Lab innovation project) and the micro level (consisting of the different methodological research steps). On the macro level, a Living Lab is a set of actors and stakeholders that are organized to enable and foster innovation, typically in a certain domain or area, often also with a territorial link or focus. The various assets and capabilities manifest themselves at the micro level, which consist of the different research steps and activities that are carried out within the Living Lab projects. The different projects that are carried out within these Living Lab organizations by means of their methodological toolbox are regarded as the meso level. These projects are aimed at generating and advancing specific innovations or relevant knowledge that enables innovation. Regarding the different actors active within Living Labs, Leminen (et al., 2012) distinguishes between providers, enablers, utilizers and users. Providers provide the other actors in the Living Lab organization or project with their product or service portfolio. They take care of the (material) infrastructure used for the Living Lab-operations. Providers are mainly private companies that enter into Living Labs to co-develop new products, services, and


solutions to their own business or industry needs, and focus more on long term results. To attain these goals through their involvement in general Living Lab operations and (possibly) in the Living Lab cases, driven by utilizers. Enablers can be various public sector actors, nongovernmental organizations, or financiers, such as towns, municipalities, or development organizations. This actor provides (financial) resources or policy support in order to startup and maintain the Living Lab operations. They enable the sustainability of the Living Lab organization and/or setting-up Living Lab projects. Utilizers are ‘users’ of the Living Lab organization who aim to develop their businesses. Their focus is on developing and testing new products and services. These utilizers use Living Labs as a strategic tool to collect data on test-users of their products or services and collaborate with other stakeholders in the Living Lab ecosystem. These actors drive short-term Living Lab projects and can be regarded as short-term, ad hoc ‘consumers of the Living Lab’. They do this in Living Lab projects. Users are the ‘end-users’ that are being involved in the Living Lab-operations and in the (short-term) Living Lab projects. In some Living Labs, existing user groups or user communities are involved, while in others the Living Lab-operations themselves facilitate the formation of a (Living Lab) user community. Depending on the actor that drives the Living Lab organization, and the focus of the activities, this leads to different ‘types’ of Living Labs, such as (1) research Living Labs focusing on performing research on different aspects of the innovation process , (2) corporate Living Labs that focus on having a physical place where they invite other stakeholder (e.g. citizens) to co-create innovations with them , (3) organizational Living Lab where the members of an organization co-creatively develop innovations , and (4) intermediary Living Labs in which different partners are invited to collaboratively innovate in a neutral arena. Due to the constant development of the concept other types of Living Labs certainly exists. This illustrates the broad diversity of Living Lab organizations, as well as innovation outcomes. 5 Discussion & conclusion Although innovation in the public sector has for long been regarded as a contradictio in terminis, contemporary scholars and practitioners agree that innovation is necessary in order to deal with contemporary societal challenges. However, innovation in the public sector requires specific approaches and adaptation of frameworks, tools and ‘best practices’ from the private sector, as literature and research reveals that the circumstances and needs for innovation are sometimes fundamentally different. Collaborative innovation approaches are put forward as a response to the specific challenge of public sector innovation, although the current literature mainly deals with case studies and fails to concretely transfer and adapt the insights from innovation theories in the private sector. Within this paper, we investigated Living Labs and innovation labs as possible solutions for public sector innovation. Both Living Labs and innovation labs are mainly practice-driven concepts which started to blossom around the turn of the millennium. Both can be regarded as ways of dealing with the changing environment and the changing role and nature of innovation. The turn of the century also coincides with new paradigms and frameworks for innovation, such as Open Innovation, User Innovation and mixed forms of both, that are mainly linked to private sector innovation. In the specific context of public sector innovation, the literature also points out to the necessity of innovation, bearing in mind the specific context of the public sector. Therefore, the ‘private sector’ concepts cannot be imposed and introduced directly in a public setting, but require adaptation. One main issue was the definition of innovation, which should be extended in the public context beyond product and service innovation towards other forms such as process innovation. The literature puts forward collaborative


innovation as best practice and necessity in the public sector, but fails to deliver concrete and practical frameworks to facilitate this. Table 1. Comparison of core characteristics

Innovation labs Living Labs Focus on ideation & ‘quick & dirty’ Focus on innovation development & realexperimentation life experimentation Multi-disciplinary team Multi-stakeholder organization Potentially citizen-centric A priori user-centric Public sector innovation projects Public as well as private sector innovation projects More agile and volatile due to their More formal at the organizational level due smallness and relative independence to multi-stakeholder partnerships Focus on problem and idea definition Focus on methodology and knowledge generation Initiators Executors Source: Authors.

Both innovation labs and Living Labs can be regarded as practice-driven concepts that provide a more structured way to implement collaborative innovation in the public sector, building further on the principles and notions of Open and User Innovation. There are certainly similarities and overlap between both concepts, but based on our exploratory literature review, we conclude that both are fundamentally different and can even be regarded as logical extensions of each other. Main similarities are the focus on experimentation, a strong link with ICT (both as enabler and outcome) and a collaborative, user-centric attitude. However, we also discovered major differences. First, whereas innovation labs in this new wave of labs are conceived exclusively in a public sector or the third sector context (especially in connection to social innovation labs), Living Labs have a broader application domain and are utilized for both private sector as well as public sector innovation. Therefore, innovation labs are slightly more easy to define, whereas Living Labs’ definition is still more high level. However, this can also be due to the fact that innovation labs are much less studied compared to Living Labs and thus, their intricacies and differences have not been so extensively outlined. This also related to the second point, as both innovation labs and Living Labs are multidisciplinary, but in Living Labs this is the result of the multi-stakeholder nature of the organization (Living Labs are public-private-people partnerships), whereas innovation labs are smaller and consist of one team with people from different backgrounds. Thus, in public sector innovation labs the methodologies used tend to depend on the capabilities and background of the people involved, and are not a priori citizen-centric. In Living Labs the collaborative focus is a built-in characteristic of the organization. Third, building further on the previous, whereas innovation labs are smaller and more agile, they are also shorter-lived and thus sometimes only operational for one or a few concrete projects; highly dependent on high level political or administrative patronage and not that interwoven with the traditional organizational structures. This makes public sector innovation labs more ‘volatile’. Living Labs on the contrary are characterized by a multistakeholder organization set-up to conduct multiple innovation projects (cf. the sustainability principle). Interdependencies between different partners make these organizations more inert. Fourth, the operating time frames of Living Labs and public sector innovation labs can differ considerably. While this is connected to the initiator-executor role of these organizations (see Table 1 above), the concept of a ‘Living’ Lab also often infers the collection of information and feedback for innovative solutions/policy measures over a period of time in


a real life context. In innovation labs the long-term measurement efforts are rather unique (if present at all) and concentrate on the pre-design phase in the innovation process. Fifth, in Living Labs the goal is to learn and grow as an organization by means of different innovation projects, where this projects also are more likely to cover a longer proportion of the innovation process. Innovation labs have thus far focused on the ideation and genesis stage of innovation, and then let go of the project afterwards. This is due to the fact most of these organizations do not control the implementation phase of the innovations as many responsibilities can be fragmented over different public sector organizations, thus, making it time-consuming for small teams to follow up on innovations. This is also related to the fourth point: as public sector innovation labs tend to have weaker ties with the surrounding organizations, it is more difficult to build up long-term partnerships, while for Living Labs the latter seems to be a precondition for their existence. Therefore, we regard both concepts as very promising and valuable for public sector innovation. Both can be seen as operating on a continuum, where one might see Living Labs as the ideal structures to pick up the raw ideas or prototype solutions, delivered by innovation labs, and focus on the actual implementation and execution stage, including real-life testing. However, in practice both concepts seem to be part of different literature streams and (academic) debates. Furthermore, as innovation labs operate more in the public sector they encounter organizational and cultural barriers that may be not present in Living Labs where the partnerships between sectors is more balanced. Therefore we would argue for more studies and research regarding the nature, outcomes and possible integration of both concepts for public sector innovation. As next steps, we would foresee workshops and joint meetings with practitioners as well as scholars from both innovation labs and Living Labs to exchange current practices and outcomes, as a first step towards a conceptual and practical integration. This would also pave the way for further experimentation and data gathering to facilitate robust theory building regarding innovation in the public sector.


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Exploring Living Labs Approach in Public Sector Innovation: a design-driven initiative in Chinese urban community

Fan Fei a, Ni Minqing a, Zhu Mingjie a a

Tongji University, China

Previously published No Abstract Although open innovation and the relevant concepts of Living Labs, such as public-privatepeople partnership, openness, sustainability, user-driven, etc. are popular in China, Living labs are not well known among Chinese scholars. This paper intends to make up the gap and explore the “organized approach” of Living Labs in Chinese public sector. Based on the theory framework of Public Sector Innovation, the current study connects the key principles of Living Labs to Chinese community and continues the discussion on urban Living Labs started by European scholars. The study is paralleled to a project called “Open Your Space: Design Interventions in Siping Community” which aims to help the urban communities possess better sense of sustainability, comfortability and accessibility to the public space for transformation and improvement of the built environment. The project designers are empowered by the sub-district office of Siping community in Shanghai, China. By involving the administrative office, local residents as well as students, designers and artists, the designled project is implemented as the initial steps of this public sector innovation. The study collects the qualitative data from the observation, the project documents and field notes, designers’ self-reflection diary and in-depth interviews with all stakeholders involved. The paper introduces this initial project, analyzes the data from the perspective of Living Labs and summarized the positive examples of the design projects. The findings show that 1) Living labs approach applied in Chinese urban community has brought novelty, implementation and impact of the public sector innovation; 2) empowerment is the prerequisite during the initial stage of Living Labs approach in public sector; 3) the methods of design thinking could lead the multi-stakeholders involvement in generating and sharing ideas as well as testing and facilitating the continuous development of public sector innovation. The positive experience of this initial study exhibits the potential to introduce Living Labs concepts as an organized approach and to employ this approach in Chinese urban community. Keywords Living labs, public sector innovation, urban community, China, design driven


1 Introduction The Living Labs was introduced into China in 2008 by researchers in Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. After almost years, it has not received much attention in Chinese academic and practical fields. However, its relevant concepts, such as publicprivate-people partnership, openness, sustainability, user-driven, etc. are hot topics in China from Central Government's "Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation", to booming technical innovation activities in industries, and to education and research in universities. Living labs offer an avenue to promote open innovation (Ståhlbröst, 2012), which is also popular in Chinese industrial and research fields. Schuurman (2015) defines the Living Labs as an organized approach to innovation consisting of real-life experimentation and active user involvement by means of different methods involving multiple stakeholders. It is time to bridge the “organized approach” of Living Labs to these separate concepts. This paper presents one endeavor initiated by designers to explore Living Labs approach in one area of Chinese public sector: urban community. Nowadays, the challenges faced by public sector have worldwide similarities, such as security, dealing with terrorist threats, climate change, poverty, migration fluxes and population aging, etc. These challenges posit intensive demand for public sector innovation, the development of new sets of organizational forms, governance structures, funding mechanisms, policy approaches, partnerships and accountability structures. After the founding of the new China, the Chinese government has implemented the governance system, which combines “units” (a term for organization in the plan economy) and streets/sub-district administration in cities in order to control, integrate and rebuild the social and economic orders. In the end of 1970s, the Open and Reform policy triggered the societal transition in China and the urban life emerged to be atomized and fragmented. The social service and public issues, which used to be embedded in the units, gradually come to market and community. More and more social problems and conflicts are dealt in the urban community. Transition from government all-round supervision to multiple community governance requires new and different perspectives from urban community research. This paper focuses on urban community in China from the perspective of Living Labs initiating public sector innovation. It briefly reviews the theoretical background and previous research on public sector innovation (PSI), Chinese urban community research and urban living labs, then describes the case background, introduces the research design according to the PSI framework, analyzes the design projects in the case from the viewpoint of the Living Labs approach and summarizes the findings in public sector innovation achieved by this initial exploration of living labs approach in China. 2 Theoretical Background 2.1 Public Sector Innovation Framework The public sector innovation has not been as well researched as the private sector. The OECD Observatory has identified novelty, implementation and impact as characteristics of public sector innovation. OECD (2014) posits a Public Sector Innovation (PSI) framework. This framework helps to conceptually organize and classify interrelated ideas and concepts along two dimensions: the level of analysis, and the thematic element. The levels of analysis are represented by the concentric circles of individual innovators, to the organization in which the individual innovates, and to public sector of the country. And finally, outside the circles is the larger society, with whom the public sector partners to innovate. The


framework is further divided into 4 quadrants, generating and sharing ideas, empowering the workforce, navigating rules and processes, and reviewing organizational design, altogether representing thematic elements, which are groupings of organizational attributes influencing public sector innovation. In the case of this study, the concentric circles are specifically represented by the local residents, universities/schools, private firms, subdistrict office as well as designers, artists, etc. They are all organized and connected during the case study. Due to the initial project in three months, this study focuses on the two themes of public sector innovation: generating and sharing ideas, and empowering the workforce.

Figure 1. A PSI framework (OECD, 2014)

2.2 Chinese Urban Community In Chinese language, the connotation of “community” refers to “neighborhood committee area”, which is the smallest administrative area in city management. The initial purpose of Chinese urban community is to be adaptive to the market economy, taking responsible for the social and administrative responsibility that used to be managed by “Units” in the plan economy. The community building, not only provides the public products or service, but also includes its administrative organization building and residents participation, which extends to co-building, co-participation, co-governance and cohabitation of spiritual and cultural home. The domestic research on the community building in urban China has been developing from five perspectives: the different patterns in practice, the state-society relation, the governance theory, the social capital theory, and the community autonomy. Among different practical patterns, Shanghai Pattern was evolved around 1995-1999 and its community building was integrated into the city management system of “two-level government, three-level administration, and four-level network” (Pan, 2004). A part of administrative function was separated from Shanghai Municipal government and the District government to the sub-district level. The urban community is positioned at subdistrict level and managed by the Sub-district office. There are several unsolved questions in urban community research in China (Wang, 2015), e.g. How the multiple roles and rules in the urban community organization emerge? What role the residents play in practice during the community building in Chinese cities given it is agreed that they are key players and factors in theory? How the empowering process activates in the dynamic interaction?


The case project during this study aims to use design methods to accomplish tangible and accessible results for one urban community in Shanghai, China. By observing and analyzing the process, this study will answer parts of the questions above from the perspective of Living Labs. 2.3 Living Labs Approach in Urban Research Living labs approach has been introduced into urban research by Finnish European Union Presidency in 2006 (Franz et al., 2015) and then has been applied and studied by scholars. Based on the key elements such as user-involvement, multi-stakeholders, real-life environment and an iterative co-creation process (Niitamo & Kulkki, 2006; Shuurman et al., 2012; Schuurman, 2015), the living labs in urban research have a focus on civic participation and aims at increasing quality of urban life (Baccarne et al., 2016) with a wider topics including societal, political and technological questions (Franz et al., 2015). During the research periods, there are two relevant papers recent released. Franz et al. (2015) presents a framework with four dimensions (objective, stakeholders, involvement, transferability) by considering living labs as a tool to create a contextualized methodology. Juujärvi & Lund (2016) studied a case in Espoo, Finland and presented lessons about living labs approach enhancing the early innovation. StühlbrÜst (2012) proposed a set of principles for conducting Living Lab research in an innovation context: value, influence, realism, sustainability, and openness and assessed the impact of the Living Lab approach in an innovation process by means of the principles. This study describes and examines a project called Open Your Space in urban community in Shanghai, China in the perspectives of these principles corresponding to the public sector innovation. This paper contributes to current urban living labs research with first hand experience from Chinese context and in the initial stage of public sector innovation. 3 Case Community Background 3.1 Real-life Context: Siping community Siping sub-district locates in the midwest of Yangpu district, Shanghai. It is 2.75 square kilometers in area and has a population of over a hundred thousand. The community includes one of Shanghai's earliest workers Village- Anshan village. It was built in the 50's of last century, after continuous expansion, it now has 8 villages. It has become one of the largest village in Shanghai at that time as well as one of the earliest workers village in the city. Sujiatun road, located in Siping community, is not only a "star street" praised by the residences, but also selected as one of ten landscape streets in shanghai. It was built in 1953 with 395 meters long. Sujiatun road enjoys elegant environment around trees making the shade. In the street, there are various types of public space and facilities. It becomes an ideal space for daily leisure and exercises, also the right place for the annual community folk culture festival. Siping community has advantageous features, such as higher education level in the population, i.e. 39% residents holding college degree above; 14 academicians who live and work here, 18 educational organizations including Tongji University, Yangpu senior middle school, Benxi kindergarten; many architecture and design firms from large corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the "Tongji knowledge economy circle". Siping community has two designations of Shanghai municipal intangible cultural heritage- "Jiangnan Sizhu (Jiangnan silk and bamboo ensemble)" and "Lantern Festival Parade". In


addition, authentic street foods are everywhere to be found with consistent quality over the years. The core circle, centered on Siping Road Branch of Tongji University, as well as the UNESCO “City of Design,” and the Shanghai International Design Center, occupies the whole area. In Siping, most of the buildings were built at least 20 years ago, so it is necessary to upgrade both the space and service for public life to satisfy the changing needs and reenvisioning the urban life. 4 Research Design The research is paralleled to a project called “open your space”(OYS), which reflecting on the current situation of urbanization in China, the project explores an urban community scenario that concerns the physical spaces as well as their social and cultural significances. It tends to activate design factors as how they can intervene and catalyze urban life and built environment. The word “open” suggests multiple interpretations in terms of the physical, cultural, emotional, inclusive, sustainable, connected, shared and interactive contexts. OYS project includes 10 site projects, and over 50 micro design projects in the vacant space at Siping community along with a community creative festival and several cultural events. The project has been opened on 19 December 2015, the site projects and micro design projects stay along with the community. The qualitative research is conducted by one observer and two designers. One observer participates the project and reads through the project documents and field notes, while two designers lead the OYS projects and completes in-depth interviews with the stakeholders involved. Employing the PSI framework (OECD, 2014), the research records the first three months of OYS project mainly in the two steps of thematic elements of public sector innovation: 1. Generating and sharing ideas: On October 30th and November 7th 2015, local Siping residents from different generations participated two community workshops together with design students from Tongji University. During the workshops, every resident shared their concerns about how public spaces were used in the community, and built ideal prototype of public space with play dough. These two workshops introduced OYS project to local community and exhibited potentials of residents in further involvement of the project. Moreover, selected residents of Siping community were interviewed about history of the community, esp. the stories of their craftsmanship. There are craftsmen specialized in folk art, such as dough sculpture and traditional paper cutting, and service-oriented craftsmen who have been attending the daily needs of the community for decades, such as tinkers and barbers. The craftsmanship can be considered as an integral part of the community assets. Besides, a "Photo Story in Siping" proposal calls for photos of daily activities via “WeChat” (Chinese social media mobile app) so that community members shared memories and ideas together with themselves and the external. 2. Empowering the Workforce: The sub-district office of Siping community agreed with the project mission and agenda proposed by the project designers and helped to initiate the project promotion and


mobilization. What’s more, the leadership of Yangpu district government (the superior authority of Siping sub-district office) showed their approval and support by attending the opening ceremony of the OYS project. At the beginning of October 2015, the project started to call for proposal by inviting both local and international designers, students, institutions, interested groups and individual at Siping Community. Senior BA students from Environmental Design class and MA narrative environments students at Tongji University College of Design and Innovation actively participated projects, taking their practice out of the classroom, and involving in community public space development with local community individual and sub-district office. Focusing on the issues in public space and service, their discussions include both physical spaces and the types of urban community in terms of social studies and cultural significances. It is to find ways to maximize the empowering impact on public space improvement, spatial experience and social innovation. It engages local residents and other social assets in the process of local development and transforms the public spaces in Siping area into an organic community with a fine balance of old and new resources. 5 Case Analysis The OYS project intends to initiate the public sector innovation to build an urban community in Shanghai with better sense of sustainability, comfort as well as accessibility to adapt transformation and improvement. During the initiating three months, the project team organized a series of co-design projects so as to improve public space and daily community life. During the three months, the project team has gone through substantial negotiation with the local administration in order to develop a project that could be absorbed in the historical and cultural context of the community space. And the team members have worked closely with the local residents as well as the designers and artists to ensure the proposed plans attend the efficiency, accessibility, diversity of function, and viability of the proposed sites. The negotiations, mediations, compromises, collaborations, and conflicts have left a trial of exciting footnotes to this three-month long project. All these collected community voices, which depicts a localized view of Siping daily life as well as a collective memory of Siping. These knowledge and learning allows us to consider issues related to the collection, analysis and sharing of information, knowledge development, and learning, which are essential to innovation. As suggested by the title of the OYS project, “open” is essential to characterize this initial process. The concept of “open” is embodied in the open gesture and rich imagination of the local administration by providing complete flexibility to the design team; it is also reflected in the highly open design process: multidimensional contribution and participation of students, designers, architects, artists, and local residents, etc. Ultimately, the public spaces generated through the project are functional, such as vacant storefront spaces have been transformed into community exhibition space, bike racks have become the outdoor playground for kids, as well as urban living room space for residents and visitors to rest. All this provides a channel for further and continuous involvement in public sector innovation. Among these design projects, one part used graphic design for 11 public places. For example, a wall-painting event (Figure 1) at the centre area of Siping community, inviting residents, artists and students, turned originally plain wall to a colorful expression and also built the happy mood and link among all participants. Showing the bright smiling faces of local


residents on the wall of the main avenue at Siping (Figure 2), the project gesture warmed the hearts of local community, smiling not a simple sign of emotion or act but a transfer of love. One more wall panting is to draw a Chinese chess map on the wall (Figure 3) so that the chess mates could play standing in public. Another design project utilized the open space in front of the garbage shed and stages a revised hopscotch in color (Figure 4). The revised hopscotch incorporates basic information of how to sort garbage into its game logic. It is not only to improve the environment around the garbage shed, but also to provide a unique walking experience to the students from nearby School. 108



Figure 1: Wall-painting event




Gao Zhengxiang, Zhao Yuanxing

By utilizing the nature force—wind, the project aims to transform the fence and engage the visitors with an interactive activity. Through rotating the pieces, nature and human jointly participate the process, collectively to bring forward a fence charged with rhythm and life. 114


Figure 2: Smiling faces of local residents on the wall Street view of Zhangwu Road

Jump Jump

Deng Junyue, Liukan

The project utilizes the open space in 114 115 front of the garbage shed and stages a revised hopscotch in colour. The revised hopscotch incorporates basic information of how to sort garbage into its game logic. Not only to improve the environment around the garbage shed, the project provides a unique walking Mr Zhou, Shanghaiese, works at College of Design and Innovation Tongji University for four years. Ju m p Ju mp experience to the students from nearby school.

Figure 3: Chinese chess map on the wall Deng Junyue, Liukan The project utilizes the open space in front of the garbage shed and stages a revised hopscotch in colour. The revised hopscotch incorporates basic information of how to sort garbage into its game logic. Not only to improve the environment around the garbage shed, the project provides a unique walking experience to the students from nearby school.

Figure 4: The revised hopscotch

There are 15 design installations completed during three months and brought creativity to the public sector. One installation by Arup Associates (Figure 5), located at Fushun Road, attempted to provide the local residents a simple space to contemplate, and to invite local


residents to submit their creative ideas. It can be a solitary place for loners, a teahouse for collective gatherings, a playground for kids to hang out, or an “observation site” to look on life. The installation brings a stable yet continuous mutability to the built environment, a ENHANCE THE DIVERSITY OF COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT temporary permanence. One installation by Feng Fan (Figure 6), located at Sujiatun Road, translated a domestic environment into the form of abstraction and geometry, by using wood steps combine with the plants and reversed it in an outdoor space. Its physical function is for people to rest on it, a reactivated positive space for the local community as well as for those ones who pass through. It promoted a collective identity of home, a home that turns street space into active community space. One installation by Mo Jiao, is located at the entrance of elementary school at the Jinxi Road. It is found that many parents were waiting their kids by sitting on the flowerbed. The design project wants to give the seats back to the parents while they are waiting. Inspired by movements of dragonfly and butterfly and subtly integrated into the historical and cultural context of Siping community, the visual manifestation of the object, reminding one of the texture of jade, is achieved by modern material acrylic. Tan Jiarui and Zhu Huadong transformed a telephone booth in public into a power charge station for cell phones, given the usage of telephone booth has been significantly declining over recent years. It responds to the emergent situations of cell phone users whose battery is low. Hand-charging equipment through independent power generation brings a fun and participatory experience to the design. Tang Wanting and He Binghua noticed that the elderly get tired from long time standing while reading from newspaper bulletin board (a public service for free newspaper reading) and then transformed recycled pipes into armrest to provide support to the readers. Special insulation material is wrapped around the pipe to avoid cold surface. 068



Figure 5: One installation by Arup Associates

Figure 6: One installation by Feng Fan

When analyzing the project data, the research team also finds some entrepreneurial initiatives participating the project. The “Farm at home” is a service system to connect Shanghai and its countryside through food. The aim is to reinterpret traditional markets, to provide healthy food at a fair price, connecting farmers and consumers through an O2O platform and improve the human relationships between the residents in urban community. Two designers from Italy invited residents to their food game workshop in Siping creative market. The participants learnt about food and vegetable by choosing cards and presented


their ideas of the new type of food markets. Another startup, Design Harvest, presented that from grains to fruits and vegetables, food is always the most basic and most important link between city and country. Design Harvests’ Seed Museum took the presentation of seeds as its medium, sharng "Design +" practice of Chongming Island, in hope to introduce city dwellers a new productive country life style driven by the concept of design. In the space of this seed cart, wooden boxes filled with seeds are stacked up, resembles the shape of a city, a city made of seeds on display in the city. 6 Conclusion Referring to the characteristics of public sector innovation identified by the OECD Observatory: novelty, implementation and impact, it is found that this OYS project has achieved these features by 1) introducing new approaches, such Living Labs approach, design thinking methods, etc. and adapting them to the real-life context: Siping community; 2) the ideas, concepts and initiatives co-designed by multi-stakeholders have been be implemented and substantially realized or installed; 3) a better satisfaction among local individual, sub-district office and organizations within the community has been achieved together with better sense of sustainability, comfort as well as accessibility in public. In a review of the process, this study presents the impact of Living Labs approach in the public sector innovation in the guidelines of five key principles (Ståhlbröst 2012): value, influence, realism, sustainability, and openness. Value:During the understanding and sharing ideas process of the PSI framework, Living Labs approach identifies that the user in OYS project, the local residents, have needs for services and how intense their attraction or dislike for certain service in their community, the real-world context. With the design-driven methods, Living Labs approach also supports workshops where users elaborated the service experience in their community and define if it provides a value or a pain point for them. Besides, the local residents expressed their feedback during the interaction with designers, other participants and design installation in public, which provide insights for the innovation process. The iterative Living labs approach could facilitate to deliver improving innovations valuable for users. Influence: In the OYS project, many ideas generated by local residents during the workshops were put into practice in the help of designers, students, artists and thus had influence. It was mainly tangible in the form of service/product/environmental designs installed in the public areas of the community. The sub-district office empowered the designer team so that the designers could interact with all participants, make active changes in the community and then communicate back to the local residents as well as officers to make sure that they understood it correctly and get immediate feedback. In this process, the influence of local individuals led to needed improvements of the public sector. Sustainability: Taking considerations of ecological, social and economic sustainability as well as continuous learning, the OYS project has chosen its site design and mini design projects during the first three months and aims to implement user-friendly, environmentally-friend and budget-control processes. Many of spaces and materials were reused and refreshed to extend the operational life span. Sustainability is emphasized in the project goal when communicating with the public and the community members are encouraged to introduce and share their way of recycling.


Openness: It is represented in the innovation process of OYS project for public sector. At the very beginning of the OYS, the community workshops were organized to generate and share ideas. The project team purposefully held the workshops in the most creative venue on campus, Sino-Finnish Centre of Tongji University where the space and facilities foster the open mindset and lower the psychological threshold among participants. During the process and results presentation, the local residents were welcome to join, contribute and comment. Realism: From the site projects to the mini design projects, all this was realized in Siping community, the real life context and for real users, the local residents whose homes were located in the community for years. The designers and researchers are not establishing a community-like space within the lab but are mobilizing the students, the designers and the artists out of the classrooms, out of the studios and into the urban life. As the first initiative to explore living labs approach in Chinese urban community, the biggest challenge for the researchers is to build the capacity to pool available knowledge to improve local community decision-making about innovative solutions and to share knowledge to encourage social innovation. The results of this study also conform to the findings of Juujärvi & Lund (2016): before development projects are launched, it is important to dedicate sufficient time to the early innovation process, which includes building relationships, sharing knowledge, exploring ignorance, and innovating new concepts During the reflection of the OYS project, the designers own to the empowerment of the subdistrict office. The office transferred the right to project designers who further motivated local residents and external participants to explore new ideas and experiment with new approaches. The OYS project also showed that design leadership and the way people are selected, rewarded, socialized and managed have an impact on the innovative capacity of the community. The design-led OYS project includes 10 site projects, and over 50 micro design projects in the open space at Siping community along with a community creative festival and several cultural events. Different design methods were employed during the process, participatory design, collaborative design, intervention design, etc. The participants guided by project designers followed the key concepts of Living Labs, the user-involvement, real-life setting, and iterative co-creation design cycles. These methods and approach led the multistakeholders involvement in generating and sharing ideas as well as testing and facilitating the continuous development of public sector innovation. After the three month initial project, it is expected to continue to the next thematic elements in Public sector innovation, to consider rules and processes within Chinese context. It is recognized and supported by the top-down mechanism that the district government will make effort to collaborate with the university in a sustainable way, combining the educational activities, research projects together with entrepreneurial initiatives and job opportunity. The further research also could discuss the new role of administrative office which had such a positive experience when empowering designers and what kinds of new elements shall be integrated or restructured in the sub-district office, the minimal governmental power.


7 References Baccarne, B., Logghe, S., Schuurman, D., & Marez, L. D. (2016). Governing Quintuple Helix Innovation: Urban Living Labs and Socio-Ecological Entrepreneurship. Technology Innovation Management Review, 6(3): 22-30 Juujärvi, S., & Lund, V. (2016). Enhancing Early Innovation in an Urban Living Lab: Lessons from Espoo, Finland. Technology Innovation Management Review, 6(1): 17-26 Franz, Y., Tausz, K., & Thiel, S. - K. (2015). Contextuality and Co-Creation Matter: A Qualitative Case Study Comparison of Living Lab Concepts in Urban Research. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5(12): 48-55 Mulgan, G. (2007) Ready or not? Taking innovation in the public sector seriously, Nesta. Retrieved March 18, 2016, from Niitamo, V., & Kulkki, S. (2006). State-of-the-Art and Good Practice in the Field of Living Labs. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising: Innovative Products and Services through Collaborative Networks: 349–357. Milan, Italy. OECD (2014). Building Organisational Capacity for Public Sector Innovation, Background paper prepared for the OECD Conference “Innovating the Public Sector: from Ideas to Impact”, Paris, 12-13 November 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2016, from OECD. (2005). Oslo Manual. Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data, 3rd edition. Retrieved March 18, 2016, from Schuurman, D. (2015). Bridging the Gap between Open and User Innovation? Exploring the Value of Living Labs as a Means to Structure User Contribution and Manage Distributed Innovation. Dissertation at Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel VUB. Schuurman, D., Lievens, B., De Marez, L., & Ballon, P. (2012). Towards Optimal User Involvement in Innovation Processes: A Panel-Centered Living Lab-approach. Proceedings of PICMET 12, 2046–2054. Ståhlbröst, A. (2012). A Set of Key Principles to Assess the Impact of Living Labs. International Journal of Product Development, 17(12): 60– 75. Pan, Xiaojuan. (2004). Study on Community Governance and Social Restructure in Chinese Community. Beijing: China Legal Press. Wang, Di. (2015). The Literature Review of Chinese Urban Community and New Perspectives. Academic Forum, 3 (290)


Observing living labs to imagine tomorrow’s metropolises

Emmanuel Roux a, Quentin Marron a


UMR-Pacte, UniversitĂŠ Grenoble-Alpes, France

Previously Published No

Abstract Given the growing number of living-lab type systems, the present paper questions their significance, geographical integration, the register of their actions and their relation to thinking by public bodies on territorial development. Keywords Observation, geography, knowledge system, metropolitan territory, local authorities, public action.


1 Introduction: Living labs, revealing thinking on tomorrow’s territories In recent years living labs have become knowledge systems that are regularly brought into play to address issues relating to innovation processes (Besson R., 2012). Since the beginning of the century we have witnessed – in France, Europe and the whole world – an almost steady stream of new living labs. Such growth fits into a larger pattern of expansion in territorial organizations and systems for observing and gathering knowledge on territories (Roux, Feyt, 2011). It also reflects growing demand for open access to information and knowledge. As D. Innerarity has explained, the democracy of knowledge should give all parties a better grasp of reality and in so doing remedy the challenges and problems facing democracies (Innerarity, 2015). The spread of open-innovation spaces such as living labs is undoubtedly significant at a time when central government in France is urging local authorities to deploy innovation in all its diverse forms2. We posit that living labs are emblematic of current territorial dynamics and multifaceted ways of conceptualizing territory, in particular the metropolis, of tomorrow. The article propose a research question setting concerning the way authorities seize (or not) of Living Labs to think and to drive their territorial strategies and local public action. Observation of various geographic and thematic materialities, and reports to the authorities may give us some idea of the deployment of living labs in France and what they offer metropolises. Drawing on unpublished surveys carried out in France as part of research programmes (2015-16) focusing on territorial knowledge and innovation in the conduct of public action, the article propose to show in three points that : (1.) living labs reflect the geography of knowledge and as such are eminently metropolitan objects and systems. This analysis is based in particular on developing a typology of Living Labs in Europe and France showing the proportionality of the deployment of Living Labs according to city size. (2.) Yet paradoxically, although living labs bring into play the attributes of the ‘augmented metropolis’, local authorities make little allowance for them in the conduct of public action and territorial development. Our analysis mobilizes the results of two survey conducted in the framework of two research programs in France. These surveys were conducted to local elected representatives within a French metropolis (Grenoble) on the one hand, and administrative representatives on the other hand, allowing to understand how open innovation systems such as Living Labs are considered to build public action in metropolises. (3.) Finally the thematic observation of Living Labs, or structuring their compositions make it possible to debate their inclusion to thinking and ways of organizing the manufacture of territories of tomorrow. 2 Living labs: open-innovation objects in metropolitan territories Wherever one looks – the Global Living Labs network, the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), a European-Union initiative launched in 2006, the Living Labs Network for Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (Leilac), France’s Réseau de Living Labs et Espaces d'Innovation (Relai) – there is no denying the growing importance of living labs. All over the world this trend is borne out by a drive to certify their activity, lively debate and an increasing number of projects prompted by these multifaceted open-innovation systems. Their rise is particularly apparent in France (see Figure 1), where it reflects ongoing territorial dynamics. But of what order and type?


Law n° 2014-58, dated 27 January 2014, Modernisation de l'Action Publique Territoriale et d'Affirmation des Métropoles.


Figure 1: Growth of ENoLL-certified living labs in France 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 2007









Q. Marron, E. Roux; Pacte, 2015. Data source: ENoLL

The present interest in living labs has revealed an international geography closely enmeshed with the networks promoting such open-innovation systems, bringing together public and private-sector actors, companies, non-profit organizations and individuals with the aim of testing, under environmentally friendly, real-life conditions, new services, tools and end-uses recognized as being of market value. Innovation no longer follows a conventional route – laboratory research, R&D, then industrial development – on the contrary it is increasingly based on end-use(s). All this entails cooperation with local government, business, research laboratories and potential end-users. The aim is to encourage an open culture, sharing networks and engaging end-users from the very beginning of the design process (after a definition provided by ENoLL). The map of certified living labs produced by ENoLL in 2012 shows that EU countries account for more than 80% of all of these labs, well ahead of Latin America and the Caribbean (10% of those certified) and in a more disparate fashion countries in North America, Asia and Africa. This spatial distribution raises the question of the importance attached to open innovation in the various territories. Should we see Europe as necessarily being more concerned by the need for open innovation, because of its ageing population, its institutions challenged, its economy in crisis … compared with Africa, where the population is much younger, but also looking for a better future? Comparison and analysis on an international scale is no easy task, nor for is it our purpose, even though this debate deserves to be continued. A geographical approach seems more interesting providing we adjust our focus and look more closely at the types of space where living labs are concentrated in France and Europe. If we refer to the 300 or more living labs certified by ENoLL3, the result is very clear. The distribution by population strata4 of the position of living labs (see Figure 2) is distinctly urban and metropolitan in character. Indeed there is definitely a relatively ‘metropolitan effect’ in the geographical distribution of living labs, almost one in five being located in the capital of the country under consideration.


Analysis based on the ENoLL certification may appear partial, but it is nevertheless representative of living labs in France, Europe and the world. 4 This stratification is based on France’s national naming system, produced by France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee).


Figure 2: Distribution by population strata of living labs in Europe 90




70 60




40 30




10 0

0.00 Moins de 15 000 à 20 000 à 25 000 à 35 000 à 50 000 à 100 000 à 200 000 à 500 000 à 15 000 19 999 24 999 34 999 49 999 99 999 199 999 499 999 9 999 999 Absolute value

Percentage value

Q. Marron, E. Roux; Pacte, 2015. Data source: ENoLL

The most striking feature is that the higher the population the larger the number of living labs. Moreover, although there is a far from negligible number of living labs in towns with population of under 15,000, most are located in urban areas exceeding 100,000 people5. In Europe and France two-thirds of living labs are located in cities with a population of over 100,000 habitants; in Europe as a whole nearly half of them are cities with a population exceeding 200,000, compared with 40% in France (see Figure 3). Figure 3. Geographical distribution of ENoLL-certified living labs in Europe and France


This observation should be taken with some caution for Italy, Spain and Portugal, where living labs located in municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants are not restricted to the catchment area of a city.


Q. Marron, E. Roux; Pacte, 2015. Data source: ENoLL, 2012

So living labs would seem to be spaces for open innovation, but mainly located – both in France and Europe – in an urban context. By extension, they potentially contribute to the development of these spaces, if we treat them as stakeholders in a knowledge economy or indeed a knowledge society (Innerarity, 2015; Talandier M., 2015). In France this city-based geography also reveals the places where such systems are less common. Living labs may aim to serve open innovation, but the fact of the matter is that they are not as well represented in peri-urban and rural areas. In other words the uneven distribution of living labs at a macro-scale casts doubt on their ability to disseminate open innovation. It also calls into question their availability in all sorts of territory and suggests that they may give rise to segregation and inequality. Deployment of innovation, throughout France is one of the key issues for recent legislation in France, which requires regional and local authorities to coordinate their strategies for developing the economy and innovation in the various territories. Looking more closely at urban areas, living labs are not evenly distributed all over France. However, we should stress that only the size of a town seems to be determinant in the presence of living labs. None of the other possible indicators of territorial dynamics and/or attractiveness, such as new business, population trends, jobs, tax revenue, median income or the poverty rate, seem to have any impact on the distribution of living labs. Their situation and the conditions for their emergence are fairly composite, much as the urban geography they map out. We find living labs in attractive cities, such as Paris, Toulouse, Lyon or Rennes, where the ‘creative class’ (Florida, 2002) is well represented. In this case living labs may be seen as emblematic of their status as attractive locations. But there are also living labs in ‘intermediate’ cities such as Caen, Reims and Nancy. Lastly we see living labs in less prosperous towns and cities (Bourdin, 2015) such as Toulon, Saint Denis or Saint Etienne. Here living labs are a tangible sign of economic renewal and reconversion or of new dynamics. The conditions under which living labs are set up may deserve more detailed research, but observation of these systems as they stand shows that they are neither the exclusive preserve of top-notch metropolises, nor yet of underprivileged territories. This is promising for deploying (economic and social) innovation, instigated by the government throughout the country.


In absolute terms living labs play a part in the construction of a metropolis, or indeed constitute a part of its assets (Halbert, 2010). They are places to meet and exchange, technical, logistic and communication platforms for innovating spirits, places for users to express themselves and act (Kaplan and Marcou, 2009). They are consequently likely to encourage relations rooted in reciprocity and sharing of more or less heterogeneous cognitive resources. These forms of cooperation between organizations and people may nourish the intelligence of metropolitan spaces (Vanier, 2015). Metropolitan territories may reciprocally encourage synergy between a wide range of actors. Metropolises and living labs can thus contribute to collective innovation dynamics creating resources for a given territory (Gumuchian, Pecqueur, 2007). Networking may reveal and identify latent resources which may be mobilized to solve territorial problems. As potential social capital (Putnam, 2000) living labs may be seen as spaces of urban creativity (Cohendet, Grandadam, Simon, 2011). In this respect the geography of urban living labs obviously echoes work on the knowledge economy and its connection to metropolitan dynamics (Campagnac-Ascher E., 2015). Which in turn raises the question of whether local authorities see living labs as a new way of coordinating territorial action and development. 3 Living labs disregarded by authorities as a means of fashioning tomorrow’s territories In a legislative context driving the organization of economic development and innovation, two surveys, carried out in France as part of research programmes6 (2015-16) focusing on territorial knowledge and innovation in the conduct of public action, provide interesting material for analysis regarding the way living labs may be perceived with regard to bringing about territorial change and development. An initial survey conducted among a panel of 180 policy-makers in the Grenoble area of France, would like to understand the practices, expectations of elected in territorial knowledge for their action. The questions relate to the identification and qualification of devices tools information types mobilized by politicians. Questions concerning the use of innovative devices open type Living Labs and their potential mobilization with the aim of thinking their future actions. A second survey concerned 400 technical managers working in inter-municipal bodies all over France. The survey focuses on the representation and practices of leaders of communities on “strategic analysis”. This included understading of their use in the conduct of public action. Questions concerning the improvement of knowledge of devices and renewal of public action (with Living Lab or not). The results of these surveys are most instructive on the subject of living labs. The people deciding and implementing public action readily acknowledge the need to improve such action the better to respond to societal and territorial problems. But although living labs are now an integral part of the landscape of territorial innovation, neither policy-makers nor technical managers in local government see them as a basis for knowledge and understanding to guide their decision-making and action, or as having any potential for the renewal of public action. The findings of the first survey show that local-government policy-makers base their action primarily: on their relations (through meetings and consultation) with residents, end-users and socio-professional actors in their respective territory (40%); on various forms of observation, study and expert appraisal (25%); press and media (25%); and other instruments 6

Programme entitled « Les diagnostics territoriaux: quelle connaissance pour quelle action? Analyse d’un outil d’action publique locale », UMR PACTE, Université de Grenoble Alpes; Commissariat Général à l’Egalité des Territoires, 2015-16. Programme entitled « Connaissance territoriale et action publique sur le territoire de Grenoble Alpes Métropole », UMR PACTE, Université de Grenoble Alpes; Grenoble Alpes Métropole, 2016.


such as conferences or training courses (10%). Living labs do not register among the instruments informing action. The result is scarcely more encouraging with respect to using living labs to fashion public action and territorial development. To improve their action policy-makers primarily resort to various instruments for consulting those using territories (42%), secondly to meetings with local NGOs and socio-professional actors (30%), but also occasional training courses (14%) and other means of enhancing their understanding (12%), and finally innovation systems such as living labs (2%). As a whole policy-makers display little interest in living labs, but the key determinant is neither gender, age nor their rank in local government. What matters is how well educated they are. With regard to technical managers7 working in inter-municipal organizations (whose powers have recently been extended in France8 to include economic development and innovation, in particular) innovation systems such as living labs are not among the instruments seen as being the most appropriate replacements for conventional means of steering public action. In fact living labs were ranked in fifth place out of seven possible modalities for improving or renewing public action, and contributing to the more effective economic development of a territory. As relevant tools for planning public action, they ranked, in decreasing order of preference: assessment; continuous observation or monitoring; studies; consultation; living-lab-type innovation; expert appraisals by privatesector consultants or university researchers; and other forms of consultancy input. Living labs may seem to make only limited sense for projecting public action and territorial development, but we should treat this conclusion with caution, depending on the territory concerned. There is in fact more support for open innovation in living labs (ranked in third position) in metropolitan areas than in small towns and rural areas (where it is ranked in sixth position). This suggests that we may be dealing with a polymorphous object, which is certainly used differently depending on the territorial configuration, but is on the whole predominantly urban. In this context it is perceived as being more appropriate in that environment, fitting the ‘software’ and practice of metropolitan thinking, than in intermediary or territories. Furthermore it may be seen as the expression of a disparity or lack of continuity in how territorial innovation is conceptualized; it might also be seen as a hybrid (Nesti, 2015), emerging form of thinking on metropolitan development, not without its share of paradoxes and potentially negative effects, being over specialized, technologyfocused and segregated. 4 Or an original form of development in metropolitan territories Living labs emblematic of ambivalence to change in public action The attitude of the authorities in France to living labs is emblematic of their ambivalence regarding changes to the conduct of public action in order to build an ‘augmented metropolis’ as stipulated by the law on modernization of territorial public action and affirmation of the metropolis9. When discussing changes in the conduct of public action, actors, be they elected policy-makers or professional technicians, make full use of the rhetoric of open innovation, such as shared construction, meeting of actors, networking, creativity, decompartmentization, end-users, experimentation, appropriation, immersion, prototyping and feedback. All these terms, notions or prospects are now an integral part of their approach to metropolitan construction. But this notional culture shock does not necessarily mean that they fully accept the concept of living labs and their deployment.


General managers or deputy-managers in inter-municipal bodies. Law n° 2015-991 dated 7 August 2015 on the New territorial organization of the Republic 9 Law n° 2014-58 dated 27 January 2014, Modernisation de l'Action Publique Territoriale et d'Affirmation des Métropoles. 8


Their misgivings are very probably due to various forms of ambivalence in their thinking on change in public action. The anglicized character of the catchwords used in this context – even in France terms such as new-media living labs, living labs augmented learning, design for people, or designcreative living labs are commonplace – undoubtedly plays a part in the international legibility, determined and encouraged by the authorities. But at the same time local authorities have difficulty grasping the meaning of systems which are not necessarily familiar and have yet to be ‘translated’ into the everyday language of institutions. Experimentation and design, with its trial, error and correction mantra, may enable public action to be more agile and adaptable in dealing with the needs and problems of a territory. But at the same time this type of process may seem uncertain to local authorities, its impact on everyday reality not having fully proved its worth in practice. Yet public policy and action have surely always proceeded by trial and error, even if this has been part of the formal mechanism of administration. The comparative youth of living labs, even if they sometimes bring into play or update the old practice of ‘doing together’, derived in particular from local government or urban management, is no match for the ‘traditional engineering’ deployed in public action, with its cohorts of diagnosis, studies and expert appraisals. At the same time open innovation contributes to inventing new ways of observing the metropolis (Roux, Escaffre, 2016). Over and above the issue of the mechanics of public action, open, spontaneous, collective forms of organization call into question the whole conception of policy-making in territorial management. Allowance for end-users should now be mandatory in any debate on the common interest and public action. The reality of opening and doing together requires all parties, even public bodies – in other words policy-makers and technicians – to rethink their attitudes and functions (Eskelinen, Robles García, Lindy, Marsh, Muente-Kunigami, 2015). This is, however, a step that may be difficult for bodies torn between the need to serve the public interest, affording access to the urbs for all comers, and the need to come to terms with the actors in a territory, or indeed to think, make and manage the metropolis. 4.1 Towards mixed models for practicing territorial innovation Living labs, through the engineering to which they give rise and the actors they bring into play, are basically the polymorphous expression of a new way of conceptualizing metropolitan development. If we take living labs in France, for instance, we may consider three main configurations for their deployment, all of which play a part in building the metropolitan space and could, potentially, increase its fragility, inequality and segregation. In a fairly marginal way, 10% of the time, living labs are instigated by public bodies and/or local authorities. We have already cited the difficulties such bodies have renewing themselves. But we should nevertheless note that some local authorities do support creativity, innovating, instigating, organizing and imagining services for and in their interest of tomorrow’s end-users (Pays de la Loire regional council, Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur regional council, Champagne Ardenne regional council, Val-d’Oise departmental council, Grand Lyon metropolitan council, or indeed Laboratoire Public de la 27éme région). This can be taken as a means for rethinking their role, missions, operations, contribution to helping the general public access the urbs and innovation, in various registers. Whether it is a matter of becoming involved in education, by thinking about tomorrow’s schooling (Ways Of Learning for the Future living lab); healthcare for all (Tele Health Aging Territory living lab, Besançon); facilitating senior citizens’ relation to the urban environment (Gerontechnology living lab, Paris); or innovatory solutions for protecting communities from environmental risks and disasters (QuakeUp, Sophia Antipolis). The purpose of all


these initiatives is to contribute to reducing territorial fragility, be it in terms of education, public health or the environment. A quarter of existing living labs in France are supported exclusively by private organizations. In this case the purpose of innovation and experimentation is to improve people’s quality of life, grow the economy (Lorraine Smart Cities living lab, Nancy; ICT Usage Lab, Sophia Antipolis, integrating a healthcare side) and develop cultural and leisure activities (i-matériel lab, Paris; Universcience, Paris). In the case of the remaining two-thirds, living labs are backed by a range of actors, among others non-profit collectives and private enterprise, but also universities, local authorities or central government. Such hybrid bodies tend to derive their support from the private sector, but with public assistance in the form of partnerships and more than two-thirds of the time through co-funding. This concerns all institutional levels, from the European Union down to inter-municipal authorities, through the state, regions and départements. They may also be part of a cluster or competitiveness hub. Examples include Ouest MediaLab, Nantes, which is part of the eponymous cluster, and Nova Child, Cholet, also part of an eponymous cluster. In these cases living labs may be seen as standard-bearers or visible, operational extensions of institutional policy targeting the economic development of a territory. They may also have other organizational forms, based on collective partnership, such as non-profit collectives or établissements publics de coopération culturelle, such as the Design Creative living lab, Saint Etienne. Again they may be organized as an établissement public à caractère industriel et commercial, typically Cesars Telecommunication, Toulouse. In such cases the local authorities create favourable conditions for a lab’s operation, supporting and promoting innovation, by helping it to find its place in a given territory and the means to further its purpose. This holds true for the vast majority of projects, which concern public health: improving access to healthcare; preventing cancer; caring for the elderly; reducing patient-dependency; overcoming disabilities, among others. A second group comprises living labs working on entrepreneurship and economic development by nurturing synergy between business actors, in particular, assisting projects to create new business and their roll-out. Lastly, though this is by no means a complete account, living labs are active in sustainable development (Curtis, 2015), education, heritage, food, culture and communication, covering a wide range of registers, with hybrid configurations, all of which contribute to conceptualizing and making the metropolis of tomorrow. It should be apparent from this account of living-lab configurations in France that the type of actor instigating their inception has no impact on their subsequent specialization, focusing on a particular problem or theme. In other words each one addresses societal and metropolitan issues, typically as social, education, culture, public health, economic development, or sustainable development. Much as living labs, metropolises resolutely bring into play diverse actors, both formal and informal, giving rise to hybrization between multiple value chains, cultures and forms of know-how. As such they must come to terms with both multifaceted governance, thinking and projects, and their translation into operational action. A metropolis is the scene of coalitions and collective construction, but also of competition and possible segregation with regard to access to its spaces and innovation processes. In the same way living labs are also the expression of complex, sometimes two-tiered metropolises. This complexity is also apparent in the dual purpose enshrined in living labs. There are various configurations for living labs, which seek ‘to better meet the needs expressed by society [...] enhance the quality of products, services and technologies [...] win new markets’ (Janin, Pecqueur, Besson, 2013). All them aim to contribute to the augmented metropolis, but their final goal is nevertheless fairly fuzzy. Two dominant trends may nevertheless be observed. The first one is consistent with the original idea proposed by William J. Michell


of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It sees living labs as resources needed to streamline innovation processes and cut time-to-market, while reducing through experimentation the risks associated with rolling out services, uses and products. ENoLL endorses the central, definitive role of the market, emphasizing that one of the aims of living labs is to test, under real-life, environmentally friendly conditions, new services, tools and end-uses recognized as being of market value. But a second purpose is also possible, maybe supplementing the first one. If we consider ‘borrowing’ to be a basic feature of living labs, they may also have a more social (Mensink, Birrer, Dutilleul, 2010), cultural (Scott, 2010) and environmental (Liedtke, C., Jolanta Welfens, M., Rohn, H., & Nordmann, J. 2012) value (Veeckman, Schuurm, Leminen, Westerlund, 2013), mobilizing end-users as collective, cognitive resources (Ståhlbröst, Bergvall-Kåreborn 2008). With this in mind we may think of living labs as the purveyors of individual and collective well-being to build the metropolis of tomorrow. At the (provisional) end of the ideas proposed in this article, we may note that: § Observing living labs helps to understand them better. Their number is constantly increasing and they are now an integral part of the means available for understanding territory and innovation. The geographical distribution of living labs reveals the resolutely urban nature of these open-innovation systems. § Living labs are consistent with the spirit of legislation and discourse in France, which foresees an increasingly important role for metropolises, going hand-in-hand with economic growth and innovation. Furthermore – and perhaps paradoxically – we have drawn on the results of surveys to show that local government (policy-makers and technicians) make little use of these systems to conceptualize metropolitan development. § Living labs may be seen as unusual spaces, serving as interfaces or mediators, and bringing together various actors, some of them from the public sector. Working with hybrid configurations their purpose is to grasp in an innovative way how issues such as social, education, culture, public health, economic development, or sustainable development can be taken into account in building tomorrow’s cities.


5 References Besson R. (2012). Les Systèmes Urbains Cognitifs : des supports privilégiés de production et de diffusion d'innovations ? : Études des cas de 22@Barcelona (Barcelone), GIANT/Presqu'île (Grenoble), Distrito tecnologico et Distrito de Diseno (Buenos Aires). (Thèse de doctorat inédite). Université de Grenoble. Bourdin, A. (2016). La Métropole fragile. Paris, France : Le Moniteur. Campagnac-Ascher, E. (2015). Economie de la connaissance. Une dynamique métropolitaine ? Paris, France : Le Moniteur. Cohendet, P., Grandadam D., Simon L. (2011). Rethinking urban creativity: lessons from Barcelona and Montreal . City, culture and society, vol. 2, pp. 151-158. Dubé, P., Sarrailh, J., Billebaud, C., Grillet, C., Zingraff, V., Kostecki., I. (2014). Le Livre Blanc du Living Lab, Montréal, Québec : UMVELT Gumuchian, H., Pecqueur, B. (2007). La ressource territoriale. Paris, France : Athropos, Economica. Eskelinen, J., Robles García, A., Lindy, I., Marsh, J., Muente-Kunigami, A. (2015). Citizen Driven Innovation. A guidebook for city mayors and public administrator. Washington, Etats-Unis: The World Bank. Florida, R. (2002). The Rise of the Creative Class : And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, New York, Etats-Unis : Basic Books. Giorgia, Nesti (2015). Urban living labs as a new form of co-production. Insights from the European experience. Paper for the ICPP - International Conference on Public Policy II, Milan, Italy. Halbert, L. (2010). L’avantage métropolitain. Paris, France : PUF. Innerarity, D. (2015). Démocratie et société de la connaissance. Grenoble, France: PUG. Janin, C., Pecqueur, B., Besson, R. (2013). Les Living Labs : définitions, enjeux, comparaisons et premiers retours d’expériences. Grenoble, France : Université de Grenoble-Alpes à Grenoble. Liedtke, C., Jolanta Welfens, M., Rohn, H., & Nordmann, J. (2012). LIVING LAB: user-driven innovation for sustainability. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 13(2), 106–118. doi:10.1108/14676371211211809. Marcou, T., Kaplan, D. (2009). Comment libérer les forces de l’innovation dans la ville ? Paris, France : Fyp Editions Mensink, W., Birrer, F. A., Dutilleul, B. (2010). Unpacking european living labs: analysing innovation’s social dimensions. Central European Journal of Public Policy. Putnam, R.-D. (2000). Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New-York, Etats-Unis : Simon and Scuster. Roux, E., Escaffre F. (2016). Métropoles en observation. Dans Le Bras. D, Seigneuret. N et Talandier. M (dir.), Métropoles en chantier (1e éd., vol. 1, pp 257-269). Paris, France: Berger Levrault. Roux, E., Feyt G. (2011). Les observatoires territoriaux : enjeux et perspectives. Paris, France : La documentation française.


Scott, A.-J., (2010). Creative cities : the rôle of culture. Revue d’économie politique, vol. 120, Paris, France : Dalloz. Steven, Curtis. (2015). An Investigation of Living Labs for Sustainability. Reflections on the Living Lab Methodology. Lund University. TALANDIER, M. (2015). (In)capacité métropolisante de l’économie de la connaissance. Dans Campagnac-Ascher. E (dir.) : Economie de la connaissance. Une dynamique métropolitaine ? 1e éd., vol. 1, pp 17-37). Paris, France: Berger Levrault. Veeckman, C., Schuurman, D., Leminen, S., & Westerlund, M. (2013). Linking Living Lab Characteristics and Their Outcomes: Towards a Conceptual Framework. Technology Innovation Management Review, 3(2). Retrieved from Vanier, M. (2015). Demain les Territoires. Paris, France : Hermann.


A Sector-Selection Methodology for Implementing Living Labs Dr Ir Robert Viseur a


UMONS, Mons, Belgium CETIC, Charleroi, Belgium


Abstract Creative Wallonia is a framework program that puts creativity and innovation at the heart of the redevelopment of Wallonia. In the context of Creative Wallonia, the Walloon government has decided to study the implementation of Living Lab pilot projects in Wallonia. The initiators required to identify two sectors in which the pilot phase could be addressed and conducted. This paper is dedicated to the sector selection methodology that was developed for the implementation of the Walloon Living Lab pilot projects. The paper is organized in three sections. In the first section we search for the criteria that could be used to select appropriate sectors. In the second section we present the developed methodology and the selection grid based on criteria. In the third section we discuss the grid and the results after application to the Walloon call for pilot projects. The contribution of the research consists in a methodology that allows to objectivize the choice of sectors that will be applied to the future Living Lab projects. Finally, a preliminary feedback about the living labs implementation is discussed. Keywords Living labs, co-creation, public policy, creative Wallonia, Belgium.


1 Introduction Wallonia is one of the three regions in the federal state of Belgium based on a geographic division (Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia). It has evolved towards wide autonomy in the economic and educational field. The Walloon region knew a glorious industrial past that influenced the regional innovation policy (e.g. clusters and competitiveness poles policies). The launch of Creative Wallonia framework program marked a turning point in the Research, Development and Innovation policy of the region that took account of the fact that innovation is not only based on new technologies (Nelly, 2014). Creative Wallonia ( is a framework program that puts creativity and innovation at the heart of the redevelopment project of Wallonia. Creativity is included in a strategy to restructure, strengthen and modernize the local economy. The program posits that a more creative territory and citizens will lead to more innovative corporates and the creation of jobs. The initiative is driven by Minister Jean-Claude Marcourt, in charge of the Walloon economy. Creative Wallonia supports various projects in the areas of the support for entrepreneurs (e.g. awareness, training or funding), collaborative spaces (e.g. CoWallonia), design (e.g. Wallonie Design) or prototyping (e.g. Boost’up and Prototyping). The last major initiative from Creative Wallonia is called Creative Hubs. The latter are organizational platforms focused on the transformation of the traditional economy into creative economy through the development of the capacity of the actors by promoting the open innovation, the transdisciplinary hybridization and the collaborative intelligence ( In the context of Creative Wallonia, the Walloon government has decided to study the implementation of Living Lab pilot projects. The study and the coordination of those projects were entrusted to the Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technologies ( research center. A Living Lab “is a user-centric innovation milieu built on every-day practice and research, with an approach that facilitates user influence in open and distributed innovation processes engaging all relevant partners in real-life contexts, aiming to create sustainable values” (Bergvall-Kåreborn et al., 2009b). The Living Lab is a laboratory for open innovation. It puts the user at the heart of the innovation process. It brings new opportunities for companies to design and develop innovative products or services that meet the users needs and expectations. The Living Lab allows the creation of new sources of value by a new innovation system where users and citizens are no longer only consumers but also actors and designers. For public managers, the establishment of Living Labs should strengthen the dynamics of open innovation that has been implemented in Wallonia with the Marshall Plan, the competitiveness clusters, the clusters or the Creative Wallonia program. From a practical standpoint, the Living Lab approach will be put into practice by the establishment of the first two pilot projects. The selected sectors must be promising for Wallonia and suited to the implementation of Living Labs that stay within a reasonable budget. The development of business models in pilot stage should allow to establish and implement an innovative, practical, sustainable and efficient model of Living Lab at a later stage, when considering to broaden the initiative to a second set of key sectors or thematic on which Wallonia is able to capitalize. Hence a first study was already conducted by partners to identify business models allowing the Living Labs to be financially viable after the public funding period. Creative Wallonia therefore appointed CETIC to identify two sectors for the pilot stage of Living Labs implementation. That paper is dedicated to the sector selection methodology that was developed for the implementation of Living Labs pilot projects in Wallonia. The


paper is organized in three sections. In the first section we search for the criteria that could be used to select appropriate sectors. In the second section we present the developed methodology and the selection grid, based on criteria. In the third section we discuss the grid and the results after application to the Walloon call for pilot projects. 2. Background That section presents the different assumptions and principles underlying the sector selection process. 2.1 Co-creation Kambil et al. (1999) defined the co-creation as “a new dynamic to the producer/customer relationship by engaging customers directly in the production or distribution of value”. On a methodological point of view, co-creative projects can be implemented on the basis of several existing theoretical frameworks: lead users, users toolkits for innovation, open source, open innovation and open source innovation, action research, participatory design, operation of Fab Labs, etc. Refer to Almirall et al., 2009; Chesbrough, 2006; Fitzgerald, 2006; Penin, 2012; Von Hippel, 1986 and Von Hippel, 2001. Many authors discuss the relationships between those different theoretical frameworks and Living Labs. For example: open innovation and Living Labs (Chatzimichailidou et al., 2011.), Fab Labs and Living Labs (Song et al., 2009), lead users and Living Labs (Baltic and Gard, 2010) or Participatory Design and Living Labs (Wolkerstorfer et al., 2009). Pallot et al. (2010) offer a domain landscape of Living Labs that articulates various existing methods for involving users. The Living Labs implement an activity of co-creation between technology providers, product developers and users in order to make needs and solutions emerge. A Living Lab is not only a test bench technology. The user can play the role of stakeholder, co-creator, cotester or adopter (Tang and Hamalainen, 2012). He can thus help to construct a shared vision, contributes to the development of prototypes, participates to evaluations and tests innovative products or services from other collaborating Living Labs. Compared to other co-creation methods, the Living Labs are characterized by the strong engagement and the empowerment of users (Bergvall-Kareborn et al., 2009a; Mulder et al., 2008; Mulvenna and Martin, 2013; Niitamo et al., 2006). Moreover the Living Labs implement the co-creation practices on a large scale, and often unite more than 1000 users (Mulvenna and Martin, 2013). 2.2 Users Selection The selection of co-creators is highlighted as a key issue by Kambil et al. (1999), because “not all customers will be good co-creators”. The known documented cases of Living Labs show different goals. Hence, in some cases, the Living Labs are oriented towards organizations and experts / professional users. In other cases, they are more opened and also gather naive users. The lead users can be preferred in Living Labs for the implementation of co-innovation initiatives (Schuurman et al., 2009). The lead users go beyond the simple interest for novelty (Von Hippel, 1986; Von Hippel, 1986). They face a lack of solution and innovate by themselves. They are often the source of new concepts and prototypes. They are also able to give an informed opinion about disruptive innovations.


Whatever the users profile is, the projects management within the Living Labs must accommodate the users motivations. They seem particularly sensitive to the dimensions of fun, learning and discovery of new technologies (Stahlbrost and Bergvall-Kareborn, 2011). 2.3 Turbulent or Emerging Markets The Living Labs are rather designed for emerging markets, where the technologies are available (and validated) but have not yet been successfully placed on the market (Niitamo et al., 2006). The availability of state-of-the-art technology is considered as a key issue for the success of Living Labs (Niitamo et al., 2006). A particular focus is placed on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The interest for Living Labs seems important when the information relative to the domain is sticky. For Von Hippel (1994): “the stickiness of a given unit of information in a given instance as the incremental expenditure required to transfer that unit of information to a specified locus in a form usable by a given information seeker”. We can bring the concept of "sticky information" closer to that one of "tacit knowledge", i.e. “valuable and highly subjective insights and intuitions that are difficult to capture and share because people carry them in their heads” (Nonaka, 2007). The need to transfer information and crystallize knowledge can be solved by environments such as Living Labs that foster interactions between people. We will therefore not focus on mature markets but go to emerging and turbulent markets in which the actors are fragmented and the knowledge is diffuse. The Living Labs help to cross the innovation chasm and reduce the risk of placing products or services on the market through an early involvement of users (Almirall and Wareham, 2009; Tang and Hamalainen, 2012). 2.4 Business Model The Living Lab business models are still in construction and, in particular, the sustainable funding issue is often pending. Mulvenna and Martin (2013) conducted a study showing that funding is a problem for more than eight out of ten Living Labs. The funding of Livings Labs is largely based on public structures (nearly 50%), with additional funding from universities and private organizations (less than 15% in both cases). The funding gap is also considered a major threat by Schuurman et al. (2009). The private sector involvement in the development of Living Labs should be developed in Public Private Partnerships in order to ensure the sustainability of the structure. The crowdfunding also offers the possibility of additional fundings. It presents the advantage of the involvement of consumers before the launch of new products or services. The use of tools for the protection of intellectual property is possible in a Living Lab but should not oppose the experiments of technologies or the interactions around the prototypes or new products. The openness must stay a key value in the Living Labs and is essential “to gather a multitude of perspectives that might lead to faster and more successful development, new ideas and unexpected business openings in markets” (Bergvall-Kareborn et al., 2009b). The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) can also be an outcome of the Living Labs, with new products/services and knowledge (Mulder et al., 2008). Baltes and Gard (2010) suggest Living Labs can be interesting intermediary environments to succeed the transition between research (that is associated to IPR) and innovation (that is associated to market).


2.5 Territorial Anchoring The Living Labs primarily operate at a regional level (Mulvenna and Martin, 2013). Hence the scope of their activity is usually regional. Many Living Labs grow in a niche. However transnational activities (and collaboration between Living Labs) are fostered by the support of the Commission and the ENoLL network ( The study of existing living labs reveals a wide variety of activity, sometimes with a weak specialization. Living Labs can start locally and, after an initial start-up phase, try to grow by increasing their ability to manage new projects and bringing more partners and end-users. It may also aim at stimulating entrepreneurship or, on a larger scale, the clustering effects. In Wallonia, the Living Labs installation must deal with existing collaborative infrastructure (i.e. coworking spaces, Fab Labs, competitiveness clusters or clusters) and strengthen the complementarities. 2.6 Innovation public policies The living labs are part of the regional innovation system that describes and stimulates the arrangements among universities, industries and governmental agencies. Triple Helix is a common model to describe regional innovation system. It implies complex dynamics “composed of subdynamics like market forces, political power, institutional control, social movements, technological trajectories and regimes” (Etzkowitz et al., 2000). The living labs policies may be viewed as an extension of Triple Helix model, involving state (e.g. Directorate General of Research and Technology DG06 and Creative Wallonia framework), academia (e.g. UMONS, UCL or ULg) and industry (e.g. competitive clusters) but also users. In the context of “creative cities”, the living labs may also be viewed as “middleground” making the link between “underground” (i.e. creative people, groups and communities) and “upperground” (i.e. creative firms, networks of firms, clusters and cultural organizations) (Simon, 2009). 3. Developed Methodology The methodology works in two steps. The first step consists in identifying potential sectors. The second step consists in comparing those potential sectors with the selection grid. 3.1 Identification of Potential Fields Some criteria may be used to identify niche markets and promising sectors that are convenient to develop Living Lab initiatives. In practice, the approach is divided in two steps. The first step consists in identifying existing sources that contain useful information for the sectors identification. The second step consists in recording and labelling the potential sectors on the basis of the identified information sources. We highlighted eight items that are relevant for the sector listing: - the trends in the ICT sector, - the successful sectors in foreign countries, - the pre-existing co-creation places, - the unifying local projects, - the key sectors identified in existing public reports, - the key sectors in Wallonia,


- the social issues, - the successful initiatives of crowdfunding. Those items should lead to a kind of trade-off between top-down approaches that are inspired by international initiatives and more bottom-up approaches that are build on local initiatives. 3.2 Selection Grid The evaluation of fields and their comparison rely on a set of criteria that are divided into three different key aspects: economic criteria, domain criteria and catalysers criteria (see Table 1). The economic criteria are used to assess the economic potential of the projects that could be developed in the Living Labs. The domain criteria are used to assess the interest to develop Living Labs (rather than other types of innovative environments) in the considered sector. The catalysers criteria are used to assess the sector potential in terms of existing communities and practices. Each criteria can be divided into sub-criteria. A weighting of the criteria (wi) and sub-criteria (wij) was determined in order to conduct the assessment of sectors that are deemed of interest. The weighting can be tuned in function of the goals and the vision of the Living Labs sponsors.






Score for criteria (#).

Economic potential


Score for the sub-criteria (#).

Identified technological trend

Yes / No

The interest for the topic is strengthened by an identified technological trend.

Identified societal issue

Yes / No

The topic may help solve societal challenges.

Fragmented value chain

Yes / No

The actors in the sector are fragmented and may benefit on Living Labs spaces.

Identified business models

Yes / No

Some sustainable business models are identified in the sector.

Perennity beyond incubation

Yes / No

The projects that would be developed can move beyond the incubation phase.

Potential for exportations

Yes / No

The projects that would develop open opportunities for exportations.

Funding needs - Short term opportunities


Score for the sub-criteria (#).



Score for the criteria (#).


Immature and emerging sector


Score for the sub-criteria (#).

Yes / No

The technologies work but do not reach commercial maturity.

Yes / No

The usage modes (usage scenarios, ergonomy,...) of the technology must be validated in real situation.

Yes / No

Several industrial standards compete and must be discriminated.


Score for the sub-criteria (#)


Yes / No

The Living Labs can gather various competences and people.

Stickiness of information

Yes / No

The Living Labs can simplify the capture of sticky information and tacit knowledge.

Difficulties for commercial launch

Yes / No

The technologies were embedded in several commercial products but the latter doesn’t encounter commercial success.

Interest for users


Score for the sub-criteria (#).

Opportunities for collaboration


Score for the sub-criteria (#).



Score for the criteria (#).

Pre-existence of thematic local ecosystem


Score for the sub-criteria (#).

Citizens, naive users or lead users

Yes / No

Communities identified.


Yes / No

Companies are identified.


Yes / No

Researchers are identified (feed with new technologies, concepts and methodologies).


Yes / No

Users, companies and researchers can already meet because of existing networks.

Support from public and private partners


Score for the sub-criteria (#).

Pre-existence of openness


Score for the sub-criteria (#).

Existence of prototypes Need for technology and design validation Existence of standards to discriminate

Domain complexity





Open innovation practices

Yes / No

The sector already benefits on some open innovation practices.

Structures for collaborative work

Yes / No

Structures for collaborative work are pre-existing.

Use of hybrid or open source licences

Yes / No

The actors in the sector used to rely on hybrid and open source licenses.


Total Score.

Table 1. Criteria used to compare and select sectors and themes.

4 “Living Labs in Wallonia” Case Study Some tools were developed in order to objectivize the choice of two sectors in which the future Living Lab pilot projects will be implemented. The first tool allows to structure and record information sources. It facilitates the selection of niche markets and promising sectors that are convenient to develop Living Labs initiatives (see Table2). The criteria refer to the eight categories identified in 3.1. section. Criteria

Information Sources


Gartner Hype Cycle publications, reports from professional associations such as Syntec or Agoria,...

Co-creation places

Inventories of collaborative spaces or events such as coworking spaces, Fab Labs, hackerspaces and hackatons.

Unifying local projects

Major local projects such as Mons 2015 ( and Liège Together ( following the missed candidature to Intenational Exhibition).

Key sectors (reports)

Reports from European Union or Commission (e.g. Horizon 2020, ICT for Societal Change,...), OECD reports, Capron (expert) reports,...

Key sectors (existing)

Competitiveness clusters, clusters, places for innovative firms such as incubators; research institutes, units and groups;...

Social issues

Saving energy and raw materials, aging population,...

Successful sectors

Feedback about Living Labs installed in Sweden, Finland, France, Canada or Spain,... Refer to ENoLL reports and scientific publications.

Crowdfunded projects

Projects documented on crowdfunding platforms such as FundedByMe in Sweden and Finland or KickStarter in USA.

Table 2. Information sources used to identify niche markets and promising sectors.


The second tool allows to structure and record the niche markets and promising sectors that would be suitable for the Living Labs emergence. Each item is accompanied by a short justification (see Table 3). In the full table, the justifications are widely described and are classified in the eight categories identified in 3.1. section.

Promising Sectors

Justifications (extract)


Local “Mons 2015” project (european capital of culture). Covered by several Living Lab. Linked to tourism and mobility.


Key point in AWT (Agence Wallonne des Télécommunications) barometer and Master Plan TIC (local development agenda). Low technology supply.


Key point in local technology offer. Fragmented sector. Interest for citizens. Several hackathons in the open data field.


Key point in european report “ICT for Societal Challenge (Digital Agenda for Europe)”. Covered by Liege Metropole ((local development program).


Often covered by Living Labs (mobile city, mobile TV, pedestrian GPS,...). Mobile technologies well represented in Gartner Hype Cycle. Identified as important trend by AWT. Technological and scientific backwardness in Wallonia.


Often covered by Living Labs. Supported by ENoLL. Key point in European report “ICT for Societal Challenge (Digital Agenda for Europe)”. Linked to demographic change. Home health monitoring highlighted in Gartner Hype Cycle.

Open domain

Proposed by a partner. To be opened for innovative SMEs. Inspired by foreign open work environment (e.g. Open Design City Berlin). Coherent with the frequent multi-thematic nature of Living Labs.

Table 3. Identified niche markets and promising sectors.

The third tool refers to the implementation of the selection grid (see Table 1). It allows to compare the promising sectors, with a set of weighted criteria, and rank the alternatives (see Table 4).


Promising Sectors














Open domain


Table 4. Final score (evaluation) for sectors (application of selection grid, refer to Table 1).

The methodology allowed to objectivize the selection of two thematics for the launch of two Living Lab pilot projects: the Health and the Open domain. 5 Discussion and Future Work 5.1 Exploitation of the methodology The research contributes to the Living Labs community by making available a methodology that allows the identification and the selection of sectors that are locally suitable for the emergence of Living Labs. The approach is divided in four steps: (1) the identification of information sources that help the search for promising sectors, (2) the identification of promising sectors, (3) the evaluation of the identified promising sectors, and (4) the final selection. The evaluation tool allows to objectivize the choice of a specific sector. It allows the discussion between experts and public decision-makers. The final selection represents a tradeoff between intermediate scores and political goals (e.g. history, strategic objectives, agenda, trade-offs between regions and interrelations between projects). On the basis of the sectors identified with this methodology, the call for Living Lab pilot projects was launched in April 2014. The selected projects, i.e the SGL (Smart Gastronomy Lab) and the WELL (Wallonia eHealth Living Lab), were started in 2015. After a year of operation, a first evaluation of the projects established on the basis of the sector-selection methodology can be presented. It is based on various internal documents (e.g. SGL reporting, WELL reporting and Creative Wallonia strategic note). 5.2 Confusion between concepts In the context of Creative Wallonia framework program, a set of collaborative environments were settled down. They are generically known as “creative hotspots�; they covered several innovation tool, i.e. co-working spaces, fablabs, living labs and creative hubs. The latter plays an integrative role. Though the tools and their complementarities are well understood by their stakeholders, it appears that the role of each tool is not well understood by the public and businesses. The missions, the audiences, the governance, the methodologies and the business models of each type of creative hotspot must be clarified in order to match each tool with its target.


