OLLD18 Lego Serious Play Workshop report

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OLLD18 Lego Serious Play Workshop ®

“How to Living Lab?” “Why Living Labbing?”

SISCODE co-DEsign for Society in Innovation and Science

Part 1: How to Living Lab?

Part 2: Why Living Labbing?

This two part workshop allowed participants to share best practices and lessons learnt on how to operate Living Labs through Lego models. The first workshop “Lego Labs: How to Living Lab?” focused on sharing experiences on best practices and challenges of Living Labs and co-creation methodologies. The second workshop “Lego Labs: Why Living Labbing?” focused on why it is important to do so: why should we build Living Labs?

“How to Living Lab”

Question 1: build your favorite activity in co-creation

When discussing their favorite co-creation activities, two words were used most often in the participant's stories: "different" & "common". At first sight this might seem contradicting, but when investigating further, the word "different" was used in describing different types of “problems”, “stakeholders”, “approaches”, “perspectives”, “opinions”, “backgrounds”, “competences”, “ideas” and “views”. Favorite co-creation activities facilitate differences in coming together, allowing different stakeholders to share different views and ideas regardless of background or views. The word "common" related to common “ground”, “goal”, “design”, “vision”, “understanding”, “problem”. Favorite co-creation activities were centered around a common vision, bringing together these different views around a common problem or goal. Other common words included, for example, "together", "people", "process", "build", "ideas", "middle", "co-creation", "ground", "direction", etc.

Favorite activity in co-creation:

The favorite co-creation activities of the participants presented a variety of success stories. Based on these experiences, a checklist of factors was created to consider in building a successful co-creation event:

q q q q q

Think about the variety of co-creation events: the favorite co-creation activities mentioned by participants included roundtable discussions, world café, brainstorming, game jam, hackathon, ideation, focus group and play/theater. Different approaches & perspectives but all working towards one goal was most often mentioned as a success factor in co-creation. Breaking chains, bringing differences together at one sight, together in the same direction, on the same ground. Safety, equity and synergy was sometimes mentioned in connection to creating a common ground. The process of co-creation is supervised, dynamic, bringing together varied factors, views, expectations & competences. When the process is going well, the essence is clear – it can be a simple process. People are taking part in the process and interacting with each other - the facilitator is on the outside. Consider the environment, both during and outside of the workshop was highlighted: consider the environment your participants are coming from (also cultures, opinions, personalities) – and also think about the environment of your workshop – could the location be linked to the problem, or outdoors? Playing well together and becoming a team is important. Joint activities in sharing experiences, ideas, thoughts & lessons learnt. Pay attention to how you can build on each other’s ideas. Communication & transparency is always important when working together.


There are different types of problems and problem definitions: to define the problem together is the most co-creative way


Building from scratch – starting from an empty space. Then, finding a way to raise awareness, interest and funding. Creating unexpected results, surprising insights, thoughts and ideas. Then, Co-creating a concept based on ideas shared. Prototyping – defined learning, building together. Co-creation must be fun! It should be inspirational and aspirational. The element of design, and co-design, is important. Co-creation also must be inclusive: people, animals, anyone. SMEs + academia + citizens = success

q q q

“How to Living Lab�

Question 2: build the biggest challenge you have faced

The experiences on challenges were various, and many different challenges were identified by the participants:


2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Support: lack of support was referred both in terms of internal support as well as external support. Difficulties in delivering tasks, fighting differences alone. Ambition planning and lacked motivation among partners or stakeholders. Old habits die hard, and sometimes a change of mindset is needed. Overwhelming staff workload and difficulties in brining people together – remember to focus on the needs and interests of the stakeholders, and how to bring them together, how to open the door, linking different groups – cooperation should not be only internal. It is difficult to have an overview on all partners and negotiation sometimes leads to reshaping the project and may result in losing horizon, joint vision, aim & action. Communication: Lack of trust or common understanding, non-effective communication means that great ideas go unnoticed. Internal communication sometimes refers to departments not communicating, but also external communications pose a challenge: understanding of Living Labs is difficult to convey, how to communicate the message? Multi-stakeholder collaboration consists of many opinions, and requires good leadership as well as a circle of trust that is not easy to reach and is easily destroyed. Improving the links between different stakeholders/partners is crucial in building trust and formulating a realistic way on how to work together. Bottom-up approach: a more bottom-up approach is needed, co-created rather than top-down. Involving end users, access to citizens, active participation and relationship building are challenging. The role of a facilitator: It is crucial for the Living Lab to be able to ask good questions, and to ask the right questions – and then, to learn from them. Providing feedback can be challenging especially when the feedback is negative: instructing that a product or service is not good / successful. Other aspects that have proven challenging according to the experiences of the participants: complex procedures, lack of structure, involving businesses – how Living Labs can help with their products, or helping technology providers? Finding new opportunities, the beginning phases: the fuzzy exploration phase, or starting up a Living Lab. Focus may be on a niche that others are not working much on (for example, rural rather than cities), and resources are scarce: unclarity in the beginning on how to manage & unclear expectation on how much work it takes to manage a LL – funding may be difficult to secure also. Coordination of governance, legal, IPR. Last but not least, Seeing the benefits of LL

Living Lab challenges:

At the same time, when discussing the different challenges, some experiences on how to overcome these challenges were shared. Here, a few words of advice from the participants: • Open the door to creativity, Living Labs have tremendous access to ideas. Remember: cocreation, prototyping, iterations! • Make it simple. Think about the big picture, don’t start too much. Go step by step, thinking in milestones! • Do it your own way – lack of motivation or support has been overcome when some intriguing results were presented! • Living Labs are a window that allow us to see many things: different types of Living Labs need to be holistic & iterative! • Sometimes, think about inviting the funder to your activities also!

