Cross Living Lab Event: Co-Innovation in Urban Challenges

From July 1st to July 3rd, the Cross Living Lab event, hosted by Amped and presented by Maarten Klop, brought together experts and stakeholders to collaborate on urban and food solutions. This event used the “Living Lab” approach, a concept from AMS that creates a co-innovative setting where different stakeholders work together to test, develop, and create solutions for complex metropolitan challenges. Living Labs are deeply integrated into research, education, and city development activities, aiming to make a significant impact on urban challenges through collaborative efforts.

Day 1: Monday, July 1st

The event started with a cross-learning session led by Juanita Devis from the AMS Institute focused on monitoring and evaluating Living Labs. Participants started with a social activity to get to know each other and share insights about their Living Lab experiences, discussing both successes and barriers.

Next, Mark Frederiks from Amped introduced the GAIN Transition Model through an interactive workshop. This tutorial covered onboarding journeys, dynamisation strategies, and the model’s rules and principles.

We also learnt about the status of the four EU4Advice Living Labs in the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and Hungary, led by Mark Frederiks (AMPED), Davie Philip (Cultivate Living and Learning), Jorge Molero (Fundación Entretantos) and Viktoria Nagy (Kislépték Egyesület) respectively.

The afternoon sessions consisted of several field visits to relevant initiatives, such as those spearheaded by: Redouan Boussaid on “Food & The Neighborhood – Plein 40/45,” which aimed to connect farmers, entrepreneurs, and citizens to bring local food to the neighbourhood and foster regional collaboration. Arun Swami Persaud, which took the EU4Advice consortium through the Kwekerij Osdorp, a place where the city meets the countryside, with urban agriculture and cultural integration as the core of their project. Robin van Asperen, from MijnStadstuin, an ecological initiative for urban agriculture focused on food transition and where knowledge is exchanged about food and regenerative food production. 


Day 2: Tuesday, July 2nd

The second day began with Jacqueline Broerse from the Athena Institute discussing the longevity of Living Labs through co-creation. She shared insights from the collaboration between the FoodClicEU4-Advice Living Labs and highlighted the role of Living Labs in EU programming.

Katherine Flynn from Iseki then presented on integrating e-learning and training tools into Living Labs. This session focused on using gamification to enhance onboarding and connect to other projects and repositories.

Participants then engaged in a game to onboard policymakers and experts, followed by a co-creation session to address challenges and solutions in the Living Labs. This session was enriched by reflections from experts, researchers and policymakers such as Dennis Kerkhoven, Arnold van der Valk, Baiba Pruse (VU Athena Institute), Burçu Kür, Noud Janssen, Albert Hoekerswever, Julia Gómez-Lama and Dewi Hartkamp (SIGN). They discussed the necessary structures, processes, and functions to realise the potential of Living Labs, touching on finance, governance, talent, and data.

The day ended with another game and co-creation session, facilitated by Juanita Devis, focusing on governance cases from each Living Lab.

Day 3: Wednesday, July 3rd

On the final day, Mark Frederiks led a co-creation session on the necessary tools, structures, and functions to scale the game and Living Lab activities. Discussions centred on resource organisation, orchestrating abundance, and integrating existing knowledge platforms and databases.

The event concluded with a session facilitated by Patricia Mora McGinity from Innogestiona, focusing on starting the activation phase in Living Labs. Participants reflected on whether they felt empowered and connected to take action with all the potential identified during the event.

The Cross Living Lab was a very fruitful event that fostered collaboration and innovation. It brought together diverse stakeholders to address urban challenges through the Living Lab approach and also helped the EU4Advice Consortium get to know each other better.

Check out the video our collaborator Cultivate created about those three days to get a better idea of what we were like!


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