5.3 Issues with current legislations Among the objectives fixed by Walloon government, the Living Labs pilots must develop a profitable business model or, at least, lead to a significant self-financing rate. However they are subject to the legislation on state aids, which frame very closely the conditions to receive income (the goal is to avoid unfair competitions). The use of external service providers (e.g. for methodological support to pilot projects) must deal with public procurement procedures, which significantly weighs down the contractual relationships with providers and harms the agility necessary for this type of project. Beyond legislations, the contractual aspects (e.g. agreements between institutional players) appear as an important factor of time due to procedural or financial details (e.g. fees levied on any income in some universities, specific arrangements for the application of VAT, amortization periods of assets compared to the duration of subsidization or ineligibility of certain legal structures to some public subsidies) conducting to extended negotiations. Finally, the regional vocation of Living Labs sometimes opposes the sub-regional or local mission historically imposed on some of their partners. 5.4 Issues with business models implementations Several income sources have been identified, e.g. privatization of collaborative workshops for remuneration, social innovation funding by crowdfunding, production and resale of intellectual property, public funding (FEDER, FIRST, H2020,...) by project or equity interests in spin-offs. However, it appears that it is difficult to charge for collaborative workshops, particularly with SMEs. The offers for innovation support services tend to be more oriented towards large industrial groups with more resources. Moreover the identified issues with current legislations and institutional practices result in practices inherited from public sector and constraints to entrepreneurial dynamic. 5.5 Relevance of selected sectors The SGL living lab benefits on co-creative ecosystem provided by TRAKK creative hub and KIKK teams (international festival devoted to creativity in digital culture). Moreover the gastronomy is attractive for the public and allows to bring the users to other creative activities (open domain). The food industry appears as a more traditional sector but interested in opportunities for innovation offered by the SGL living lab. Belgium also hosts industry recognized in that field (e.g. chocolate), which facilitates the creation of business partnerships. For his part, the WELL has a large network of institutional partners facilitating the link with end users. Close to 500 people have participated in the living lab activities. The experience in startups incubation of the structure which bears the project opens up promising perspectives on financial sustainability. A third Living Lab (DIGISTORM project) funded by FEDER is currently being created in the field of culture (art and technology). 5.6 Perspectives Several issues are being processed and must lead to additional publications (e.g. Viseur, 2016). First, the intellectual property appears as a recurring concern of living labs, caught between traditional practices that do not encourage collaboration (e.g. restrictive agreements or patenting) and more open practices asking questions in terms of revenue


capture (e.g. domain public or open source). Second, the business models are not yet validated and require the establishment of an attractive offer of services for institutional and private organizations. Third, the community management and, more particularly, the composition of creative workshops requires the implementation of specific tools (e.g. community management) complementary to existing tools (e.g. CRM or mailing lists). Finally, a comprehensive inventory of barriers (and efficient workarounds) to the establishment of living labs would be of interest for future managers of this type of space.

6 Acknowledgements This work of applied research was supported by Wallonia. He was conducted at CETIC, coordinator of "Living Lab by Creative Wallonia", and received scientific support from the University of Mons (Service of Technological Innovation Management from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Mons). This research received comments and suggestions from stakeholders. The elements for institutions cited in the article do not undertake them and remain the fact of the authors of the research.


7 References Almirall, E., & Wareham, J. (2009). Contributions of Living Labs in reducing Market Based Risk. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising. Leiden, NL. Almirall, E., Lee, M., & Wareham, J. (2012). Mapping living labs in the landscape of innovation methodologies. Technology Innovation Management Review, 2(9), 12. Baltes, G., & Gard, J. (2010). Living Labs as intermediary in open innovation: On the role of entrepreneurial support. In Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising, Lugano, Switzerland, pp. 21-23. Bergvall-Kareborn, B., Host, M., & Stahlbrost, A. (2009). Concept design with a living lab approach. In 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS'09) , pp. 1-10. Bergvall-Kåreborn, B., Ihlström Eriksson, C., Ståhlbröst, A., & Svensson, J. (2009). A milieu for innovation–defining living labs. In 2nd ISPIM Innovation Symposium, New York , pp. 6-9. Chesbrough, H. W. (2006). The era of open innovation. Managing innovation and change, 127(3), pp. 34-41. Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (2000). The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and “Mode 2” to a Triple Helix of university–industry–government relations. Research policy, 29(2), pp. 109-123. Fitzgerald, B. (2006). The transformation of open source software. Mis Quarterly, pp. 587-598. Kambil, A., Friesen, G. B., & Sundaram, A. (1999). Co-creation: A new source of value. Outlook Magazine, 3(2), pp. 23-29. Mulder, I., Velthausz, D., & Kriens, M. (2008). The living labs harmonization cube: Communicating living lab’s essentials. The Electronic Journal for Virtual Organizations and Networks, 10, pp. 1-14. Mulvenna, M., & Martin, S. (2013). Living Labs: Frameworks and Engagement. In Innovation through Knowledge Transfer 2012. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 135-143. Niitamo, V. P., Kulkki, S., Eriksson, M., & Hribernik, K. A. (2006). State-of-the-art and good practice in the field of living labs. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising: Innovative Products and Services through Collaborative Networks. Italy: Milan, pp. 26-28. Nonaka, I. (2007). The knowledge-creating company. Harvard business review, July–August 2007, pp. 162-171. Pallot, M., Trousse, B., Senach, B., & Scapin, D. (2010). Living lab research landscape: From user centred design and user experience towards user cocreation. In First European Summer School 'Living Labs'. Pénin, J. (2012). Open source innovation: Towards a generalization of the open source model beyond software. Revue d'économie industrielle, (4), pp. 65-88. Schuurman, D., & De Marez, L. (2009). User-centered innovation: towards a conceptual integration of lead users and Living Labs. In Proceedings of COST298-conference The Good, The Bad and The Challenging, pp. 13-15. Simon, L. (2009). Underground, upperground et middle-ground: les collectifs créatifs et la capacité créative de la ville. Management international/Gestiòn Internacional/International Management, 13, pp. 37-51.


Song, G., Zhang, N., & Meng, Q. (2009). Innovation 2.0 as a Paradigm Shift: Comparative Analysis of Three Innovation Modes. In International Conference on Management and Service Science (MASS'09), pp. 1-5. Stahlbrost, A., & Bergvall-Kareborn, B. (2011). Exploring users motivation in innovation communities. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 14(4), pp. 298-314. Tang, T., & Hamalainen, M. (2012). Living lab methods and tools for fostering everyday life innovation. In 18th International ICE Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE), pp. 1-8. Viseur, R. (2016). Propriété intellectuelle : bases d’un cadre légal adapté aux activités cocréatives, Proceedings of “9e Colloque International GeCSO”, June 27-29, 2016, Paris. Von Hippel, E. (1986). Lead users: a source of novel product concepts. Management science, 32(7), pp. 791-805. Von Hippel, E. (2001). User toolkits for innovation. Journal of product innovation management, 18(4), pp. 247-257. Wolkerstorfer, P., Geven, A., Tscheligi, M., & Obrist, M. (2009). User Innovation through the Digital Participatory Design Living Lab. In Proceedings of the INTERACT 2009 Workshop, SINTEF report A12349, Oslo.


Session III


Towards FALL: a Framework for Agile Living Lab projects

Tanguy Coenena a

iMinds, Belgium

Abstract Living lab methods need to enhance reactivity to changing requirements as these appear in a project. Agile methods allow for quick reactivity, but have been critiqued for not taking the end-user perspective enough into account. We describe how to blend living lab methodologies with agile methods and to this end present a Framework for Agile Living Lab projects (FALL). To make it actionable, a number of principles and actor roles are proposed. With concrete examples from living lab practice and a discussion of the theoretical basis, this paper is relevant to both academics and practitioners. Being rooted in Design Science Research, it follows this discipline’s tradition of generating practical recommendations based on theory.

Keywords Living labs, design science research, agile, methodology, SCRUM, lean UX


1 Introduction Agile development and living labs separately received much attention over the last decade from innovation-driven practitioners and academics (Følstad, 2008; Almirall et al., 2008; Dybå & Dingsøyr, 2008). Despite different backgrounds and foci, both concepts share some commonalities. We identify shared ambitions to (1) increase cost efficiency, (2) augment stakeholders’ collaboration and (3) cooperate with users as major common goals. However, both approaches are characterized by some weaknesses. Although living labs champion end-user involvement in both design and development, results from user co-creation often do not get incorporated in on-going technological development cycles. (Sauer, 2013). Given that innovation frequently has unintended outcomes (Sveiby et al, 2009) – e.g. unforeseen shifts in requirements - living labs must learn to react more rapidly. Agile methodologies, on the other hand, lack a structured focus on - and collaboration with - the user (Singh, 2008; Cajander, 2013). The question, which we aim to answer here, is how to integrate agile methodologies, strong in structuring flexible work processes, with living lab methods that are known to be user-driven. Indeed, agile methods are a good methodological match for living labs as the idea that one should plan remains central, yet the limits of planning in a turbulent environment are recognized and anticipated upon. Addressing this issue will yield novel insights in how to conduct living lab projects, both from a theoretical and practical perspective. To answer how living labs can be achieved in an agile way, we present a brief literature review, after which we propose a Framework for Agile Living Labs (FALL) that is concretized with examples. Other contributions are the definition of key actor roles, the plea for organizational shifts and the use of SCRUM as a backbone. Finally, we discuss how FALL fits the current state-of-the art on living labs and agile methods. Although FALL is rooted in the field of Design Science Research10, the framework proposes practical guidelines to anticipate the managerial questions posed. Indeed, the participatory action research underlying the formulation of this framework stems from hands-on experience in a variety of Flemish living lab projects, run by iMinds Living Labs 11 and VRT Proeftuin12. Being rooted in Design Science Research, it follows this discipline’s tradition of generating practical recommendations based on theory. 2 Agile development methodology 2.1 Definition Before the advent of agile methods, software development or project management was often conducted sequentially (e.g. waterfall or spiral method). Dictionaries point to the concept “agile” as “quick and well-coordinated in movement”, and indeed at the core of agile development lays the aim for “adaptivity” as opposed to the plan-driven linearity proposed in traditional methodolgies (Nerur et. al, 2005). The practice of agile software development has steadily been gaining in popularity since the publication of the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development”, (Fowler & Highsmith, 2001). In agile projects, the following principles are central: small and dedicated self-organizing teams, adaptive planning, continuous high quality improvement, test-driven and iterative development, working software, tacit knowledge management and face-to-face communication. (Greer & Hamon, 10

Design Science Research aims to contribute to the scientific body of knowledge by building information systems. 12 11


2011; Khumar & Batia, 2012) Throughout the years, numerous methods have been created under the agile moniker with iterative development as a common goal, such as SCRUM (Schwaber, 2004), Extreme Programming (Beck, 2000) or Kanban (Ono, 1988). However, the strict emphasis on working software and relative disregard of user-oriented aspects has been criticized, resulting in approaches that incorporate user experience design or generally focus more on the user, like U-SCRUM (Signh, 2008) or Lean UX (Gothelf & Seiden, 2013). Below, we discuss the agile methods that we find to be most relevant to living labs. 2.2 Methods SCRUM (Schwaber, 2004) is the most adopted agile method13. It is a software development process for small teams, consisting of multiple sprints wherein every individual has a welldefined focus and priorities are clear. Before each sprint, an initial planning phase occurs in which tasks are bundled in a backlog. During a sprint (usually one to four weeks), daily (stand-up) meetings are held to quickly identify problems amongst team members and discuss day-to-day progress. At the end of each sprint, a meeting takes place to review the work done and present it to the stakeholders. During the sprint retrospective, the projectspecific implementation of SCRUM itself is evaluated and adapted. Working in sprints makes complex development more feasible and ensures that progress is made even when requirements are unstable (Rising & Janoff, 2000). The method also stresses frequent communication between team members, encouraging self-organization. Central roles in a SCRUM-based project are the product owner (representing the project stakeholders or client), the SCRUM master (guarding the methodology and providing support) and the development team member (doing the actual software development). Although popular and useful, SCRUM lacks a structural focus on user feedback, usability and user experience. U-SCRUM (Sighn, 2008) addresses this need to incorporate more user feedback and pay attention to usability. This is achieved by introducing the usability product owner, whose responsibility it is to ensure that user-centered design is equally important within the development process. Similarly, the Lean UX (Gothelf & Seiden, 2013) method puts the user experience designer central in the development team. As such, the method attempts to create a better experience instead of just “working software”, which is too often the focus in other agile development methods. By doing so, Lean UX proposes to (1) declare assumptions, (2) create a minimumviable-product (MVP), (3) run an experiment and (4) get user-feedback that is translated into new assumptions. Notable is also Lean UX’s plea for organizational shifts. Teams should be small, dedicated to one project, operate in a cross-functional and problem-focused way, while removing waste such as the production of useless documentation. 2.3 Weaknesses As stated before, agile development teams need to focus more on user feedback to create systems targeted to the user (Singh, 2008). They often lack a structural focus on users and if they do, responsibility for that user perspective (e.g. in SCRUM projects) is often unclear. (Cajander et al, 2013). Overall, agile development rather emphasizes development over design or user concerns. (Kumar & Batia, 2012). Approaches like Lean UX (Gothelf & Seiden, 2013) or U-SCRUM (Signh, 2008) attempt to anticipate these shortcomings by introducing user feedback. However, UX designers who operate in Lean UX or U-SCRUM processes, 13

A recent survey (Version One, 2014) among 3501 people in the software development community found that SCRUM was used by 55% of the respondents, while the next most used method, SCRUM/XP Hybrid, was only used by 11%.


tend to work on too many divergent projects at once, as a consequence frequently failing to perform the required work. Also, user testing is often solely performed with internal people instead of representative user profiles (Kumar & Batia, 2012). Therefore, merging agile development methodologies with living labs, that are much more geared towards user involvement (e.g. through panel management) and the assemblage of several stakeholders, seems like a promising path. 3 Living Labs 3.1 Definition There are many definitions of the living lab concept (e.g. Kusiak, 2007; Ballon et. al, 2005; Pallot et. al, 2010). We use a joint definition of the ones proposed by Westerlund and Leminen (2011)14 and Bergvall-Kåreborn et. al (2009)15 since these are fairly compatible. Multi-stakeholderism and in the wild interventions are indeed most typical for living lab projects, as is stated by Westerlund and Leminen (2011). However, their emphasis is on living labs as a place (“physical region or a virtual reality”) whereas many living lab projects run as a “one-off”. In this paper, we focus more on the process of conducting a living lab project, even if there is only one such project running in a specific context. As such, we propose the following definition: “A human centric research and development approach with stakeholders from public-private-people-partnerships (4P’s) all collaborating for creation, prototyping, validating and testing of new technologies, services, products and systems in open, collaborative, mutlti-contextual and real-world settings.” Further narrowing down our understanding of the nature of living labs, Leminen et al (2012) describe four types: utilizer-driven, enabler-driven, provider-driven and user-driven living labs. Utilizers are companies that use living labs to develop and test their products. Enablers are public-sector agents and non-governmental organizations that aim to achieve societal improvement. Providers are knowledge institutions like universities or consultancy agencies that aim to engage in knowledge creation. Finally, user-driven living labs are initiated by user communities and geared towards solving everyday user-related problems. This distinction is useful to remind us of the heterogeneity of the goals and actors that can be part of a living lab. 3.2 Methods As stated by Guzman et al (2013), literature on how to conduct living lab projects is scant. However, some attempts have been undertaken. Pierson and Lievens defined a living lab method that comprises the following phases: contextualization, concretization, implementation and feedback. Schaffers et. al (2008) suggested that the literature on the investigation of information systems through Action Research (Baskerville, 1999) is a natural fit for guiding living lab methodology. A 5-phase methodology was proposed, composed of the following stages: diagnosing, action planning, action taking, evaluation and learning. They advocate incorporating SCRUM in support of the cyclical nature of action research and thus including it in living labs - yet they do not specify how to do this. Bergvall-Kåreborn et. al (2009) suggest the FormIT method, which is also based on Action Research. They define a cyclical approach, consisting of the following cycles: generate 14

“physical regions or virtual realities with stakeholders from public-private-people partnerships (4Ps) of firms, public agencies, universities, institutes, and users all collaborating for creation, prototyping, validating, and testing of new technologies, services, products and systems in real-life contexts.” (Westerlund and Leminen 2011:20) 15 “A human-centric research and development approach whereby ICT innovations are co-created, tested, and evaluated in open, collaborative, multi-contextual and real-world settings.” (Bergvall-Kåreborn et. al 2009:2)


needs, design concepts and evaluate concepts. Tang & Hämäläinen (2012) introduced a fourstep method with the following phases: vision, prototype, evaluation, diffusion and adoption. Another way to approach living lab methods is by looking at the methodologies that are used for designing and developing new artifacts in projects that do not operate under the living lab moniker. Such methods are for instance studied in the field of Design Science Research (DSR). Many living labs are research driven and can therefore be seen as a way to perform design research. Hence, it stands to reason that the DSR field would be highly relevant to inform living labs on how to carry out their activities. One recent advance in the DSR field is the Action Design Research approach (ADR) that “conceptualizes the research process as containing the inseparable and inherently interwoven activities of building the IT artifact, intervening in the organization, and evaluating it concurrently” (Sein et. al 2011:37). ADR explains how to do DSR through the action research method. As the literature points to the use of action research in living labs (Schaffers et. al 2008, Bergvall-Kåreborn et. al 2009), it stands to reason that ADR can be useful in conducting living lab projects. 3.3 Weaknesses Setting up and maintaining a living lab comes with rules and responsibilities that differ from traditional project models (Dutilleul, 2010; Leminen & Westerlund, 2013) Indeed, the multitude of stakeholders operating in living labs increases the likelihood of stumbling blocks. Well-known issues that often appear in living labs are technological failures (i.e. untestable software), lack of openness or unequal contribution to the innovation process (Eriksson et al. 2005, Veeckman et al. 2012). A recent study by Robijt et. al. (2014) uncovered that most frequently, barriers relate to stakeholders. In the design stage for instance, the lack of vision, goals or focus and the selection of stakeholders with diverging intentions were identified as problematic. Within living lab execution, both institutional (such as corporate culture and poor division of work) and personal (lack of knowledge or motivation) barriers were found. Finally, the absence of professional marketing and business development was indicative for poor valorization. Introducing agile methodologies in living lab processes can improve communication and organizational learning; and thus help to overcome many of the stakeholder related barriers listed above. 4 FALL: Framework for Agile Living Lab projects In figure 1, we present a framework that focuses on living lab projects running from the early stages of a project idea to the real-world evaluation of a working software prototype. This framework was created because living labs need a robust methodology to structure and value user feedback. Since innovation frequently has unintended or unexpected effects (Sein et al 2011), living labs must learn to adjust rapidly to user feedback. This need for rapid adjustment is further underlined by variability in time of project objectives and control points in living labs (Leminen & Westerlund, 2011). We argue that agile methods are a good methodological match for living labs, as the idea that one should plan remains central, yet the limits of planning in a turbulent environment are recognized and anticipated. In addition, agile methods and living labs share an interest in developing user-driven products or prototypes with minimal waste.


Fig. 1 Framework for Agile Living Lab projects (FALL).

The main phases of FALL are derived from the ADR method (Sein et. al 2011). However, in order to make ADR - which is a research-oriented framework- more practical, we will discuss how to implement FALL using agile techniques. In this section, we discuss FALL in a practice-oriented way to benefit the usefulness of this paper for living lab practitioners and to answer the managerial problems posed in the introduction. In the discussion section, we will ground FALL in the current state-of-the art on living labs and agile development. 4 Phases of FALL 4.1 Problem formulation The first phase is problem formulation, which aims to produce a concise statement that scopes the effort of the team. It should take into account the current knowledge base (state of the art) and reflect the ideas of all relevant stakeholders. There are different ways of gathering information on what the problem statement should contain. Talking to representative end-users in focus groups is useful and will allow the gathering of a large amount of input. Another way is to create crowd sourced ideation campaigns on general topics that representative end-users can participate in. Furthermore, as is customary in DSR, it is important to map the knowledge base on the type of system being created. This is often forgotten or not accounted for in living lab literature, yet creates an important baseline against which to gauge the innovation potential of the project. From the problem definition, a first solution can be devised in the form of a set of assumptions to be tested by building minimum viable products (MVP’s). However, these assumptions are often uncertain statements that should be verified. As in Lean UX (Gothelf & Seiden 2013), selecting what assumption to test first can be done by prioritizing them in terms of high risk and low maturity. Risk refers to the consequences of the assumption being false, while the project still holds the assumption to be true. Maturity is the amount of knowledge that the project team has regarding the assumption. Testing high-priority (i.e. high-risk and low-maturity) assumptions should be the focus of MVP 0. The functionality of the MVP can be described using a SCRUM backlog that bundles and describes the functionality of the MVP as user stories. A user story has the form “as a <role> I can <functionality>” . Once MVP 0 has been defined in a backlog, it needs to be built, evaluated and tested, which happens in the BIEL phase. Of these three assumptions, the second and third one where identified as being the most high-risk and immature. Therefore, they became the object of the first MVP’s.




In the ZWERM16 project, we started from a very general problem statement, i.e. to engage smart citizens with the city through mobile applications. This problem statement was too broad to be useful. By gathering feedback from different stakeholders in the project (including a great number of citizen inhabitants, which were the prospective end-users of the project), we arrived at the following problem statement: “How to build a system that allows neighborhood citizens to play a game through which they increase social cohesion and use this social cohesion to take actions that are important to the neighborhood?” A conceptual solution was imagined to match this question, which could be expressed as a number of assumptions: The question can be answered through internet-of-things enabled public space furniture The question can be answered by building a game in which a “check-in”(a person swiping an RFID card on a card reader) will be the central game mechanic to engage players with the system and to get them to know each other The question can be answered by creating a number of missions that can be played with the user’s own device and incites the user to take positive action 4.2 BIEL (Build - Intervene - Evaluate - Learn) The creation of the successive MVP prototypes takes place in the BIEL phase, in which the MVP’s are always created (build), presented for feedback (intervention) and evaluated. The BIEL phase is derived from Sein et al’s (2011) ADR method. The reason why these four activities are bundled into one phase is because they take place concurrently and not necessarily in sequence. Indeed, it is often the case in a living lab that an intervention in a real world environment takes place over a longer period of time. In such a situation, building goes on while the intervention is taking place, as for example bug fixes and change requests are addressed and integrated in the live functional prototype. Similarly, evaluation can take place during the intervention, for instance using qualitative observations. Learning has been added as a separate loop in figure 1, to indicate that it is even more ingrained in all activities taking place in the BIEL phase. Indeed, living lab practitioners, like other people, do not learn as a separate activity, but learn by performing all the necessary activities in the BIEL phase. For example, the actual building of MVP’s yields extensive learning on what will work and what won’t. Such MVPs, would better be termed Minimum Viable Prototypes. Indeed, all MVP’s submitted to feedback are intermediate prototypes on the road to the outcome of a living lab project. The distinction between a product and a prototype is an important one, as product implies a certain degree of “readiness” as opposed to a prototype. Some prototypes often used in living labs are for instance: (1) paper prototypes (Snyder, 2003), which are sketchy representations of the graphical user interface (GUI), (2) GUI mock-ups or extended paper prototypes with graphic style added to them, (3) clickable prototypes that allow for a certain degree of interaction and advanced measurements and lastly (4) functional prototypes that can be used on the device of the user allowing real world intervention and tests. It is important to point out that in living labs, all participating stakeholders are eligible for building prototypes, also end-users. As such, we perceive co-design as a possible component of the BIEL phase. A technique we often use for such co-design is Lean UX’s “Design Studio”



technique, in which end-users are asked to individually draw the GUI for a system, after which a GUI design is made that reflects the group consensus. If the evaluation activity in the BIEL phase reveals that the project is not accomplishing its goals or verifying the right assumptions, it can be useful to take a pivot (Ries, 2011). This allows the project to structurally correct the path taken. In FALL, rephrasing the problem statement and building an entirely new MVP 0, will allow this to happen. Example 2 After identifying the most important assumptions and deciding to make them the subject of MVP 0, the partners of the ZWERM project started working on several MVP’s. MVP 0 consisted of wireframes for the website used to play the game. Feedback was gathered from representative end-users and a new version of the wireframes was created (MVP 1). Next, a functional version of the website and the check-in system were built and deployed at our research facility during a three week period (MVP 2). Data was gathered through observations, a survey and an analysis of the system logs. This allowed us to formulate answers to assumptions 2 and 3 (see example 1). The answer to assumption 2 was definitely positive, while the answer to assumption 3 was more nuanced with some missions working well and other not working at all. Based on what we learned during the intervention with MVP 2, we created a fully functional prototype (MVP 3) that was tested in real life environments during four weeks. Again, data was gathered through observations, a survey and an analysis of the system logs. 4.3 Formalization of Learning The formalization of learning phase is where all that has been learned is reflected upon and placed in some format that is fit for consumption by an academic, a business or a public audience. In case of the former, it is important to contextualize the formalization of learning in terms of the existing scientific knowledge base (state-of-the-art) and the problem formulation. This would mainly occur in provider-driven living labs. For a business audience, in a utilizer-driven living lab for instance, the formalization of learning may be more oriented towards insights useful for market introduction of the concept underlying the system. Example 3 After the real life environment intervention with MVP 3 and the evaluation based on the collected data, a number of papers were drafted, like Coenen et. al (2013) and Laureyssens et. al (2014), describing the system and formulating guidelines for the future design of similar systems. In addition, the core findings of the entire project were formalized into a project description (vision, architecture, business plan) for a spin off that leveraged the main elements of ZWERM. 5 Principles Aside from the main cycles of FALL: problem definition, BIEL and formalization of learning, we present three principles that support a successful implementation of FALL.