“Why Living Labbing�

Build the biggest achievement in your Living Lab

In sharing their success stories & biggest achievements, the following factors of success were mentioned:







Organization & scaling up: Living Labs have been successful in scaling up: scaling to other cities (and building bridges between cities), scaling best practices. The organizational factors contributing these successes have been various: from no hierarchical, creative chaos, grass-root activities and social innovation approaches to structures where municipality has held the control, or hierarchy sometimes demonstrated value, other times failure. Organic growth and step-by-step approach was also mentioned as the road taken leading up to the success. Different stakeholders: Bringing together a diversity of varied stakeholders with different roles has been successful in breaking barriers between different departments, connecting with different people (for example, young and old), building bridges and creating spaces where people can meet & blossom ideas. When everyone knows what they are doing, it is possible to achieve a change of mindset and find the motivation to change behavior. Networks of co-creation: Great numbers (many hundreds) were mentioned in connection with the number of people involved. Thebuilding of a successful network, pool of end users and circle of stakeholder support was shared by many. A wide co-creation process has resulted in being able to build something together, generating many ideas, and successful cases in problem solving towards a common goal. New, easy and/or efficient solutions have been reached through the process and the process itself has demonstrated a new way of learning: for example, through end-user focus and design thinking. Communication: successful communication has led to the development of joint platforms, systems to communicate. This has been reached through platforms where one can find help, activities, friends, links & media, stories. Press and other media have been successfully deployed by many – exhibitions and catalogs have also been mentioned as successful in raising awareness, sharing ideas & experiences. Funds: Finding funds (from different) sources have demonstrated some clear benefits for the Living Labs. In some cases after funding finished the stakeholders, or in one case the mayor of the city, kept interest and wanted to continue. Successful funding experiences allowed the Living Labs to provide support where needed, and to offer solutions free for users as well as service providers – demonstrating also great numbers of users & service providers. Research: Great research results have been reached and Living Labs have prospered in building bridges to connect students and making science close to the youth.

Success factors in Living Labs:

When discussing the success factors of their Living Labs, the stories sometimes provided insight as to how this activity/factor was identified as a success story: • Positive feedback was often mentioned, and sometimes stated as a surprising insight: although the Living Lab was not aware of the success immediately on their own, positive feedback was provided by participants. The importance of collecting feedback and reflecting was shared by many stories. • Results in some cases speak for themselves: the involvement of great numbers of people and creating successful outcomes. Here, the importance of tools and measurement instruments was highlighted as important aspects in being able to capture the data necessary.


4,7 *on a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) *median & mode score = 5 *given scores ranged between 3 - 5 *total number of scores given = 27 *from feedback received via feedback cards at the workshop

The Lego Labs workshops received most votes for �what was your favourite workshop?� in the OLLD18 online survey

Feedback *including all written feedback provided via feedback cards at the workshop

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I found using lego was very efficient. That makes idea occurs sometimes while we use them, sometimes after… Very interesting experience Very enjoyable workshop – perhaps part 2 “why LL” should come first? Why before the How is helpful if you are just learning about LL Was very interesting to get to know the lego serious play method. Was good to have the introduction exercise first! I had heard time and time again about serious lego and was keen to see usability. It was great & fun introduction I was not familiar with the method before so I found this a very useful experience, and will take home the lessons learned to try them in our sessions Good way to see the added value of cocreation and cooperation Fun, but also very “serious” J Interest for things shared about Living Lab experience I understand the knowledge collect method but not the sharing efficiency Really great exploration of the workshop (why/how). Clear tasks description. Nice challenges that developed nice models and insights, conversation Super excellent!! I learned many things in the workshop Inspiring. A good way to share vision of how a LL could be interesting to receive other’s vision It was simple & cool, teaching & inspiring, easy solution that works, delivered in a perfect way. Good job! Very inspiring, a lot of questions for how to build a Living Lab. Lego = a very good method Nice, lively, creative, not too much things! Great! I’ve learnt many things like how to connect people with tools to open mind

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Very interesting & engaging workshop! Thank you! Very interesting methodology, very useful question about lessons learned, I like to use my hands to express my ideas More interesting than I thought, funny, boosts creativity, generated very good ideas between participants, whether from Japan or from all countries of Europe, we all have the same questions and problems! Was expecting more insights into how to set up Living Labs, less on methodological techniques. But excellent experience with Lego Labbing. Great introduction to Lego Serious Play, lovely method to get the exchange going & discuss experiences. Thank you! I really enjoyed the workshop. It makes me think about co-creation and the LLs structure in a simple and effective way. Moreover it incentivizes the communications Top! Great structure, clear, inspiring, THX Very good Real occasion to learn about other LLs, clear presentation Disruptive innovation New technique. Advantage: building & expressing with hands is good. Disadvantage: not suited for all users (eg. Older adults: hands, mobility) & time constraints: fast thinking is not for everyone Good training to use lego methodology, nice management and moderators! Thank you Excellent! Tool to make people talk about anything, provided the questions are well defined Very nice workshop to approach this methodology Thank you very much, It was a pleasure! It is really helpful to mix the activity of “doing” with the “thinking” one

“How to Living Lab?” & “Why Living Labbing?” workshops at OpenLivingLab Days 2018 were conducted by: Workshop Lead: Ines Vaittinen (ENoLL/iScape/SISCODE) Table Facilitators: Santa Stibe (UCD/iScape), Katinka Schaaf (FCC/iScape), Agnieszka Wlodarczyk (KTP/SISCODE), Milica Tajkovic (KTP/SISCODE), Spela Zalokar (ENoLL/iScape/SISCODE)

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