D3.3: Framework for Innovation Playgrounds

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The deliverable 3.3, Framework for Innovation Playgrounds, was submitted by Space Engagers (SE) in March 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

This Report provides a spatial and socio-economic “Framework for Innovation Playgrounds”, including an overview and practical guidance on putting an Innovation Playground in place. An Innovation Playground, as defined in +CityxChange, is a designated area of a city where different physical and virtual places and activities relating to innovation are brought together into a coherent whole to facilitate collaboration, empower citizens, and find new ways of addressing challenges that matter to people. The Framework is made up of three parts: a ​System​, a ​Journey,​ and a ​Localised Innovation Playground​.

The ​System​ is made up of four interrelated elements:

  • Places: the virtual or physical locations where new ideas, for example, related to energy transition, emerge and evolve.
  • Activities: active processes such as events, meetings, mapping, etc. that are connected to​ ​energy transition and innovation in the city.
  • Data: existing or new data relevant to the energy transition​ ​that provides an evidence base for innovation.
  • Enabling Mechanisms: mechanisms that enable stakeholders to put an InnovationPlayground in place.

The Innovation Playground is structured by a coherent Journey​ in four stages:

  • Observation: Gathering data and knowledge at the hyperlocal level to help us all understand the lived experience of citizens.
  • Sense-making: Interpreting, analysing and synthesising available information.
  • Co-design: where experts and others come together to solve shared problems.
  • Prototyping: developing a mock-up of innovation in the online or offline ‘places’ of the Innovation Playground.

The purpose of a L​ocalised Innovation Playground​ is therefore to:

  • Bring different virtual and physical places and activities related to innovation into a coherent structure.
  • Facilitate collaboration.
  • Empower citizens to actively participate in processes of change.
  • Find new​ ​ways of addressing challenges that matter to people.

The desired outcomes of an Innovation Playground are:

  • Engagement of a broad cross-section of citizens and society in innovation.
  • Empowerment of citizens and other stakeholders to feel able to influence their place and change things.
  • Progression towards UN Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations, 2019) and becoming a positive energy city.
  • Outputs of an Innovation Playground will include new ways of doing things; new partnerships, places, tools and activities. The key stakeholders who will use an Innovation Playground include building owners and occupants, citizens / communities, civil society organisations (CSOs), local government, universities / research groups, entrepreneurs and other innovators.

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