5.1 Organizational Shifts Important in FALL is to combine the right set of profiles in the project, since barriers impeding living labs often relate to stakeholders. Concretely, we advise to undertake some organizational shifts and mobilize employees with T-shaped profiles. This metaphor describes people’s ability to work cross-thematically (horizontal), but with a deep expertise in one’s own field (vertical) (Guest, 1991). Given that every organization is different, finding the right solution to a certain design problem should be done in close cooperation with all parties involved. Furthermore, we advise teams to be small, if possible dedicated to one project and to operate cross-functionally. Also, physical workspaces should be open, in order to break down the physical barriers that could prevent collaboration. If co-location is not an option, teams should be given appropriate tools to communicate. Also, it is important to perform as many FALL phases as possible with the entire project team, as this increases common understanding and decreases potential motivational barriers amongst team members. When e.g. MVP evaluation is done as a team, the buy-in regarding the decisions taken will be greater than if just one or two people took these. 5.2 Living lab-roles Leminen and Westerlund (2012) discuss stakeholder-roles as public-private-peoplepartnerships (PPPP’s). Molinari (2011) presents living labs as multi-stakeholder platforms, meaning they allow for different stakeholders with certain interdependencies to come together and solve their common problems. The roles to be fulfilled by these stakeholders however are poorly described within the current body of literature on living labs. Since roles enable action, certain types of actions are impossible without well-defined roles (Nyström et al, 2014). Starting from main actions to be completed in our experience of running living labs, we identify six key roles. We borrow the user – and accordingly the user researcher – from living lab literature. The architect, developer and process manager are central roles defined within SCRUM whereas the UX designer is a core role within Lean UX. The following living lab roles are salient in FALL projects and can be used at the onset of the project to attribute responsibility in the living lab consortium. •

Process manager: As in agile methods, the aim of FALL is to increase the amount of self-organization of the team. However, someone is needed to guide the team with the methodology or process of working with FALL. This is the responsibility of the process manager. User researcher: Takes the lead in getting input from users at different stages of the project. In addition, the user researcher has the responsibility of keeping the story backlog up-to-date from the perspective of the end-user. He is also responsible for framing the problem formulation in the body of knowledge from a non-technical perspective. Researcher: active in an academic domain that is relevant to the design problem in the social or natural sciences. Researchers contributes the insights that are needed to create innovations by leveraging knowledge from various research fields and applying it to the design problem at hand. Architect: His role is to create the systems architecture and to update and prioritize the backlog in terms of the stories that are not facing towards the user, e.g. “the server backend should be able to automatically backup the user data that is stored in the database”. The architect is also responsible for framing the problem formulation in the body of knowledge from a technical perspective. 137

• •

UX Designer: The UX designer is responsible for creating MVP’s that represent the GUI of the system. These can be wireframes, clickable prototypes or GUI mockups. It is crucial to note that, while the UX designer holds the skillset to build these artifacts, creating them should never be done solely from the perspective of the UX designer. Core to the philosophy of FALL is that the UX designer should work with the feedback that was gathered from the project actors (other team members, representative end-users, etc.). Developer: Responsible for translating the story backlog into functional MVP’s. User: Involved in the project to bring domain-oriented knowledge to the team through a number of co-design and usability testing processes. The user researcher guides these processes. It is important that the users involved in the FALL project be as representative as possible of the user group that will eventually use the living lab outcome. Stakeholder: Like the user also involved in contributing domain-oriented knowledge, but not necessarily representative of the eventual user population. Stakeholders often hold higher-level interest than users and operate from a societal, commercial or academic point of view.

6 SCRUM as a backbone The problem formulation, BIEL and formalization of learning phases require work to be done by a multitude of people. Within FALL, we propose to facilitate this through SCRUM. As such, work in the living lab will be organized according to sprints, which are time-boxed iterations. At the beginning of each sprint, the objectives and end-time of that particular sprint are defined. These objectives differ according to the phase of FALL in which the project is situated at a specific time. In the problem formulation phase, the objectives will be focused on scrutinizing the body of knowledge and creating a problem formulation with related assumptions on how to address the defined problem. In the BIEL phase, the objectives will be on creating MVP’s, testing them and defining new MVP’s based on insights from building and testing previous versions. In the formalization of learning phase, the aim will be to contribute to the body of knowledge based on what was learned during the living lab’s execution. At the end of the sprint, a demonstration of the work is given and the whole process is evaluated in a sprint retrospective. Also, the backlog is updated according to the tasks that present themselves in the future phases of FALL. The story backlog therefore is a crucial project management tool of FALL, as it keeps an overview of tasks in progress or to be completed17. Conducting FALL as a SCRUM project provides the agility that is needed in living labs, where requirements are unstable due to ongoing end-user feedback. Having time-boxed iterations, at the start of which the premises of the project are questioned, helps in integrating new insights. 7 Discussion In this section, we discuss how our findings, concerning the structure and principles of FALL, are related to the state-of-the art.


Although Lean UX and Agile in general champion lightweight processes in which unnecessary documentation is avoided, the backlog is a crucial element for making sure that work in larger and often distributed teams is well coordinated.


7.1 The Structure of FALL The main phases of FALL - problem formulation, BIEL and formalization of learning, are derived from DSR literature and draw heavily on the Action Design Research (ADR) method (Sein et al 2011). However, the reflection and learning phase from ADR has been merged into ADR’s build, intervene, evaluate (BIE) phase. This was done because we observed that learning and reflection is not something strictly done at specific stages within the living lab project, but constantly taking place in its execution. Another important addition to living lab practice is to include the knowledge base as a prime focus point in the project. Indeed, we observed that in many living lab projects, the existing knowledge base (state-of-the art, market insights, etc.) is not considered sufficiently. Establishing a problem formulation without a clear view of the knowledge base may lead to “routine design” without clear innovation (Gregor & Hevner 2013). Since innovation is a main objective of living labs, such “routine design” is not desirable. The focus on a problem formulation is also in line with a number of core constructs in Lean UX (Gothelf & Seiden 2013), such as the creation of assumptions and hypotheses, to be validated through the creation of MVP’s. The suggestion for prioritizing assumptions in terms of risk and maturity also aligns with Lean UX. However, Lean UX does not make concrete recommendations on how to validate or evaluate these MVP’s and their underlying hypotheses. Venable et al (2012) propose a framework for the evaluation of information systems in which they distinguish a time and a contextual dimension of the evaluation. The time dimension is determined by the moment at which the evaluation takes place with regards to the development of the IT system. Ex-ante evaluation takes place before development, while ex-post evaluation takes place after the development. In the contextual dimension, artificial evaluation points to “laboratory experiments, field experiments, simulations, criteria-based analysis, theoretical arguments, and mathematical proofs” (Venable et al 2012:428). Naturalistic evaluation, on the other hand “ explores the performance of a solution technology in its real environment” (ibidem). Clearly, the naturalistic aspect is of prime importance to the living lab project, which inherently must take place in real-life contexts (Westerlund and Leminen 2011). Regarding the time dimension, we do not abide to the exante/ex-post distinction, as we have discussed that BIEL activities often take place concurrently in FALL. Still, evaluation methods used for Living Labs can be seen as the union of the ex-post and ex-ante evaluation strategies proposed by Vennable et. al: “action research, case study, focus group, participant observation, ethnography, phenomenology and survey” (Vennable et al 2012:433). Table I shows how different methods described in the living lab literature map to the phases of FALL. Important to note is that none of the methods describe the formalization of learning phase. Schaffers et al (2008) discuss a learning phase, but this is more perceived as a part of the development cycle than as a way to produce knowledge and contribute to the state-of-the art. However, as living labs are often performed in a research context, we argue that the formalization of learning phase is to be seen as an important aspect of many living labs. For clues on how to conduct this formalization with regard to the creation of prescriptive design knowledge, the living lab literature has a lot to learn from Design Science Research.


PROFO Pierson & contextualiz Lievens (2005) ation Schaffers et. al Diagnosing, (2008) action planning Tang & vision Hämäläinen (2012) Bergvallgenerate Kåreborn et. al needs (2009)

BIEL FOL concretization, / implementation, feedback action taking, evaluation, / learning

NA /

prototype, evaluation

diffusion, adoption


design concepts, evaluate / concepts



Table I: How the FALL phases map to the literature on living lab methods. PROFO = Problem formulation, BIEL = Build, intervene, Evaluate, Learn, FOL = Formalization of learning, NA = not accounted for in FALL

Another striking point in Table I is the presence of Tang & Hämäläinen’s (2012) diffusion and adoption phases in the “Not accounted for in FALL” column. That these phases are close to the market points to the fact that FALL is not a framework encompassing mechanisms for market introduction. Using Leminen et al’s (2012) typology of living labs, this indicates that FALL is more applicable to provider-driven living labs, in which knowledge institutions engage in knowledge creation. While scoping the application of FALL. This it also designates the limitation of the framework and opens up a potential area of further development: how to extend FALL to make it compatible with other types of living labs in Leminen et al’s (2012) typology ? 7.2 The Principles of FALL We identified a process manager, user researcher, researcher, architect, UX designer, developer, user and stakeholder as core profiles to get on board in an agile living lab project. However, since collaboration in multi-stakeholders environments is key, having knowledge of adjacent domains - and thus being T-shaped - is important (Robijt, et. al, 2014). Indeed, if for instance profiles working closely together have a common understanding of the same language (e.g. program code) aside from their diverging core competences, communication will increase – and thus foster agility. Besides the basic work cycle, we introduced some of SCRUM’s roles and artifacts in FALL such as the SCRUM master or the product owner. The responsibilities of the SCRUM master, i.e. to methodologically guide the project team in its use of the FALL methodology, are transposed to the process manager. The responsibilities of the product owner representing the interests of the prospective user – are attributed to the user researcher. Aside from roles and artifacts, SCRUM is used as a basic work process for the whole FALL living lab project. Indeed, we propose that the iterative structure of SCRUM is not only suited to lead the development process for which it was originally built, but that it can also be applied to less technical processes. Therefore, it is possible to carry out the whole living ;ab project in an agile way by using the same underlying organization of work, namely the SCRUM cycle.


7.3 Contribution This paper has made the following contributions. First, we introduced agile methodologies into the theory and practice of living labs. Secondly, we proposed an actionable, yet theoretically grounded set of constructs (MVP, BIEL, etc.) around which to conduct a living lab project in an agile way. We have placed this into a model (FALL) and indicated how this model can be supported methodologically (different phases of FALL). Thirdly, we proposed a number of principles to be taken into account when performing living lab projects according to FALL namely: take organizational shifts, redefine stakeholder-roles and use SCRUM as a backbone. As such, we contributed prescriptive knowledge to living lab theory and made a step towards overcoming the managerial hurdles that living lab projects can be confronted with. 8 Conclusion Agile methods have a hard time taking the user perspective into account in a structural manner, while living labs often fail to incorporate emergent user feedback into their running design and development processes. We proposed to address these issues by creating a framework that allows living labs to be executed in an agile way. FALL – Framework for Agile Living Lab projects - draws on Lean UX and SCRUM as agile methods. In addition, it takes Design Science Research (DSR) as a theoretical basis and structures the process along the lines of Action Design Research (ADR). By means of concrete examples, practical guidelines and theoretical foundations, we have addressed both theoretical and practical implications. FALL can be used as a basis on which to align the research, design, development and evaluation activities that are core to many living lab projects, providing actionable guidelines to researchers and practitioners alike.


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Living Lab: Stimulating Adoption of Smart City Innovations

Anna Stahlbrost a Marita Holst a a

LuleĂĽ university of technology

Abstract Cities are facing complex and widespread problems such as changing demographics, reduction of resources and climate changes, unequal social participation, overfilled transport networks, and difficult trade-offs in land use decisions can only be turned into opportunities if suitable strategies are applied. To facilitate the efforts related to creating and sustaining smart city development, supportive infrastructures and innovative ecosystems need to be implemented and used, and one such infrastructure can be the concept of Living Labs. These Living Labs deploy contemporary open and user driven innovation processes into real world contexts in which all relevant stakeholders are involved and engaged with the endeavour to create and experiment with innovations. In this paper, we will illustrate and discuss a Living Lab approach focusing on a way to stimulate adoption of smart cities innovations among citizens in their domestic context and thus lowering their energy consumption. Our findings show that applying a Living Lab approach for adoption of innovation was successful in several ways. By stimulating participants to use the sociotechnical solution in their context by assigning them well-defined tasks, participants both increased their understanding of the socio-technical solution, they changed their behaviour and they fulfilled the purpose of the technology. Hence, applying an interactive Living Lab approach in innovation processes can strengthen the adoption of smart city solutions. Keywords Living Lab, Participatory Action Design Research, Adoption, Smart Cities, Energy Saving


1 Introduction All around Europe, cities and their surrounding regions, are facing challenges to be both competitive and sustainable in the development of their cities. Cities are often seen as the driving force behind creativity and innovations, and historically, this has also been the case when it comes to literature, art and architecture. As of today, cities are often major contributors and requesters of innovations, which are the primary sources of economic, and employment growth (Dodgson & Gann, 2011). With an urbanization of populations in cities, that is accounted to be more than 60% of the worlds population by 2030, (Jungwoo & Hyejung, 2014) managing future large and constantly emerging cities becomes a major stimuli for innovations. These growing cities needs to be smarter to answer to the needs of their citizens, the cities need to be efficient and to manage their growth both in population and in geographical distances (Angelidou, 2014). Hence, issues such as transportations, waste management, energy management as well as issues such as social inclusion, quality of life and wellness are becoming important issues to handle for cities (Neirotti et al., 2014). This puts high demands on these cities to be innovative and also to include more stakeholders in their innovation processes to develop solutions that answer to their stakeholders diversified needs (Angelidou, 2014). To become a smart city it is of vital importance to start with the people and the human side of the equation instead of “blindly believing that IT in itself can automatically transform and improve cities” (Hollands, 2008, p.315). Oftentimes a city is defined to be smart when the investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory government (Caragliu et al., 2011). These smart cities are often successful in combining and balancing its economy, mobility, environment, people, living and governance, built on the smart combination of endowment and activities of selfdecisive, independent and aware citizens. The development of smart cities started with a strong focus on deploying broadband infrastructures before the trend moved towards facilitating ICT solutions that enhance citizens quality of life and now also on IoT and sensor based services. In fact, most cities face multiple challenges that they need to deal with such as reducing risk of poverty, sustaining deployment and societal issues such as sustainable development and improving energy efficiency. Hence, smart city solutions are expected to handles these challenges by, for instance, optimising energy usage and saving, which is the scope for this paper. However, developing and implementing smart cities solutions in a city is not enough to make sure that changes occur. To facilitate the efforts related to creating and sustaining smart city development, supportive infrastructures and innovative eco-systems need to be implemented and used. To facilitate smart city development successfully the Living Lab approach offers open and user driven innovation processes in real world contexts. Taking the Living Lab approach means that all relevant stakeholders are involved in the endeavour to create and experiment with innovations and to build the smart city (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.). In Living Labs, the emphasis is to develop innovations based on citizens needs and to facilitate adoption and diffusion of innovations through co-creation in real world contexts (Bergvall-Kåreborn & Ståhlbröst, 2009; Leminen, 2015). The Living Lab can be viewed as an environment that organise specific innovation programmes and projects, hence, the Living Labs can both shape and operate the innovation ecosystem (Schuurman, 2015). In this paper, we will report on a Living Lab experiment carried out within the realms of a large european innovation project, Apollon. In this experiment, citizens, a municipalityowned energy provider, researchers, and a Living Lab collaborated with the objective to


increase energy efficiency among citizens by inspiring them to adopt energy efficiency solutions in their homes. Adoption of energy efficiency technologies in households, has been rather slow and Caird and Roy (2008) argue that one plausible reason for this might be a narrow view of the factors influencing adoption and use or these technologies. The government have mainly focused on financial, regulatory and informational drivers and barriers to household adoption. Other issues that might affect the adoption is the fact that the energy efficiency market is dominated by a techno-centric model of innovation that assumes that citizens are rational decision makers who will adopt energy efficiency technologies and use them effectively as soon as they become aware of the benefits these systems have both from an environmental and an economical perspective (Caird & Roy, 2008). This is often not the case since many other factors influence technology adoption. Caird and Roy (2008) also point out that researchers have showed earlier that citizen’s motivation and actions related to energy use are more complex than has been acknowledged by e.g. governments. Citizens are often unaware of alternative paths they can take to reduce their energy consumption and since energy as such is an invisible resource it is difficult to be aware of how much energy different artefacts consume and how behaviour affects the consumption. To make sustainable changes in the energy consumption behaviour, it is important that citizens get information related to their personal energy consumption (Watson et al., 2010). For this, many feedback solutions have been developed and tested and the effect of their implementation is well documented according to Broms et al. (2010). For instance Darby (2000) have found that the norm for saving energy in households from direct feedback ranges from 5 to 15 %. But even though this is known, there are several aspects of citizens and energy saving that are still unknown, for instance, what motivates citizens to change their behaviour on a long-term (Broms et al., 2010), what information do citizens need about how their usage of the gadgets they own or manage to be able to increase their energy efficiency (Watson et al., 2010), how can energy information systems be designed (Melville, 2010), and how can we stimulate citizens to adopt innovative energy efficiency solutions (Caird & Roy, 2008). Thus, the purpose of this paper is to illustrate and discuss a Living Lab approach focusing on a way to stimulate adoption of smart cities innovations among citizens in their domestic context and thus lowering their energy consumption. The remainder of the paper is designed as follows. It will start with a literature review covering the areas of adoption of innovation and Living Labs. Thereafter, a description of our methodology, which we called participatory action design research, is given followed by a presentation of our case within the Apollon project and the methods applied in this case. Then the effects from our interaction within the case are presented followed by a discussion of the findings. 2 Adoption of Innovation The literature covering the area of adoption and acceptance of innovations both in organisations and among individuals is massive (e.g. Devaraj et al., 2008; Lee & Mendelson, 2007; Parthasarathy & Bhattacherjee, 1998; Se-Joon & Kar Yan, 2006; Venkatesh & Ramesh, 2006; Wixom & Todd, 2005). The adoption of innovation is in many cases only referring to the process of buying an innovation, but adoption also includes using the innovation (Langley & Pals, 2005), which is the scope of this paper. Research about factors that can lead to adoption is wide and multidisciplinary (e.g. Beaudry & Pinsonneault, 2005; Jasperson et al., 2005; Langley & Pals, 2005). Within marketing the focus is often on how consumer perceive the innovation (Wang & Benbasat, 2009), while in New Product Development (NPD) the focus might be on which features of a product are most critical to achieve market success (MacVaugh & Schiavone, 2010), and sociological studies focus on how technology


adoption is affected by characteristics in the society (Selwyn, 2003). In general, technology adoption is a multidimensional process where individual’s behaviour is influenced by a variety of conditions. These conditions can be learning, social and technological conditions (MacVaugh & Schiavone, 2010). Firstly, learning conditions are individual characteristics of a single user. These conditions can be expected to have influence on the attainment of new competencies needed to use the new technology. Secondly, social conditions explain the cultural and relational specifies shared within the communities to which the user belong. Thirdly, technological conditions facilitate the explanation of technical features of the exchanging technology (MacVaugh & Schiavone, 2010). Naturally, the importance of each of these conditions differs depending on the context in which the innovation is intended to be used. In the study reported on in this paper, the aim was to stimulate adoption of the innovation among the citizens by interacting with them. The adoption of the technology was viewed as a change in their energy consumption behaviour. This means that our proposition was that when citizen’s adopted the technology they also started to consume less energy. Studying changes in behaviour when a new technology has been implemented into a specific context is complex. It is difficult to determine what has caused the change as well as understanding all the different factors that might influence the behavioural change. Firstly, it is important to understand that the technology being implemented actually has been adopted and used by the citizens in the context (Rogers, 1983). Factors that might influence the adoption of an innovation are, according to Mustonen-Ollila & Lyytinen (2003): user need recognition, technological infrastructure, past technological experience, own trial, autonomous work, ease of use, learning by doing and standards. This can be related to Rogers (1983) five attributes of innovations that has impact on the adoption rates. These attributes are: (1) Relative advantage referring to the degree to which an innovation is perceived better than the idea it supersedes, (2) Compatibility referring to the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters. (3) Complexity which is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use. (4) Triability is the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis. (5) Observability is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others. These factors are in many ways related to each other except the observability attribute which has not been identified as an important factor influencing adoption of innovation by Mustonen-Ollilia & Lyytinen. 3 The Living Lab Approach Living Labs support and manage the innovation process by involving all relevant stakeholders, from manufacturers to end-users with special attention to SMEs, and always with the potential users in the centre. A Living Lab is an innovation management organization in which the whole value chain are involved in the development of innovative services in co-creation with users and in their real world context (Bergvall-Kåreborn et al., 2015; Ståhlbröst & Bergvall-Kåreborn, 2011). Living Labs are increasingly viewed as an important actor in innovation research and the researchers are concerned with issues such as defining Living Labs (e.g. Feurstein et al., 2008; Følstad, 2008), how Living Lab supports the innovation process (e.g. Schuurman et al., 2009; Ståhlbröst & Lassinantti, 2015), the outcome of Living Lab projects (e.g. Mulder et al., 2008; Schaffers & Kulkki, 2007) and how to effectively involve users in the Living Lab context (Bergvall-Kåreborn et al., 2015). Living Lab innovation approach is built on the five key principles which should permeate all Living Lab activities (Ståhlbröst, 2012). These key principles are; • Value, which concerns several different aspects such as economical value, business value and consumer/user value.


Influence: that refers to the importance to view "users" as active and competent partners and domain experts. As such their involvement and influence in innovation and development processes shaping society is essential. Equally important is to base these innovations on the needs and desires of potential users (Sleeswijk Visser et al., 2007), and to realize that these users often represent a heterogeneous group. • Sustainability: that refers both to the viability of a Living Lab and to its responsibility to the wider community in which it operates. Focusing on the viability of the Living Lab highlights aspects such as continuous learning and development over time. • Openness: this principle emphasizes that the innovation process should be as open as possible. The idea is that multiple perspectives bring power to the development process and achieve rapid progress. • Realism: refers to one of the cornerstones for the Living Lab approach that is that innovation activities should be carried out in a realistic, natural, real life setting. Orchestrating realistic use situation and user behaviour is seen as one way to generate results that are valid for real markets in Living Lab operations. The project reported on in this paper has been carried out in Botnia Living Lab with the endeavour to both shape and operate the innovation system. In the project, we applied the Living Lab approach focusing mainly on the principles influence and realism, even though the other principles were included. This meant that we developed an approach that supported the citizens possibility to influence in their real world context. •

4 Methodology – Participatory Action Design Research In this case an action research approach we call participatory action design research (PADR), have been applied. In general, action research is mainly focusing on developing a solution to practical problems that is of value for the people with whom the researcher is working within an organisation, while at the same time the researchers are developing theoretical knowledge of value to the research community (Chiasson et al., 2008). Action research studies are usually carried out with the objective to improve a practice related to working conditions. In our case, we have been working with citizens participating and contributin to our research and innovation project in their domestic context, hence, we are focusing on improving conditions from a private perspective and within a private context. From an overarching perspective this means that we have identified a situation that could be improved, that is the energy consumption in households, we gave the citizens actions to perform based on theory that contribute to improve the situation while we studied the effect of their actions which informed our research. As such, PADR is a research and design method that is used to foster research and innovation in socio-technical contexts. Because of its foundation in practical action and its aim to solve an immediate problem while informing theory, this method produces highly relevant results (Baskerville, 1999; Baskerville & Pries-Heje, 1999; Baskerville & WoodHarper, 1998; Rönnerman, 2004; Sein et al., 2011; Starrin & Holmer, 1993). The method emphasise contribution to both theory and practice; hence, it is important that the researcher consider these two parallel and interacting cycles: the research cycle (focused on the scientific goals) and the real-world practice cycle (focusing on the real-world situation) (Chiasson et al., 2008); see figure 1 below. The figure illustrates the dual and interactive processes of research and actions. The process might start from the basis of some relevant research themes, or from the real-world situation. From the real-world situation cycle, the outcome can be in terms of new knowledge discoveries that contribute to the research community.


