ESSI at the Open Living Lab Days in Barcelona

From 21st to 22nd September, more than 400 interested people from a wide range of scientific disciplines, civil society initiatives, companies as well as politics and public administration from all over the world found their way to Barcelona for the Open Living Lab Days (OLLD23) of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL). On 23rd September participants also had the chance to participate in site-visits to local living labs. This year’s annual ENoLL conference was supported by the European School of Social Innovation (ESSI) and offered numerous starting points for discussions on the relationship between Social Innovation (SI) and living labs. ESSI members Antonia Caro (i2cat and Eoh-for-Good) and Artur Serra (i2cat) co-coordinated the conference on behalf of ESSI.

In a symposium with high-ranked representatives from various organisations from different sectors of society, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Howaldt, Director of the Social Research Centre and Chairman of ESSI and Artur Serra, Deputy Director of i2cat, discussed the relationship between Living Labs and cross-sector collaboration. Among other things, Jürgen Howaldt emphasised the potential of the collaboration between SI researchers, social innovators and Living Labs for addressing social challenges. Social Innovations could thus be centrally anchored in Living Labs and have an impact as new social practices far beyond the creation of technology acceptance.

Antonius Schröder, member of the management board of the Social Research Centre and Managing Director of ESSI, together with Dr Michael Kohlgrüber (Social Research Centre) gave insights into their work on Industry 5.0 as a new concept for an industry that is more strongly oriented towards social needs and benefits from digitalisation. The two presentations and the subsequent discussions were complemented by a presentation by Dr Peter Oeij (TNO) about the project BRIDGES 5.0.

Conference website: