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Co-creation and living lab

The CRETHINK toolbox provides materials and support to get the users involved in the local Living Lab activities.


In this section you can find materials about co-creation methods and living labs guides.

Article on co-creation

This article explores whether co-creation offers a viable path for the public sector. After an initial account of the transformation of the public sector from a legal authority and a service provider to an arena of co-creation, it defines co-creation and provides some empirical examples. This is followed by a discussion of the risks and benefits of co-creation as well as the drivers and barriers that may stimulate or hamper its expansion. The article also reflects on how institutional design, public leadership, and systemic change can advance co-creation. The conclusion summarizes the findings by setting out some researchable propositions.

Methodology for Co-creation

The CRETHINK Methodology - Co-creation Methodology - is part of a vision that opts for cross sector and interdisciplinary teamwork as a contemporary response to complex problems in urban context. Innovation and creativity require both individual and collaborative thinking to be successful, and are the essential part of the transformative engine within the dynamics of a group in action.

The CRETHINK methodology is structured according to the different stages of group work and dynamics of the co-creation process from how to kick-start activities and facilitate discussion, to the improvement of motivation and the solution of internal conflicts. Attention is also paid on the importance of the engagement of the community and the general public. For each stage, the document provides effective approaches, practical tools and directions that complement guidelines and principles for process facilitation of living labs contained in the Facilitation Guide.

Living Lab Logbook

The CRETHINK Living Lab Logbook has been developed as a tool for change agents in the project. You can use this logbook to collects all the reflections, activities and evaluations in one place.

Living Lab Facilitation Guide

The CRETHINK Living Lab Facilitation Guide has been developed as a facilitation tool to be tested during the CRETHINK project period. It is designed for individuals who want to trigger a change in their city or neighbourhood by working together on specific urban challenges. The aim is to provide a guide and road map to navigate and facilitate local case project activities applying co-creation methods and tools while addressing local needs around sustainability topics and finding solutions to complex problems.

This guide has the format of guidelines and principles for process facilitation of living labs. The guide is structured in a progressive order, starting with an introduction to the concept of the living lab as a methodology for co-creation to solve wicket problems. Then the guide introduces the different elements of facilitating the living lab from the good start, to the different steps in the living lab process, to facilitating and maintaining the cooperation, to how to continue the cooperation and spread the word to others, as well as how to work online and work with evaluation and documentation of the living lab processes. The guide can be read from start to finish, or you can use the table of contents to find the relevant topic you want to read about.

Additional guides for co-creation and living lab faciliation

Here you can find additional guides for faciliating co-creation and living labs.

Tools Seed for Change: A compilation of tools and techniques for working in groups and facilitating meetings or workshops 

Citizen Driven Innovation: This guidebook aims to bring citizen-driven innovation to policy makers and change agents around the globe, by spreading good practice on open and participatory approaches as applied to digital service development in different nations, climates, cultures, and urban settings. 

Guidelines For Urban Labs: These guidelines are intended for team members and managers of urban labs and, more generally, for civil servants and facilitators in cities working with experimental processes to tackle complex challenges. They aim to support the everyday practice of collaboratively experimenting and learning how to create more sustainable and inclusive cities.

NESTA - Playbook for Collective Intelligence: This playbook was designed by the innovation foundation Nesta to help design and deliver a collective intelligence project. It will help understand how to harness the best ideas, information and insight (aka. intelligence) to address a complex issue. It will introduce activities to orchestrate diverse groups of people, data and technology to achieve goals.

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