Knowledge Discovery

Reserach Cycle

Contribution to Practise

Practical Cycle

Contribution to Theory Knowledge Application

Figure 1: The Dual Processes of Action Research after Chiasson et al. (2008)

In this process, the researcher can be involved in one or more research and problem-solving activities, which can be related intrinsically and often are difficult to distinguish (Chiasson et al., 2008). Another outcome from the process can be in terms of contributions to the practice as such, with the aim to enhance the situation under study. In the case reported on here, continuous evaluations of the interaction with the citizens have been carried out with the aim to contribute to the design of the interaction, and also to gain insights into practical problems. In the research cycle, theoretical knowledge are applied onto the practical situation based on the researcher’s focus, which in our case has been the application of assignments to stimulate adoption of innovation. In addition, practical insights from the actions in the practical cycle is used to discover new theoretical knowledge and inform future research (Chiasson et al., 2008). Hence, PADR is an interactive process between research and practice, with one emphasis to collaboratively discover new ways of seeing and designing the participants actions (Jönsson, 1991; Rönnerman, 2004). Using PADR to facilitate the understanding of complex human processes, rather than constructing universal social laws, is a situation in which the researcher is involved actively together with the citizens, and from which the obtained knowledge can be applied immediately (Baskerville, 1999). Action Research in general have faced some critizism, e.g. Mattson (2004) criticise it and argue that action researchers often exaggerate their own, as well as their research’s, significance to the change process, and that action research runs the risk of becoming more action than research. Researchers in action research also runs the risk of becoming part of the study and their personal understanding can then colour the observations and deductions that follow (Baskerville & Pries-Heje, 1999). Chiasson et al. (2008) argue that action research lends itself toward many forms of pluralistic approaches to research. These approaches provide guidance for researchers on how to manage the identified risks. To handle some of the identified risks with action research we have carefully planned our research before entering the study together with the citizens. We have also strived to keep our research in focus during the case and we have continuously discussed both the design and our findings based on the feedback from the citizens.


4.1 The Apollon Living Lab Experiment The Apollon Living Lab experiment was carried out between December 2010 and February 2012. The overarching research objective was to increse energy efficiency in citizens’ homes by stimulating technology adoption among citizens. The experiment was designed to stimulate citizen’s adoption of energy visualization technologies by providing the citizens with tasks they would carry out while they increased their familiarity with the technology as well as their knowledge about energy saving approaches. To recruit citizens, ads on the energy provider’s home page and on customers’ bills where used. 75 citizens were interested to participate and they answered a qualification survey in which we asked questions about their gender, how many adults and children that lived in their home, the age of the children, how they lived (house, apartment etc), what kind of heating they had in their home, the size of their house, if they planned any renovations in their house, (if, so which) and finally their interest in energy saving questions. These questions were identified as significant for our study of energy behaviour change to make it possible for us to identify appropriate citizens homes. Hence, citizens who planned to, for example, do large makeovers such as changing windows were not included in the study due to the difficulty of comparing their energy consumption between years. Twenty households were chosen and invited into the test. Ten of them tested a visualization technology called ELIQ measuring electricity consumption, and ten of them tested the SABER visualization technology measuring district heating, electricity and warm and cold water consumption. In the start-up of the test a base-line questionnaire focusing on the citizens’ interest in energy and environmental issues were carried out among all test participants. In the end of the project, the same questionnaire was given to the citizens, to find out if their interest in environmental issues and their behaviour had been influenced during the project. 4.2 Assignments and Storylines used in the Living Lab Experiment As a way to stimulate citizens to adopt the implemented technology in their homes we applied a Living Lab approach which meant that we interacted with the citizens in their home and we used their input and reactions to continuously redesign our study and to get input to re-design the final solution. To support this process, we developed a “Test Storyline” consisting of assignments, questions and timing of the test to be carried out. When designing the storyline with its assignments we used a matrix to draft and outline the assignments and to get a good overview of the assignments. Our aim was that each assignment would be instructive and enable learning about energy consumption in the families who tested the technologies, at the same time we tried to make them easy to perform so they should not be too large and cumbersome to perform. In the assignments, the endeavour was to stimulate usage of the different functions that each technology offered. Hence, the assignments could differ partly, but they had the same goal. For example the test pilots using the SABER were given assignments on district heating, electricity and hot water consumption while the assignments on ELIQ all were designed in ways that focused on electricity consumption. Thereafter each assignment was outlined in more detail in a document and was sent to the test users in relation to the starting time for each assignment, usually once a month. In connection to all assignments a questionnaire were given to all test households. The questions were focused on the test of functions, on performing readings to make comparisons in consumption, they were also focused on a changed behavior, so the first part of the assignment they did as they always do, and then the second part they got instructions on how to change behavior, and thereafter make readings and comparisons in consumption. Finally we always had questions on their experiences of the assignments and the results and


whether they were expected or surprising, or would they consider making a change in behavior based on what they learned. Hence, each assignment was closed with a questionnaire. The usage of a test-storyline aims to contribute to the issue of designing a test for a longer period of time. The storyline also supported the communication between the Living Lab and citizens to make sure that they understood what is required from them during the test they planned to enter. The test storyline is also a tool for the designers of the test by which they can make sure that all the functionality of the technology are covered while at the same time the tasks the citizens should do are both meaningful and related to the functionality that should be tested and evaluated. The storyline should include: •

Introduction to the test

Actions covering the different functions and features of the technology being tested

Actions stimulating increased understanding of the context to which the technology strives to give value

Questions related to each activity

The timeframe of the test

Below a few examples of how we have designed the assignments in our test is given together with the related questions and a summary of the citizens responses. Month Assignment Assignment Question areas Evaluation ELIQ SABER Startin Welcoming Welcoming • No questions • No evaluation g up document to all document to all here made here. test users. test users. Describing Describing ELIQ and its SABER and its functions. Also functions. Also describing how describing how to start up the to start up the test, how the test, how the test test will be will be performed and performed and finally how we finally how we will make will make evaluations evaluations and and follow up follow up on on results. results. Octobe Lightning Lightning • What is the • 2/3 ELIQ and ¾ r possible savings SABER users • See the • See the films films at: at: for your found the http://www.vatt http://www.vatte household, possible based on the savings big nitt-19--t-19--calculations? enough to glodlampor.htm • Is the difference realize them. m http://www.vatte big enough for • Favoured http://www.vatt you to realize the activities were changes? to change into


Decem ber



Calculation of how much of electricity usage comes from lamps. Turn of heating and radiators. Also increase temperature in freezer and fridge as well as all gadgets on standby. Compare consumption with low energy or LED lamps. Calculate possible savings and compare (clear instructions are given in a separate document)

Calculation of how much of electricity usage comes from lamps. Turn of heating and radiators. Also increase temperature in freezer and fridge as well as all gadgets on standby. Compare consumption with low energy or LED lamps. Calculate possible savings and compare (clear instructions are given in a separate document)

Christmas Decorations and out door lightning plus Refrigerator and freezer Watch the films at:

Christmas Decorations and out door lightning plus Refrigerator and freezer Watch the films at: http://www.vatte http://www.vatt t-9--nitt-9--utomhusbelysni utomhusbelysn ng.htm ing.htm

low energy • Which savings lamps and to are you ready to turn of lights in realize? empty rooms, • Will you realize but also to use changes in timers to lightning in your reduce the household number of (based on what hours lamps you have learned are turned on. from this • All ELIQ and ¾ assignment?) SABER • What was your participants experience of argue that they doing the will change assignment? behaviour and how they light their households based on what they have learned from this assignment. • Participants reflections were that lamps really use more energy than they realized before. Hence, they saw this as a good area for changing behaviour and realizing saving actions. • How big • Respondents difference is claim it was there before and difficult to read after installing the difference Christmas on Christmas decorations. decorations. Also the • How big outdoor difference is temperature there between was very having different Christmas between the decorations days so the running all the time compared 153

http://www.vatte to only certain consumption http://www.vatt hours per day? was affected. t-2---kyl-och• Is the difference • A majority nitt-2---kylfrys.htm big enough for already had och-frys.htm you to change LED lightning your behaviour? in their • Read the • Read the meter meter before How much Christmas before you you install money could you decorations install your your save in only one and further Christmas Christmas month from they also used decorations. decorations. taking this timers on them. (a few days) (a few days) action? Hence, in this sense the test • Read the • Read the • What was your group had meter after meter after experience of already made installing all installing all doing the smart your your assignment? investments to Christmas Christmas • Will the save energy. decorations. decorations. knowledge you (a few days) (a few days) gained now lead to changed • Install • Install timers timers to to your behaviour? your decorations • If so, in what way decorations to make sure will you change to make they turn off your behaviour? sure they during nights • What was your turn off and hours experience of during when you are doing the nights and not at home assignment? hours when (e.g. working) you are not (a few days) at home (e.g. working) (a few days)

4.3 Focus Group Interview with Test Users As a closing activity we invited eight of the test persons to a focus group interview. The purpose was to learn more in detail how they had experienced the test and what they had learned. We invited four ELIQ and four SABER users, some who had made large energy savings and some that had not saved as much, or even had increased their consumption. Seven test users joined the meeting and we talked for approx. two hours with them. As a sign of gratitude we served a light dinner and they all received two movie tickets each. All participants were male and most of them showed a large interest in energy and environmental issues. In fact several of them had this interest already when they were children. One interesting lesson was that they had all joined this test quite spontaneously without involving their family in the decision of participating. This fact had then turned into a problem during the test period. The rest of their family were in fact not interested at all in


saving energy, and so a lot of energy had been spend on convincing their family members to make an effort and contribute to the test (and energy savings in the household). 5 Results In this section we will give an overview of the effects our interactions with the citizens have had on their interest in energy issues, their energy savings and their experiences from the test period. To start with, a presentation of the results from the focus group interviews is given. Thereafter a description of the differences between the two baseline questionnaires are given and finally the citizens actual energy savings are reported on. 5.1 Focus group interviews In the focus group interviews we openly discussed the citizens experiences from being involved in the test. In these discussions, the citizens raised some issues were the problem of reading the visualization meter and to know how much each appliance was consuming. This was especially a problem for the citizens who only could see their electricity consumption in the visualisation (ELIQ). This was because they could never know when different radiators turned on or off, when the freezer turned on or off or when some other major appliance turned on or off. Hence, it was difficult for them to know if the difference in consumption when doing an assignment was based on their effort or if it only was based on their appliances turning on and off in another way than earlier. But, even if this was a problem, they still felt that they learned a lot from the different assignments and the reflections they had to do when performing them, and answering the follow up questions. The assignment they considered as most inspiring was an assignment in which they turned off all appliances one after another to see how it affected the meter. Hence, this would have been a very good assignment to start the test period with. The involved citizens also gave several examples of AHA-moments when doing the assignments and also on actions they have taken in order to reduce their energy consumption. For example most of them invested in low energy lamps and/or LED lamps. They have also continuously reflected on what appliances are the major consumers of energy in their households. One example was a family who put the outdoor Christmas lights on timer when they realized that it consumed 150 watt. They had never been reflecting on this earlier. Other families have had timers and LED Christmas lights before the test started. Further, actions they describe they were doing to a greater extent was; turning of lamps when leaving a room, connect appliances with transformers to a socket which can be turned off and using timers on some of their appliances. Another reflection from the participating citizens were that the weather and outdoor temperature affects the consumption to a very large extent. Therefore, several of the testers would have liked to have a technology that also could visualize temperature, sun hours and other outdoor issues that affects the consumption. They also confirm the added value of having the consumption visualized, and say that having it in the mobile like an application would have been great. In sum, based on the citizens input, the assignments they have received during the pilot period have been very successful leading to increased insights into their energy consumption and actions they can take to decrease it further. The participants input also gave insights into future re-designs of the systems.


5.2 Results Compared to Base-Line After completing all assignments a questionnaire to all citizens participating in the test. It was designed in the same way as the first base line questionnaire, with a small number of questions added. We wanted to explore if there had been any changes in interest of energy saving and environmental issues, but also if the interest in changing behaviour had been influenced. The results showed that in general the interest and ambitions in energy savings and being environment friendly had increased. Even though the level in many cases was high already from the start, it had increased in several issues. For example on activities they already are doing sorting of garbage had increased from 18 households to all households. On the other hand in some cases the interest and willingness had decreased. For example being engaged in environmental issues had a decrease from 25% to 20% of the participants. In the last questionnaire we asked how much they believed that they could decrease their consumption in total if they really put their mind on it. The largest group (six households) believed that they could decrease 4-6% while four households believed that they would be able to save 8-10% and two households believed that they would be able to save more than 10%. Four households believed that they would be able to save less than 4% and four hoseholds did not know. We will show later in the results how much they actually saved (or not saved) during the test period. Further, in the last questionnaire we asked what led to the energy savings and eighteen households argue that it was the assignments that helped increase their understanding of energy consumption. Twelve households also argued that the visualization of energy consumption had an impact on them, while two households believe it was a total coincidence. When asking how often they had read the visualization meter, eight of the citizens answered a few times per week, while four answer a few times per month and two less than a few times per month. Six of the citizens’ answer that they looked more than once a day. 5.3 Comparison of energy usage To compare the usage of electricity between two different periods the part that isn’t weather dependent needs to be removed that is electricity for warm water and the household electricity. Then you remove the variables that affect the heating (degree day calculation). The quota between the period 2010-04-2010-12 and 2011-04-2011-12 was 0,718. So it was considerably warmer 2011. After the correction of the variables above it still shows that most of the households have decreased their energy consumption. Among those testing the electricity visualisation technology, the largest decrease in electricity usage was almost a 10% reduction, but one household stands out in the other direction with an increase of 15% in usage. Analysis show that this household only performed one assignment and hence, did not really participate in the test program in the same way as the other test persons. Among the households who tested the technology that measured district heating these citizens reduced their usage of both household electricity and district heating. Nine out of ten households reduced their electricity usage and seven out of ten have reduced the district heating consumption. Also in this case the majority of the test users were able to decrease their electricity usage, some of them substantially. The largest decrease was more than 35% which is exceptional and also the second largest decrease with more than 20% is a substantial decrease. Two of the households had a small increase in electricity usage. When it comes to district heating and their consumption also here it shows that the savings were substantial in four of the ten houses. A decrease in heating (district heating) of between 5 – 16 % is considered a success and in our case one household saved over 15%.


Three of the households had a small increase in heating, while, three other had minor decrease in consumption. When the savings between the different energy saving technologies are compared, it can be observed that the households measuring both district heating and electricity have decreased their energy consumption more than households in where they measured electricity consumption. This can depend on various reasons but one of the repetitive comments from the test users of the electricity measurement technology is that it’s difficult to really see what’s affecting the instantaneous electricity consumption when the house is heated with electricity. It doesn’t matter if they turn of the lights, shutting of devises etc. if they have 10-15 radiators that go on and off at the same time. This can be contrasted with the other measurement technology which gives a clear overview of the consumption in more detail. 6 Lessons Learned The aim of this paper was to illustrate and discuss a Living Lab approach to stimulate citizens to adopt smart cities innovations in their domestic context and thus lowering their energy consumption. In this case we implemented a test storyline in which a plan for how to interact with citizens during the test period was decided with the objective to stimulate adoption of the technology being tested. The results from this case clearly indicate that giving the citizens assignments to carry out during the test has been a successful way to stimulate adoption and increase their understanding of how to use technology to influence their behaviour. The effect of the assignments was confirmed in two different ways, one from the citizens’ participation in the research activities, and the other confirmation of the impact of the assignments is the effect on the participants energy consumption. In this way, the participation both contributed to research on user participation and adoption of innovation, as well as to practice by lowering their energy consumption. However, when it comes to the effect on the citizens’ energy consumption it is also known that feedback and visualisation technologies influence energy saving positively (Darby, 2000; Seligman & Darley, 1977), hence, here we can mainly refer to the participants testimonies that the performance of assignments influenced them. Even if the number of test users is too small to make generalizable assumptions from, our study indicate that actively interacting with participants and giving them clear tasks to carry out have impact in practice. To further strenghten the importance of active interaction and clear taskst to stimulate adoption and changed behaviour, we see that the participant who increased their energy consumption had only accomplished one of six tasks that was given to them. Hence, to change behaviour in socio-technical contexts, clear tasks and active participation is needed. To further strengthen the adoption of the technology in private context there are some other factors we have identified as important to consider. To obtain a desired impact of an socio-technical innovation for households to for instance, lower energy consumption or start sorting garbage, it is important to engage the whole family to adopt the technology. Hence, even though our test was carried out in a limited context and the innovation was to be implemented in a domestic setting where an individual make the decision whether to adopt the innovation or not, the importance of considering the social system was acknowledged (Rogers, 1983). In our study, the family members manifest the social system, without who’s support and interest in the innovation, adoption of the innovation is hindered and the full potential positive effect of its usage becomes difficult to reach. However, our study shows that applying the Living Lab approach with the assignments to carry out in the domestic setting during the project stimulates adoption of innovation since it makes it possible to try and elaborate with the innovation in its intended context,


which is considered as an important aspect in adoption theories (Rogers, 1983). Triability refers to the degree of which an innovation can be experimented with and through our assignments, the citizens could really elaborate and become acquainted with the innovation in their own comfortable context. They also could become aware of the innovation’s suitability for their context and how it can support the activities they usually carry out in their every day life. This also stimulates the adoption of the innovation since it is related to the citizens feeling of compatibility. This means that they knew how to use the innovation and they understood how it answered to their needs and existing values (Rogers, 1983). In addition, stimulating the citizens to carry out assignments in their domestic setting lowered their feeling of complexity of the innovation. Due to the test, the participants had clear expectations on the innovation and they understood how they could use it to fulfil their needs related to energy saving. The approach with assignments to carry out also has some drawbacks that need to be handled and elaborated with in further studies. For instance, it might be difficult to know if the participants involved in the test actually carried out the assignments even though they state that they have. For this, we strived to give them assignments where they had to put in some value into the questionnaires, e.g. the consumption of electricity for a certain period of time. Even so, it is difficult to know if they have actually done it. Another drawback is the scalability of the approach. In our approach we have involved a rather limited set of citizens which made it possible for us to take their feedback into consideration when designing the assignments for the next period. From a Living Lab perspective, it is important to let the people involved in the study influence the process, to “live� with the process and to make necessary adjustments based on changes in the context. If a larger amount of citizens are involved, this might be more complicated and hence it needs to be considered in forthcoming studies. However, based on this study it can be concluded that applying the Living Lab approach with assignments for the participants to carry out in their domestic setting stimulated adoption of the innovation in several ways. The adoption was stimulated through its triability, the compatibility and the complexibility which are all considered as important aspects to succeed with adoption of innovation. 7 Acknowledgments We would like to thank the European Commission for funding the Apollon project, without which this research would not have been possible. We also like to thank the citizens who participated in the pilots and the companies who made it possible, your input and efforts are of greatest value for us to do our research.


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Perceived value of energy efficiency technologies in a sustainable neighborhood: an empirical enquiry from the Energy Living Lab

Joëlle Mastelica, Stéphane Genouda, Francesco Maria Cimminoa, Deborah Previdolia, Emmanuel Fragnièrea a

HES-SO Valais, Institute Entrepreneurship & Management

Abstract The notion of a smart city combines technologies, citizen and a common sustainable vision such as for instance providing energy efficient buildings for a better life. This socio-technical system is built upon the assumption that better technologies will be perceived and drive citizen’ satisfaction. But what if the technologies are not perceived by citizen? Or not driving satisfaction? We are interested in this paper in the perceived value of energy efficiency technologies by inhabitants of a sustainable neighborhood. As a methodology, we have first administered a survey to the inhabitants of a Swiss sustainable neighborhood. Then, we have analyzed rank correlations between the overall satisfaction and perceived value of energy services. An additional survey based on semi-directed interviews has enabled us to provide qualitative meanings to interpret these rank correlations. This research is exploratory since based on a single case study. The main conclusion is the following hypothesis: energy efficiency technologies are not perceived as a value as long as they are working properly. Based on this study, we intend to design a specific energy living lab configuration to be able to co-create energy efficiency technologies, involving energy consumers at the beginning of the value chain. Key Words Customer satisfaction, perceived value, sustainable neighbourhood


1 Introduction Europe has seen in the past decade numerous projects in the context of “smart cities”. Part of these projects are led by technologies, integrating the citizen in a later stage (Dameri, 2013). This is also the case with the project presented in this paper. The underlying assumption in these projects is that better technologies will provide better quality of life. But what if the value of the provided technologies is not perceived? And what if the technologies are not direct drivers of satisfaction? This is what the authors want to test in this project in a swiss sustainable neighborhood. The Swiss energy transition is based on three pillars, documented in the “Energy Strategy 2050” developed by the federal council (DETEC, 2015): (1) sobriety, (2) energy efficiency and (3) development of renewable energies. In this paper, we will focus on energy efficiency. This paper presents the first phase of an interdisciplinary applied research project about a “sustainable neighborhood” in Switzerland. This phase is intended to better understand the perception regarding energy services in a given Swiss sustainable neighbourhood. We will be using this neighbourhood as a living laboratory to identify new research hypotheses related to demand side management. We want also to understand energy consumption behaviors as well as the role of energy services in the satisfaction of living in the neighbourhood, composed of 450 apartments, parts of them are privately owned and parts of them are rented. This paper uses the service dominant logic paradigm (Vargo & Lusch, 2004) which emphasizes that what does create value is the service (sustainable living). Consequently, products (i.e. energy efficient technologies and buildings) are the vehicles that conduct the value to the consumer, the value is always co-created with the consumers when the service is consumed (if the service is not consumed, no value is created, such as for instance when the apartment is empty). The buildings of the studied sustainable neighborhood have obtained the Swiss Minergie label, construction standard for new or renovated buildings (Minergie, 2016a). The builders have indeed put a lot of emphasis on the energy consumption reduction of buildings and appliances. They have used energy efficient technologies and materials. Moreover, there are no cars in the neighborhood (thanks to large underground parking slots) and public transportation is nearby. The population is mixed (owners, tenants, social housing, protected apartments for the elderly...). This paper focuses on the residents (unit of analysis), their perceptions regarding energy services, as well as their overall satisfaction to live in this pilot neighborhood in Switzerland. The core research of this paper concerns the general satisfaction to live in the sustainable neighborhood under study and to learn whether there is a link between the provided energy services and the overall satisfaction. This variable is linked with other important factors like the Swiss label “Minergie”. A further element is one of the specific characteristics of the studied neighborhood, the “no car concept”. In fact, the cars can drive on the area’s streets only for pickup services up to three times a month. All cars have to be parked in an underground central parking outside the area. The last compared element is the relationship between the satisfaction and public transportation. A bus commutes from this place to the railway station every half an hour. The context of this research has led us to the following research question: “Is there a link between energy services and the overall satisfaction to live in this sustainable neighborhood?” The methodology has consisted in administering a questionnaire to the households of the sustainable neighborhood under study. Even if the response rate is high regarding the whole population living in this neighborhood (164 residents have filled in the questionnaire, which corresponds to 34% percent of the apartments), we should consider this fieldwork to


be a case study. Indeed, ultimately the goal of this research is to generate new research hypotheses that could be validated and generalized for other sustainable neighborhoods in further research. So first, based on inferential statistics, we identify which variables of the questionnaire are related together. Due to the qualitative nature of the variables used in the questionnaire, all bivariate hypotheses are defined over ordinal or nominal scales. Consequently, non-parametric statistical tests are applied and in particular rank correlations (i.e. Kendall Tau and Spearman’s rho) since most of the retained bivariate hypotheses have variables defined over ordinal scales. To add “sense making” to the retained bivariate hypotheses, we have conducted a qualitative survey based on semidirected interviews (that resulted into 29 transcripts). The main finding of this research is that perceptions of energy services are not directly influencing the satisfaction to live in a sustainable neighborhood when the quality of energy services is good. This short paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, we present the results of a literature review essentially based on the field of Service Science. This literature review is not exhaustive, however it is intended to define the main theoretical concepts related to this applied research. In section 3, we briefly present the questionnaire and the sampling strategy employed as well as the qualitative research based on semi-directed interviews to provide meanings to the tested bivariate hypotheses. In Section 4, we test a few hypotheses relevant to the main theme of this paper. More specifically, we assess the link between perceptions of energy services and the overall satisfaction to live in a sustainable neighborhood. In Section 5, we discuss the main findings based on the data collected though 29 qualitative semi-directed interviews. In conclusion (Section 6), we indicate limitations of this study and directions for future research. 2 Literature review As the topic of this paper is based on interdisciplinary research, we have developed a literature review based on the three following scientific domains: • Sustainable lifestyle • The notion of satisfaction as defined in Service Science • The notion of perceived value as defined in Service Science 2.1 Sustainable lifestyle Lifestyle for sociologists refers to “ways of life, choices and preferences, behaviors and attitudes, associated with various “social locations” or positions in societies and communities.” (Lutzenhiser and Lutzenhiser, 2006). Gladhart, Morrison and Zuiches define lifestyle as the “values, behaviors, practices, and possessions that are characteristics of a family (in Lutzenhiser and Lutzenhiser, 2006). For example, in the case of the studied neighborhood, we have young single people, young couples, families with small children, families with teenagers, and retired persons. Sustainable lifestyle must thus fully be integrated in the neighborhood. Dumreicher and al. explain that a sustainable neighborhood should be “compact, dense, diverse, and highly integrated” (in Jabareen, 2006). The case study presented in this paper occurs in such a sustainable area. Furthermore, in this kind of area, the need for movement has to be reduced and environmentally friendly forms of transport have to be provided (Jabareen, 2006). To respect the Kyoto Protocol and to promote energy efficiency in buildings, many labels have been created in Europe


(Mlecnik, Visscher and van Hal, 2010). As already explained in the context, the related label created in Switzerland is called “Minergie”. The notion of satisfaction as defined in Service ScienceThe satisfaction drivers described in the service science field are, according to McDougall & Levesque (2000), the following three drivers: core service quality, relational service quality and perceived value (see Figure 1). These searchers have defined the customer satisfaction as the “overall assessment of the service provider while future intentions are stated likelihood of returning to the service provider”. The relational service quality is defined as the way the service is delivered (McDougall & Levesque, 2000).

Figure 1 - Proposed drivers of customer satisfaction and future intentions

Source: McDougall & Levesque (2000)

In a residential environment, the level of residential satisfaction is often used to evaluate it (Cho and Lee, 2011, Anderson and Weidemann, 1991). This satisfaction is defined as “the experience of pleasure or gratification derived from living in a specific place” in the Theory of place in environmental psychology (in Cho and Lee, 2011). In this paper, we focus on the relationship between the perceived value and the customer satisfaction. 2.2 The notion of perceived value in Service Science The perceived value is generally defined as the “trade-off between what customers receive and what they give up to acquire the service” (Tam, 2004). The cost can be monetary or any other non-monetary costs like time, physical or psychic effort (Lovelock 2001, Tam 2004). To perceive a value, the energy service needs to be tangible. Unfortunately, in most instances, it is solely when there is a bad service quality that the energy services become tangible (e.g. heating problem during the winter 2013 in the studied neighborhood). Kollnuss and Agyeman explain that the information about the environment damage has to be translated into understandable and perceived information like pictures and graphs (2002). In other words for certain types of services, solely the negative perceived value becomes visible. This is especially the case for energy services. Direct and indirect feedback literature could help to understand how to make the energy services more tangible. There is also a belief that relevant information will allow users to make better decisions (Shove, 2003). A meta-analysis has been conducted by the European Environment. The advice of this agency is to combine direct and indirect feedbacks together. This advice has been applied in the studied neighborhood (i.e. a welcome folder that describes the vision of the sustainable neighborhood and how to consume less energy, smart meters with in home display, information presentation on the Minergie label, accompanied visits of the heating system, monthly energy invoices…).


3 Methodology The methodology has consisted in administering a questionnaire to the households of the sustainable neighborhood under study. The data set is the result of an empirical inquiry in a sustainable neighborhood in Switzerland. A quantitative questionnaire was created and administered to the inhabitants of the neighborhood. The data collection from the residents was realized between mid-June to mid-July 2015. 164 residents have filled in the questionnaire, which corresponds to 34% percent of the population under study (i.e. apartments in the neighborhood). Reception of the questionnaire by the residents was done from June 19th to July 13th 2015. Ultimately, we have received 164 valid questionnaires: 156 in French and 8 in English, 115 by post and 49 by email. In the collected sample, 74% of the respondents are renting their apartments. Moreover, 62% of the respondents have completed post-secondary education. Finally, the average wage is consistent with the rest of the Swiss population. Even if the response rate is high regarding the whole population living in this neighborhood we should consider this fieldwork to be a case study. Then based on inferential statistics, we identify which variables of the questionnaire are related together. Due to the qualitative nature of the variables used in the questionnaire, all bivariate hypotheses are defined over ordinal or nominal scales. Consequently, non-parametric statistical tests are applied and in particular rank correlations (i.e. Kendall Tau and Spearman’s rho) since most of the retained bivariate hypotheses have variables defined over ordinal scales. To add “sense making” to the retained bivariate hypotheses, we have conducted a qualitative survey based on semi-directed interviews (that resulted into 29 transcripts). The purpose of our research is exploratory and aims at generating new research hypotheses. The quantitative survey has been completed by 29 face to face semi-directed interviews with residents in autumn 2015. We selected a sample composed of satisfied and not satisfied residents: half of the sample was satisfied by the neighborhood and half of it was not satisfied. One third of the interviewed households are owners and the other part rent their flat. Half of the interviewee had a smart meter installed with an in home display (tablets) and half of them had no smart meter. The goal was to deepen the understanding of the main hypothesis: value linked to energy services is not perceived when the core quality of the energy services is good. But if the core quality is considered as bad, a negative perceived value arise, influencing the overall customer satisfaction to live in the neighborhood. 4 Hypotheses Testing We employ three different tests to verify the relationship between two variables: the Pearson correlation as well as two non-parametric tests of rank correlation, Sperman Tau and Sperman’s rho. In this section, we have considered bivariate hypotheses related to our research topic and that are divided in the three following categories: • Private transportation, • Public transportation, • Minergie label. All bivariate hypotheses are handled such as the variables are qualitative. This is the reason why the hypotheses are all expressed using the term “relationship” instead of “correlation”.


Indeed, we will then rely on rank correlation that corresponds to a non-parametric statistical test. Most of the defined hypotheses are linked with the variable “satisfaction”. The following question were asked in the questionnaire: “Are you satisfied to live in this neighborhood?”. The corresponding variable is defined over an ordinal scale as follows: very dissatisfied, dissatisfied, merely dissatisfied, merely satisfied, satisfied, and fully satisfied. 4.1 Private and public transportation 4.1.1 Private transportation As explained earlier, private cars are forbidden in the neighborhood. Cars are centralized in a big parking place nearby, it can be rented. Inhabitants have access in the area with a badge only three times a month. We wanted to test the link between the variable “neighborhood without cars” and the general satisfaction to live in the neighborhood. As mentioned, 37,7% of the total energy consumed in Switzerland is used by transport (OFEN, 2015), mainly fossil energy. Transport has a huge importance on energy consumption and pollution. Here are the tested hypotheses: H0: there is no relationship between the variable “neighborhood without car” and the variable “general satisfaction”. H1: There is a relationship between the variable “neighborhood without cars” and the variable “general satisfaction”. The first variable of the hypothesis comes from the following question in the questionnaire: “Are you satisfied with the concept of a neighborhood without cars?” The answer is defined over a discrete scale ranging from 1 to 6. 6 was the maximum. The second variable of the hypothesis is the satisfaction of the neighborhood, explained earlier. We employ 3 described different tests to verify the relationship between these two variables. Kendall's rank correlation Spearman's rank Pearson's product-moment tau correlation rho correlation Satisfac tion

No car

Satisfac tion



No car



z = p-value = Tau= 0.4312935

Satisfac tion

No car

Satisfac tion



No car



6.6387, S = 3.1e-11, p-value = rho =0.5090976

Satisfac tion

No car

Satisfac tion



No car



= 310598.9, t = 1.1e-11 df p-value = cor = 0.5267292

7.6897, 154, 1.6e-12

Table 2 - Results for the correlation between “Satisfaction” and “No car”

Each test gives a p-value close to zero. Consequently, we have sufficient statistical evidence to reject the null Hypothesis. In terms of practical significance, we can see that there is a moderate positive rank correlation (Tau=0.43 and rho=0.51) between both variables neighborhood without cars and the overall satisfaction to live in this sustainable neighborhood.


4.1.2 Public transportation In the neighborhood, there is a bus every half an hour. The main train station is also not far away by feet (ten minutes). Public transportation is an important factor to reduce the fossil energy consumed by the inhabitants of the sustainable neighborhood. Following hypothesizes are tested: H0: there is no relationship between the variable “public transportation” and the variable “general satisfaction”. H1: There is a relationship between the variable “public transportation” and the variable “general satisfaction”. The two linked variables are the proximity to public transportation and the satisfaction with the neighborhood. The latter comes from the previously explained question. The first one comes from the following question in the questionnaire: “In general, what importance do you give to the following when choosing your place of living? - The proximity to public transportation and the connection to the station?” The scale is defined as ordinal by 6 values starting from “not important” to “very important”. Subsequent results are founded with the statics tests: Kendall's rank correlation Spearman's rank Pearson's producttau correlation rho moment correlation Satisfac tion

Transp orts

Satisfac tion



Transp orts



z = p-value = Tau= 0.2536053

Satisfac tion

Transp orts

Satisfac tion



Transp orts



3.822, S = 0.0001324 p-value = rho =0. 308532

Satisfac tion

Transp orts

Satisfac tion



Transp orts



429138.9, t = 9.391e-05 df = p-value = cor = 0. 3478391

4.5891, 153, 9.216e-06

Table 3 - Results for the relationship between Satisfaction and Transport

Each test gives a p-value close to zero. Consequently, we have sufficient statistical evidence to reject the null hypothesis. In terms of practical significance, we can see that there is a low positive rank correlation (Tau=0.25 and rho=0.31) between both variables the proximity to public transportation and the global satisfaction to live in this sustainable neighborhood. There is a low positive influence between both variables. We can assure that if a person is satisfied with the neighborhood, he would be a bit more satisfied with the proximity to public transportation. As a reminder, the tests don’t allow us to know which variable influence the other.


4.1.3 Minergie Label The Minergie Label imposes criteria that the buildings must respect. One of them is to consume less energy than a standard building (Minergie, 2016b). As mentioned in the introduction, room heating represents 65% of the total energy consumed by households, followed by water heating: 14.9% (OFEN, 2015bis). Efforts should be concentrated on building efficient and well-isolated apartments to decrease the total energy consumed in Switzerland. H0: There is no relationship between the Minergie Label and the satisfaction. H1: There is a relationship between these two variables. The first variable of the hypothesis comes from the following question in the questionnaire: “What importance do you attach to the fact that your home is certified Minergie ECO?” The scale is defined as ordinal by six values starting from “not important” to “very important”. The second variable of the hypothesis comes from the explained question about the satisfaction. We employ again the 3 different tests to evaluate the relationship between these two variables. Kendall's rank correlation Spearman's rank Pearson's producttau correlation rho moment correlation Satisfact Miner ion gie

Satisfact Miner ion gie

Satisfact Miner ion gie

Satisfact 1.00 ion


Satisfact 1.00 ion


Satisfact 1.00 ion


Minergi e


Minergi e


Minergi e



z = p-value = Tau= 0.3349212


5.0767, S = 3.84e-07 p-value = rho =0.3971703


388798.6, t = 2.602e-07 df = p-value = cor = 0.4344774

6.0057, 155, 1.305e-08

Table 4 - Results for the correlation between Satisfaction and Minergie

Each test gives a p-value close to zero. Consequently, we have sufficient statistical evidence to reject the null hypothesis. In terms of practical significance, we can see that there is a low positive rank correlation (Tau=0.33 and rho=0.40) between both variables. Again, if a resident is satisfied with the sustainable area, he probably attaches importance to the label. 5 Discussion It is interesting to notice that when asked about the neighborhood in general, what is satisfying and what is not satisfying, the respondents do not think spontaneously about energy services (heating, mobility, lighting, appliances...). Our main conclusion is that energy services are not spontaneously perceived as creating value and influencing directly the satisfaction to live in the neighborhood as long as it is working properly. It is as if, these energy services are taken for granted. But when a problem arises, the energy services become visible and a negative perceived value influence the satisfaction to live in the neighborhood. Like Lovelock mentioned, the outlays to obtain a service are not only financial, but also time, physical and psychic efforts (2001). This affirmation is confirmed in our case study. Here are some examples from the qualitative interviews.


5.1 Minergie and Heating During the winter 2013, the first winter after the construction, the distant heating system was not functioning properly and the temperatures went down to 17 degrees, according to some residents, and the energy services became as such tangible. A negative perceived value influenced the overall satisfaction of living in the neighborhood. It was a technical problem that was solved quickly. But in the meantime, some of the respondents, not satisfied with the low temperatures, bought electrical heating systems to increase the temperature, which had a long-term impact on the overall energy consumption. It had also an impact as well in term of image of the sustainable neighborhood. Indeed, the respondents kept talking about it in a negative way one year and half after the heating problem during the interviews: “I will not pay the heating bill if they sent it, it was 17 degrees all winter!” Heating has also been visible by the respondents because of a communication problem (relational quality). In this sustainable neighborhood, the temperature level is blocked to a maximum of 21 degrees inside the apartments: “The problem with Minergie is that the temperature is very low (no more than 21/22 degrees), many people bring electric heaters in the apartment.” But parts of the residents were not correctly informed about it (there are 9 different real estate agencies in the neighborhood renting and selling the apartments). Worse, on the tool that control the temperature, the scale mention until 24 degrees, some of the residents, not informed about the maximal temperature in the neighborhood, kept trying to increase the temperature the whole winter: “I can increase the heat as much as I want, it does not exceed 20 degrees.” This had also a negative impact on perceived value and overall satisfaction of living in the neighborhood: “We have not been informed of the set temperature, we find this value totally arbitrary.” Only one person out of 29 interviews mention the good isolation (Minergie) resulting in heating decrease: “We have only very, very little need to turn the floor heating on because it is very well insulated.” 5.2 Public and private transportation The sustainable neighborhood is conceived for pedestrians. Parking places can be rented by the residents and are also available for visitors in a separate building outside the area. At the beginning, residents were authorized to drive through the neighborhood when needed but only for a short amount of time (to pick up heavy goods for instance). But due to abuses, a barrier has been installed and new regulations of the neighborhood enable residents to access up to three times a month with a badge. The mobility thematic has polarized the residents into two groups: (1) People that came to live in a neighborhood without cars, for ecological convictions, or for security reasons (children safely playing in the streets). These are also mainly owners of their apartment that benefit from a parking place directly accessible under their building. (2) People that came in the neighborhood for other reasons such as proximity to big cities, or no other opportunity to find an apartment. It is mainly people that rent their apartment and have a parking place in the distant parking building. One has seen in the hypotheses testing section that « neighborhood without cars » is moderately correlated with « satisfaction » to live in the neighborhood. Parts of them are satisfied and part of them not satisfied. After analyzing the qualitative interviews, we easily understand that people, mainly owners, do not make any specific effort (underground parking). “For now, we do not have access problem, but we do recognize the difficulty for some people, for disabled or elderly people, for example. The children can play in the street, there is less noise during the night… We can see emotional salient attributes: a resident that do not


want cars in the neighborhood used to install each weekend a tennis net across the street for the children to play and to block access to cars. On the other way, for the people that do not benefit from a parking slot under the building and that have to walk with their shopping bags, children strollers, from the distant parking building, they need to make a special effort (especially “when it rains”, as mentioned by a respondent): “The restriction on cars cause enormous organizational problems especially with small children.” In case they have not chosen to live in the sustainable neighborhood because of their ecological convictions, it is even worse. The negative perceived value is strong and they talk about leaving the neighborhood. One of the respondents, blocked by the tennis net, decided to sue that person to stop this practice. The negative emotional and logistic salient attributes appear really strongly during the interviews. And as well for the image of the sustainable neighborhood, it can have an important impact on the general ambiance. 5.3 Information tools It has been mentioned that energy services are not tangible and to perceive a value, it is important to make them more tangible. Direct and indirect feedbacks have been proposed in the sustainable neighborhood. Different types of information tools have been supplied in the sustainable neighborhood: (1) a folder that contains all the information about the neighborhood: the initial project, the vision of decreasing energy consumption, advices on how to diminish the consumption… (2) Thematic visits by a neighborhood guide that was hired during two years by the construction company. One of the visits was for instance an explanation of the distant heating system. (3) A smart meter integrated in an in-home tablet (it controls the opening of the door, the temperature of each room, it gives information on the public transportation schedule, weather report, and energy consumption). We found that only 7 people, out of 164 that answered the survey, declared they did not use any kind information provided. The large majority of residents was informed about energy services. From the quantitative inquiry and the qualitative interviews, we can say that the provided tablet is « a nice to have »:“it is very nice to have the tablet but I do not use it.”. But the perceived value of these information tools is not very high: the smart meter has been considered as a “gadget”: Friends and acquaintances who came to visit the apartment would always ask at the beginning to see the tablet, but it's still a gadget”. As long as the energy services are of good core quality, the perceived value of energy services seems to be low. We could thus say that energy is not a main concern and that the residents do not feel they need more information about it. It is to mention as well the cost of energy which is low: “As long as the bill remain very low, I do not change my behavior.” It does not mean that their energy consumption is not influenced by this information. One person mentioned: “No need to watch my consumption every day. But during the heating problem, thanks to the tablet, we could see that the heater was running at full speed.” 6 Conclusion A sustainable neighborhood is defined as an urban area involving modern ecological concepts. The impact on the environment is thus an important attribute of a sustainable neighborhood and thus energy services consumption should be related to it. In this paper we want to test whether there is a link between energy services perception (heating and isolation, public and private transports…) and the overall satisfaction to live in this sustainable neighborhood. To investigate this research question, we have first administered a questionnaire to the inhabitants of a Swiss sustainable neighborhood. We have then analyzed the rank correlations between the level of satisfaction of living in sustainable neighborhood and


elements of perceptions regarding energy services like private and public transportation and high energy efficiency human habitats. We see that all the tested rank correlations are statistically significant. However, the practical significance in terms of Kendall’s tau and Spearman’s rho is always quite low. This survey is complemented by 29 semi-directed interviews to provide additional meanings grounded on the field of Service Science. It seems that the typical salient attributes (i.e. main elements of perceived value) of a sustainable neighborhood is not visible or tangible when it is about energy services consumption. Consequently, the main finding of this research is that perceptions of energy services are not directly influencing the satisfaction to live in a sustainable neighborhood when the quality of energy services is generally good. The limitation of this research is that it corresponds to a case study. Indeed, its main purpose is to generate new research hypotheses related to the perception of energy services within the context of sustainable neighborhoods. In a further research, we intend to conduct a survey involving more sustainable neighborhoods to be able to generalize our results and make inferences. Although this research is purely exploratory and cannot be generalized, it advocates that sustainable neighborhood must be properly designed in order to better “tangibilise” energy services. After this first analysis of the situation, the next step of this applied research project is to set up an Energy Living Lab in the neighborhood, with the public authorities of the city, the building constructor, the energy utility and the inhabitants. The objective would be to develop incentives with the inhabitants toward energy conservation in the neighborhood. Furthermore, as seen in this case study, information on energy services did not seem to guarantee that the residents perceive the value of these services. How to make energy services more tangible is an open question for researchers and managers that provide these energy services and technologies.


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A design-driven Living Lab to explore innovation for societal challenges: A dementia case study Rens Brankaerta


Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Abstract In this study we aim to explore the potential of a design-driven Living Lab in addressing the societal challenge of dementia through innovation. A design-driven Living Lab incorporates design qualities such as exploration, open-ended results and disruption in its approach. Over the course of three case studies, performed in different dementia care contexts, the Qwiek.Up is evaluated. This is a media system that creates an ambient experience in a room through projection and sound. The purpose of this device is to calm people down or provide a suitable activity. The three case study evaluations showed that the system has high potential for people with dementia, and potentially other groups. In addition, potential improvements for the technology, usability and design were found. This shows that the design-driven approach is able to widen the innovation scope and improve a value proposition through an explorative approach. Keywords Design, Living Lab, Dementia, societal challenges, open-ended.


1 Introduction Owing to the ageing population, there is an appalling increase of the number of people living with dementia globally (Wimo, Winblad, Aguero-Torres, & von Strauss, 2003). In dementia the brain deteriorates progressively, severely hampering ones ability to live independent (Prince, Prina, & Guerchet, 2013). This development pressures healthcare budgets and formal dementia care (Knapp, Iemmi, & Romeo, 2013). As a result people with dementia are forced to live longer in their home environment. Subsequently resulting in a higher burden on informal care. As society grows more complex, its challenges become more complex as well. Such challenges are called ‘wicked problems’, these need a multi-perspective approach to be addressed (Martin, 2009). The challenge of dementia is such a ‘wicked problem’. There are various stakeholders, with each their own challenges and, often contradicting, needs. The Living Lab is an approach able to address such complex challenges. It allows for different methods to be applied in collaboration with various stakeholders to find innovative solutions. For the Living Lab it is important that the methods are applied in a realistic context (Brankaert, 2016) as the validity of the results increases by this. Additionally, Living Labs are able to propose stakeholder-based, market ready solutions, or as Leminen et al. (2012) describes it: “ Living Labs have been successful in providing networks that can help to create innovations that match with users’ needs and have the ability to be brought to market level.”. Fundamental aspects of Living Labs are described by Bergvall-Kareborn and Stahlbrost (2009). They propose five principles to which a Living Lab should comply: Continuity, Openness, Realism, Empowerment of users, and Spontaneity. This means the Living Lab involves the end-users to construct meaningful innovation with and for them. Thereby, the involvement of stakeholders with a market interest in such Living Lab activities fosters successful innovation and market impact (Schuurman, Marez, & Ballon, 2016). As such the Living Lab bring multiple stakeholders together to perform innovation activities to address complex societal challenges from different perspectives. However, in such a Living Lab approach certain qualities of design might be overstepped too easily. Such qualities are needed in activities such as Need finding, Conceptualization, Prototyping, Implementation, Commercialization, and the ability to take different perspectives (Krogstie, 2012). In addition, design is able to aid in exploration, envisioning future scenarios and more disruptive innovation proposals (Hummels & Frens, 2011). In this design goes beyond the shape and functionality, design is about both the tangible and intangible elements brought together to address societal challenges. Societal challenges, such a dementia, are therefore typically ‘ill-defined’ problems (Cross, 2006). And as such the innovation and challenge area should co-evolve into a well-explored hybrid proposal. In generic Living Lab research often structured pre-defined goals and outlines are needed to perform the innovation activities, which could hamper the innovative potential of innovation (Korman, Weiss, & Kizony, 2015). Therefore we aim to provide a new perspective on what such a design-driven Living Lab could be in this paper. And we aim to explore this through an inductive approach, by applying our design-driven living lab method in three case studies. And by this answer our research question: How can we construct and deploy a design-driven Living Lab to aid in addressing societal challenges through innovation?


2 Method 2.1 The design-driven Living Lab As a method we propose to apply an in context evaluation as part of a design-driven Living Lab. Compared to other methods the Living Lab is positioned in a realistic environment, as opposed to a lab environment, and involves users as co-creators rather than subjects of study (Almirall, Lee, & Wareham, 2012). In addition, the design-driven approach allows for exploration of undefined challenges and probing-driven evaluations (Peeters & Megens, 2014). As such this approach allows for the generation of open-ended results, in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders (Sanders & Stappers, 2008). Therewith it provides a perspective to navigate the fuzzy-front end of innovation through design activities (Koskinen, Zimmerman, Binder, Redström, & Wensveen, 2011). In addition, Experiential Design Landscapes (Peeters & Megens, 2014) suggests experimentation and making as part of the design process. Whilst this method focuses more on long-term intervention and data gathering, it does link design probing to market incentive (Wherton et al., 2012). Which shows the strength of such a design-driven approach. In the design-driven living lab this is included and supported by a strong collaborative component of open innovation (Chesbrough, 2003). Overall, the pragmatic implementation of this design-driven Living Lab originates from the European project Innovate Dementia (Interreg NWE). The three case studies were conducted as part of this project.

Picture 1 – The Qwiek.Up system provides an ambient experience for people with dementia through a media system that uses projection and sound.

2.2 Case: Qwiek.Up For the case studies as part of this paper we present the Qwiek.Up system (Picture 1), designed by the company Qwiek. This system is able to create a calming ambient experience through visual and auditory output. In addition, the system is designed with the formal caregiver, the user, in mind. Firstly, the system is mobile and can therefore easily be moved between rooms. Secondly, the system comes with easy to use ‘experience’ modules. The caregiver only has to put such a module in the system and it automatically starts the corresponding experience. The Qwiek.Up can either transform a room into an experience


by pointing it up or, secondary, use it as a general projector on a flat surface (Picture 2). In these ‘experience’ modules there are five to ten movies, accompanied with music, which loop. The purpose of the device is to create a soothing experience for people living with dementia (in the more progressed stages of the disease, mostly bed bound). For them this group the system has two purposes. First, it can be used as a meaningful activity for them. Second, formal caregivers can use it as remedy for stress or agitation. Such a system is relatively new for the healthcare sector and in this regard still in development. There are several interventions already being investigated that use immersive environments and music to create a positive experience (ie. Riley-Doucet & Dunn, 2013). These are, however, often poorly designed or only limited to one room (Jakob & Collier, 2015). With the Qwiek.Up system we aim to contribute with a mobile and dynamic product that is easy to use by staff members of care homes. It is unknown how the caregivers exactly will use it, or what the exact value proposition of the system is. Therefore it fits with an evaluation in a design-driven Living Lab, which allows for an open-ended exploration of the proposition. As this was our main goal we focused on the experimentation of the system and use this to generate insights.

Picture 2 – The Qwiek.Up experience depicting a walk through a forest.

2.3 In context evaluation of the Qwiek.Up system For this study we performed a design-driven Living Lab evaluation with the Qwiek.Up system in three dementia care contexts. One was performed in a care home in the Netherlands. The other two were performed in Germany, one in a care home and one in a day care centre. In each of these contexts we worked in the following sequence: The system and research method were introduced to the staff and explained. After this they could use the system over a period of four-five weeks as they saw fit. During this period they had to fill in an evaluation form to capture their experience. After the evaluation period we sat together with some of the staff members to discuss the evaluation through a focus group.


The questionnaire that we used to capture the evaluation experience inquired the following: (1) A description of the experience, (2) length of engagement, (3) usefulness in care context, and (4) usability. The goal of this evaluation was to find out what role person-centred innovations have in the context of dementia care (Van Mierlo, Van der Roest, Meiland, & Dröes, 2010). And to what extent this system is able to aid in the societal challenge of dementia. Therefore we evaluate if care provision is improved and if the activity is meaningful for people with dementia. To aggregate the findings in each of the case studies we performed a cluster analysis from the retrieved data (Koskinen, 2003). Focussing on the usability, the design and the systems’ role in dementia care. During the closing focus group we mainly reflected on these three elements as well. Additionally, we reflected with the formal caregivers and the company behind the system on performing such design-oriented Living Lab evaluations in context. 2.4 Ethical Considerations When performing evaluations involving people living with dementia ethics have to be considered carefully. First, safety wise, the technology we used was fully compliant to European standards on technology. Second, the pilot evaluation, in collaboration with the company Qwiek, was performed with the formal caregivers (staff) of the care homes involved, and not, by any means, with people with dementia directly. 3 Results 3.1 Case study 1: Care home in the Netherlands In this case study the residents were in an advanced state of dementia. The study was conducted in two wings of a care home with each seven residents (N=14). We introduced the Qwiek.Up system to one staff member, who introduced it to colleagues. The first two weeks they had some issues with using the system, but in the end all staff members (N=6) used it to some degree. The evaluation took place over 29 days, and was reported upon six times through the questionnaire. Staff members indicated that the questionnaire would be fulfilled in a similar way after two weeks and therefore they stopped filling them in. In general the questionnaire showed a positive attitude towards the Qwiek.Up System by the formal caregivers. Especially the experience modules: ‘aquarium’ and ‘forest’ were appreciated. It was mentioned that sometimes the projector couldn’t find focus and the format of the projector kept switching, this should be improved. In addition the formal caregivers suggest a larger selection of modules and a change of music in some. During the focus group after the evaluation we could discuss the system in more depth. In this session it was mentioned that in a group context the system worked for about 30 minutes, however individually some users would be immersed for 3-4 hours. This was varying from person to person, and only some would get this engaged into the experience. Nevertheless, it portrays a strong addition to formal care and care efficiency. In addition, some formal caregivers experienced issues with using the device and they mentioned that a remote controller would be a strong addition. Finally, the team suggested adding interactivity to the system in the future to enhance the experience.


3.2 Case study 2: Care home in Germany In this care home people were also in an advanced state of dementia. The study was conducted in one wing of a care home with eleven residents (N=11). We introduced the Qwiek.Up system to one formal caregiver, who then introduced it to colleagues. In total four formal caregivers used the device. The total evaluation time took place over the course of 33 days, and was reported upon seven times. Based on the questionnaire the system performed worse in this second case study. Many of the residents were in a too progressed state of dementia to respond to the ambient experience provided by the Qwiek.Up. Nevertheless, in one instance when a resident woke up at night the system was used to bring him back to sleep (‘night sky’ experience). And in another case the system was used to evoke a conversation. 3.3 Case study 3: Day care centre in Germany In the third case, the environment deviated slightly. This study took place in a day-care centre. In this centre people with moderate to far progressed dementia join for day activities, yet they still live at home. In this context three staff members used the device. The evaluation took place over a period of 35 days. In total the system was used with varying number of people in 15 sessions (with each between 1 and 7 users, and a total of 28 unique users). In general the system was well received by the day care centre based on the questionnaire. We found a misalignment between the sequences of videos on a specific ‘experience’ module; sometimes calm and energetic experiences were mixed on a single module, which disturbed residents. Nevertheless, the formal staff really enjoyed the system and used it for all kinds of purposes such as for example calming people down after lunch, aid people to sleep and as a game-like activity for groups. The focus group with formal caregivers from case 2 and case 3 was combined into one session for practical reasons. In the focus group we found that especially the staff from the day-care centre really appreciated the system. They said it should become one of the standard tools in future day-care centres as it fulfils multiple purposes. Because the system is mobile and adjustable it could freely be used for one person, in one-on-one sessions, or for an entire group. In this regard association games could be played or the entire room could become a night sky to collectively calm down. This could potentially lead to less medication use in the context of dementia. For the care home staff the system had less of an impact, but they could see the potential. They felt the abstract experience modules were less appealing for the target group. In addition, some of the modules confused the residents, such as the fireplace and the beach. The residents thought these were real which led to discomfort. Finally, they suggested physical controls on the system for both the screen and the volume. 4 Discussion Over the course of three case studies we demonstrated the potential of a design-driven approach in Living Labs. Some of the elements of a Living Lab already include these design qualities, such as for example co-creation (Sanders & Stappers, 2008). And thereby we contributed to our research question: How can we construct and deploy a design-driven Living Lab to aid in addressing societal challenges through innovation? The design-driven approach


allowed us to broaden the value proposition of the Qwiek.Up system. In addition, we found insights for improving the Qwiek.Up system in terms of application in care, design, usability and technology. Based on these clustered output from the questionnaire and focus groups we aggregate our findings in three topics. 4.1 Topic 1: Application in Care

Overall the Qwiek.Up system was greatly appreciated in two of the three contexts (case 1 and case 3), and moderately positive in case 2. By having an open-ended evaluation we found out that while the original target group of Qwiek.Up (represented in Case 1 and case 2) fits with the system, the potential for the third context (case 3, in a day care centre for dementia) might be even greater. By allowing for such an exploration of contexts the value proposition of the system grows. The potential for this third case is even larger, as we found multiple purposes for the system in this context. The system indeed showed benefit as a calming activity, however, it also functions as an interactive group activity, as an activity for quieting down a group and as a one-on-one activity. The attitude of the formal carers at the day care centre might have played a role as well. During the focus group we found that hey were very enthusiastic. They experimented with the device in all kinds of ways and discovered new purposes while doing so. This also showed that the mobility of the system enabled this, and therewith contributes to open-ended use of the system (Valk et al., 2012). 4.2 Topic 2: Technology and Usability

Thereby, we also found direct improvement opportunities for the Qwiek.Up system regarding the technology and the usability. For instance, the projector sometimes couldn’t find position or kept switching sizes. These are technical errors that should be fixed. In addition, some of the formal caregivers couldn’t interact with the system very well. They suggested for clearer physical controls on the Qwiek.Up system or the addition of a remote control. The company could explore this further. 4.3 Topic 3: Qwiek.Up design

In terms of the conceptual design of the Qwiek.Up opportunities arose in all three case studies. In the first case the potential emersion of adding interactivity was discussed. This could potentially contribute to the concept to cater for a wider group of people with dementia. In addition, it would also stimulate play which contributes to the engagement of people with dementia (Anderiesen, Scherder, Gossens, Visch, & Eggermont, 2015). In the second and third case we found that the ‘experience’ modules could also use subsequent design iterations. First, the selection seems limited and more options would be desired. Second, the sequencing and selection of music for each of the ‘experience’ modules doesn’t always seem to fit. Potentially a future design-driven Living Lab evaluation could contribute to this, as options need to be explored in combination with context of use. 4.4 Limitations

In addition to our findings we are well aware of the limitations present in the design-driven Living Lab approach and our three case studies.


In all three cases there was a mismatch between the evaluation method and the designdriven approach. The questionnaire we used was limiting and described as ‘boring’, some of the formal caregivers even stopped using it. Therefore we should look into alternative methods to capture the open-ended experience of, in this case, the formal caregivers using an innovation over a longer period of time. On the contrary, the focus group did allow for a more just capturing of the experience and, in addition, allowed for additional matters to be discussed as well (such as design opportunities). Also the attitude of the users (the formal caregivers) plays a major role as we saw in the third case. Potentially users have to be instructed to be open and explorative in the studies. Thereby, in terms of an open-ended exploration of the care context we did not fully succeed by only performing an evaluation with the Qwiek.Up. If we truly want to open up the design space we should have experimented with other similar interventions as well or cover the entire design process with the users. Nevertheless, over the course of our three cases we could already see improvement in potential by only deviating slightly from the targeted context. This shows that there is potential in other contexts, with different target groups as well. In the future we are aiming to perform more diverse forms of the design-driven Living Lab to uncover its potential for innovation. In this regard we aim to target the complexity of societal relevant challenges and aim to include more diverse stakeholders. 5 Conclusions To conclude, over the course of three case studies we asked our participants to openly and freely use the Qwiek.Up system in their professional context. This led to a very designdriven way of performing a Living Lab evaluation. This shows potential for a more disruptive and open-ended evaluation of innovative proposals. Which benefits the value proposition and role of the system in context. Therewith, we succeeded in our goal to deploy a pilot design-driven Living Lab. It allowed us to explore the method, as well as context of application for the intervention. The evaluation results are more open-ended with more room for input from the various stakeholders. As such the intervention was not evaluated in a linear fashion. And as such strengthened in its value proposition and business case. This shows potential for future innovations that aim to address societal challenges as well.


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IADIS Press. Van Mierlo, L. D., Van der Roest, H. G., Meiland, F. J. M., & Dröes, R. M. (2010). Personalized dementia care: proven effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in subgroups. Ageing Research Reviews, 9, 163–83. Wherton, J., Sugarhood, P., Procter, R., Rouncefield, M., Dewsbury, G., Hinder, S., & Greenhalgh, T. (2012). Designing assisted living technologies ‘in the wild’: preliminary experiences with cultural probe methodology. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 12, 188. Wimo, A., Winblad, B., Aguero-Torres, H., & von Strauss, E. (2003). The magnitude of dementia occurrence in the world. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 17, 63–7.


Action Research as a framework to evaluate the operation of a Living Lab

Sara Logghe a, Dimitri Schuurman a a

iMinds-MICT-Ghent University corresponding author:

“Seeking objective truth; the modern worldview makes no connection between knowledge and power. This positivist worldview has outlived its usefulness: as Habermas announced, ‘modernism is dead’ (Reason and Bradbury, 2001)

Abstract Living lab research consists of gathering user feedback on innovations implemented in a real-life context (Eriksson et al., 2005). This can be facilitated by means of a panel-based approach (Schuurman et al., 2012). Since this panel is vital for living lab research, it is important to know whether all panel members are satisfied with the operation of the living lab itself. An interesting way to capture and act upon the delights and frustrations of a panel can be by adopting an action research approach. Within a participatory action research process, "communities of inquiry and action evolve and address questions and issues that are significant for those who participate as co-researchers" (Reason and Bradbury, 2008). Action research contrasts with many research methods, which emphasize disinterested researchers and reproducibility of findings. Amongst others, Ståhlbröst (2008) already used action research as a methodology within a living lab environment aiming to involve users early and throughout the whole development process, and to design new IT systems from the basis of these users’ needs. But how can this research approach be a framework to get to know your participants’ thoughts on the operation of your living lab? How can action research help to involve as much panel members as possible and to encourage people to share their opinion? Does active research actually result in more practical solutions for a detected problem? In order to capture and solve frustrations of the iMinds Living Lab panel members, a researcher was actively involved in a selection of living lab projects and panel members themselves were inserted in the reflection phase of an action design research from which the obtained knowledge resulted in the co-creation of an iMinds Living Labs website for panel members. Keywords Action research, participatory action research, panel management, user research, living lab research


1 Introduction A group of users willing to participate in research projects is essential for a living lab. These participants are of vital importance for the functioning of a living lab because researchers need them to gather feedback on innovations which these people are testing in their natural environment. The underlying theory is that people’s ideas, experiences, and knowledge, as well as their daily needs of support from products, services, or applications, should be the starting point in innovation (Bergvall-Kareborn and Ståhlbröst, 2009). iMinds Living Labs ( offers researchers and entrepreneurs the chance to test and co-develop their innovative solutions thoroughly with their target audience aiming at products and services which are better adapted to the market. In order to do so iMinds Living Labs has its own user panel of 17.237 active members. For every research project iMinds panel managers invite people from this entire panel to become part of the research project community. In this way, living labs are user-centric with user involvement as an essential characteristic of living lab research. Not only are users empowered by living labs (Veeckman et al., 2013), living labs depend on the involvement and motivation of these users in order to generate useful user contribution (Schuurman, 2015). The past few years, research was done on the motivation, attrition and behavior of the iMinds Living Labs panel members (Baccarne et al., 2013; Logghe et al., 2014) but the panel members were rarely involved in designing the operation of the living lab as such. Therefore, we opted for an action research design approach to involve panel members in the active redesign of panel management practices within the daily living lab project operations. 2 Methodology Before we used action research as a methodology within our living lab, we conducted a literature review in order to study the advantages and disadvantages of this method. After this literature review, we will illustrate our experience by means of a case study and formulate our conclusions. 2.1 What is action research? Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) is generally credited as the person who first used the term ‘action research’ in his paper “Action Research and Minority Problems”. He described action research as “a comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action” that uses “a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action” (Lewin, 1946). More recent authors such as Checkland and Holwell (1998) distinguish three main phases of the process of action research: (1) the researcher enters a real-world situation, (2) actions in the situation can begin and (3) the researcher leaves the situation and reflects on it in order to find a variety of lessons learned (Rönnerman, 2004; Checkland and Holwell, 1998). Several authors (Checkland and Holwell, 1998; McNiff et al., 2003; Norton, 2009; Donnelly and O’Keeffe, 2013) describe the action research process as one iterative cycle (see figure 1) but according to others (Chiasson et al., 2009; Ståhlbröst, 2008) this process has consisted of several iterative cycles because actions in the situation have been linear, while the learning and knowledge acquisition is more iterative in character (see figure 2).


Identifying a problem/issue

Modifying future practice

Evaluating it (research findings)

New research themes

Thinking of ways to solve the problem

Doing it


Researcher enables reflections on involvement

Researcher enters real world situation

Researcher takes part in actions in the situation (iterative)

Figure 1: One iterative cycle action research process (Norton, 2009) Figure 2: Several iterative cycles action research process (Ståhlbröst, 2008)

Action research starts from a practical problem within a certain group of people. The aim of this methodology is to find a solution for this practical problem but also to develop theoretical knowledge for the research community (Chiasson et al., 2009). Action research is not research on people, or even for people but with people. It tries to understand the context where the research is being carried out and helping people within the context to bring about the necessary changes to solve their problem. Action research is about understanding the context of the field and through collaboration bringing about change (Donnelly and O’Keeffe, 2013). Action research is mostly used to facilitate the understanding of complex human processes, rather than constructing universal social laws (Baskerville, 1999). It is particularly relevant when trying to “solve an identified class of problems” and producing guidelines for best practice (Sein et al., 2011). This is also one of the objectives of a living lab. 2.2 Why use action research in a living lab environment? Research in the West has been integral with a positivist worldview, a view that sees science as separate from everyday life and the researcher as subject within a world of separate objects (Reason and Bradbury, 2001). The concept of a living lab is based on a systematic user co-creation approach integrating research and innovation processes. These are integrated through the co-creation, exploration, experimentation and evaluation of innovative ideas, scenarios, concepts and related technological artefacts in real life use cases (Kusiak and Tang, 2006). In order to gather data about the implementation of an innovation in the everyday life of people, living lab research has to look for methods beyond this traditional positivist worldview. Following Reason and Bradbury (2001) we can argue that the characteristics of action research lead to more in-depth research because the practical and theoretical outcomes of the research process are grounded in the perspective and interests of those immediately concerned (in this paper the living lab panel), and not filtered through an outside researcher’s preconceptions and interests in contrast to a positivist research approach. Earlier research has shown that intrinsic motivation is very important for living lab users to stay part of a living lab community (Ståhlbröst and Bergvall-Kåreborn, 2011; Baccarne et al., 2013). Therefore it is important to find out about their delights and frustrations. For this purpose, we can use action research as a framework to co-create solutions, validate and implement them in the concerned living lab.


Many authors (Baskerville and Wood-Harper, 1998; Baskerville and Wood-Harper, 1996; Checkland and Holwell, 1998b; Chiasson et al. 2008) state that action research handles problems that “need to be solved” but we tend to follow Ståhlbröst’s (2006) focus on the contribution to a situation from an opportunity seeking perspective. In this way we were able to use the framework of Ståhlbröst (2008) to start our research on the evaluation of our living lab operation by the panel members themselves: experienced panel members were invited to become part of the “reflection” process of this framework. In this way, not only the researcher reflected on his or her involvement in the process, but also users evaluated their own participation within iMinds Living Labs. The most characterizing aspect of action research is the fact that the researcher becomes involved in a situation. In this way the obtained knowledge can be immediately applied (Baskerville, 1999). When a researcher enters a social practice he or she becomes involved both as a participant in the situation and as a researcher of the situation (Ståhlbröst, 2008). That is why our researcher became panel member by herself and took part in various research steps, guided by other living lab researchers than herself. 2.3 Case study: Evaluation of iMinds Living Labs by its panel 2.3.1 A combined action research process Chiasson et al. (2009) state that action research emphasizes both theory and practice. It is important that the researcher considers these two parallel and interacting cycles (Chiasson et al., 2009). Therefore we made a combination of the two models, previously described: the “Several iterative cycles action research process” model of Ståhlbröst (2008) after Checkland and Holwell (1998) and the “One iterative cycle action research process” of Norton (2009) which is more focused on practice. We more or less inserted the “practical” model into the fourth step (reflection) of the action research cycle of Ståhlbröst (2008).

Figure 3: Our combined action research method

According to the combination of these two models, the first step of our implementation of action research was to gain knowledge about the current situation. This is enabled by identifying the primary situation that constitutes the basis for the organization's desire to change, or alter its behavior (Baskerville and Pries-Heje, 1999): after 6 years of living lab


research at iMinds Living Labs a lot had changed so we described “to get to know the delights and frustrations of our panel members” as a new research theme. Following Ståhlbröst (2008), the second phase in our action research approach has been to plan, carry out, and analyze the ongoing actions in the situation by means of becoming a panel member as a researcher myself at iMinds Living Labs. In other words, the researcher enters a real world situation (the living lab). In this process, it is important that the researcher endeavors to make sense of his or her increasing experience and knowledge in the situation. In a third phase, one should apply knowledge to a project and derive knowledge from each case separately (Ståhlbröst, 2008). To give an example, we decided not to create an extra blog for the two most recent projects (Spott and We Run) because an earlier research project (De Kopploeg) learned us our panel did not see a blog as a great added value. We captured this input because the researcher took part in actions (research steps) in the situation (research projects) on an iterative basis. Still, our panel members were looking for an overview of the iMinds Living Lab projects they participated in. Also, being a panel member and having conversations with other panel members, we found out that the iMinds Living Labs panel has multiple unfulfilled needs: • They want more detailed information about the promotors of our living lab projects • They want more detailed results next to the infographic they receive now • They want a more efficient way to fill in surveys instead of waiting for an email with an invitation • They want to be able to look back to a project • … In order to reflect on the involvement of researchers and panel members (Baskerville and PriesHeje, 1999; Checkland and Holwell, 1998), we invited experienced panel members from each iMinds Living Lab persona type (Logghe et al., 2015) to a co-creation session to discuss the delights and frustrations of our panel members. By inviting experienced panel members to these co-creation sessions, they became part of the reflection process on our operations. In this way learning occurs in two different processes: (1) as an ongoing process in reflections and discussion in each project and (2) as an ongoing process in our research while reflecting on the method and projects as a whole (Ståhlbröst, 2008). During this reflictive co-creation session, we found underlying needs and expectations: (1) our panel members want to distinguish their role in the innovation process in a more clear way, (2) they expect that the innovation is adapted according to their feedback and (3) they understand that the innovations which are tested are not finished yet. Based on these needs, the panel members were asked to think about ways to solve these problems. They indicated that it would be useful to have the possibility to consult a website with a project flow for each living lab research project indicating in which research step users are needed and what will happen with their input. Secondly, they want more concrete feedback. Until now they received an infographic via email with the main conclusions of a research step, but they want to receive a more detailed report with deeper findings. They want to consult this “report” on a website and not via email. Also, they want to receive more information about the final product when the research project is finished. This could be a link to the app store or a newsletter of the company who created the innovation. Eventually these sessions resulted in mock-ups of a iMinds Living Lab website (“Doing it”) where panel members can log in and use functionalities solving the before mentioned frustrations. These mock-ups were validated by means of a survey and were handed over to our Marketing and Communication team who are now constructing an iMinds Living Lab website. In June 2016, a final session will be organized to ask our panel members for feedback regarding the designed iMinds Living


Labs in order to give our panel members the possibility to give an indication about what features or aspects should be modified before the final launch of the website. 2.4 Preconceptions of action research under the microscope Before we used action research as a framework for our research theme about the operation evaluation of the iMinds Living Labs, we studied critics on action research. We agree that as a researcher interested in using action research as a method, you need to be aware of major criticisms, and have confidence in the approach of action research being well thought out and systematic (Donnelly and O’Keeffe, 2013). We managed to divide critics on action research into three categories: 1. Action research is no valid research as seen from positivist/scientific perspective. The research becomes a part of the study and personal understanding will invading the observations and deductions that follow (Baskerville and Wood-Harper, 1996; Baskerville and Pries-Heje, 1999; Mattson, 2004; Donnelly and O’Keeffe, 2013). 2. The largely un-theorised descriptions of action research lends itself toward many forms of pluralistic approaches to research (Chiasson et al., 2009; Donnelly and O’Keeffe, 2013). 3. Findings are not generalizable whereby action research runs the risk of becoming more action research (Baskerville and Wood-Harper, 1996; Donnelly and O’Keeffe, 2013). During our action research process we took these critics into account and tried to establish reliability and validity for action research as a useful framework within living lab research: We recorded events in two ways: (1) we questioned our panel members about the operation of the living lab after every research step of one of the three living lab projects, (2) we took notes, pictures, quotes,… during the co-creation sessions organized during the third phase of our action research process (n=20). We strived for validation of our focus groups by means of validation surveys, a practice we already use during “regular” living lab research projects. During the “practical phase” of our action research phase we asked our panel members for feedback in a validation survey (n= 346). Triangulation can also be a way to cope with critics on action research (Donnelly and O’Keeffe, 2013): we checked data from multiple sources for consistency, asked the questions in various ways, noticed that the needs were the same in the different projects,… This is also something we do during living lab research projects: we combine insights from different research steps to create a valid feedback on the innovation our panel members tested. In many ways the process of inquiry is as important as specific outcomes. Good action research emerges over time in an evolutionary and developmental process, as individuals develop skills of inquiry and as communities of inquiry develop within communities of practice. It leads not just to new practical knowledge, but to new abilities to create knowledge (Reason and Bradbury, 2001). 3 Conclusion Instead of holding on to a positivist approach focusing on objectivity, unbiased researchers and reproducible findings (Reason and Bradbury, 2001), (living lab) researchers should be open minded for more practical approaches. Living lab researchers are striving to investigate overarching research questions working in a project based living lab environment. Action research can be a useful framework to do so. The combination of a living lab as an environment and action research as a methodology results in the fast


capitation of frustrations on the one hand and the co-creation and implementation of practical solutions on the other. In this case an overarching research question was “how to improve the operation of iMinds Living Labs”. We implemented action research in this way that users themselves became part of the reflection process. Also, being a participating researcher ensures you experience the same frustrations or at least recognize the mentioned frustrations by other living lab participants. Another advantage of being an action researcher, is lowering the threshold for other panel members to give feedback. Your position as researcher gives you a trustworthy position and as a researcher you understand what they are talking about in a more profound way. In other words, using action research as a framework to evaluate the operation of our living lab was an interesting exercise. By implementing the more practical view on action research from Norton (2009) in the more theoretical approach of Ståhlbröst (2008), we were able to create a framework which was suited for an evaluation of the operation of our living lab by our panel members themselves. We would not have discovered our main findings without this approach: (1) our panel members want to distinguish their role within the innovation process in a more obvious way, (2) they expect the innovation to be adjusted according to their feedback and (3) the panel members expect they are testing innovations which are not finished yet. Also, by combining action research processes and living lab methods we were able to strengthen both: the action research was a useful framework for the overarching quest for feedback on iMinds Living Labs by its own panel, while the living lab methods were cleverly used to contradict prejudices against action research. The panel members themselves felt involved in our general operation because they were asked for this type of feedback, probably indicating an extra intrinsic motivation to be part of the co-creation sessions and fill in the survey. Action research is also a very interesting framework when you are looking for practical outcomes, in this case the co-creation of a website by means of mock-ups. Hence we can state that we invited our experienced panel members to participate in a “action design research”. They were able to reflect on their own participation in the living lab and came up with proposals for changes or solutions. Action research can have some stumbling blocks: it is tempting to “act” like one of the panel members themselves (Baskerville and Wood-Harper, 1996; Baskerville and Pries-Heje, 1999; Donnelly and O’Keeffe, 2013). The biggest catch is to stay more or less impartial in this situation and try to avoid not to push the panel members towards delights, frustrations or solutions you are thinking about yourself based on your own experience. You have to be careful to stay impartial enough and make other panel members feel at ease when giving feedback. It was very useful to take the critics into account during the research period, although it was not always easy to note down every insight in a structured way. Perhaps more research on a more detailed framework about methods to use during the “practical part” of the action research process would be interesting.


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