Engaging policymakers in co-creation

The third workshop the CoRRI Forum’s second cycle of workshops addressed the issues of engaging policymakers in the co-creation activities.

In succession of the previous two workshops of the second cycle, the third workshop of the CoRRI Forum was launched on 4 November 2020 through the facilitation of two of the SISCODE co-creation labs – Cube design museum (CUBE) (Netherlands) and Ciência Viva (Portugal) and moderation with two SISCODE partners – Agenzia per la promozione della ricerca Europea (APRE) from Italy and Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI) from Portugal. The two-hour-long workshop was conducted online with three moderators, three facilitators and eight participants.

The workshop began with a brief introduction to the SISCODE project, the CoRRI Forum and SISCODE co-creation journey and toolbox. This was succeeded by short presentations from Ciência Viva and CUBE.

Both of the SISCODE labs demonstrated how they have, in very different demographic, geographical and contextual scenarios, engaged policymakers in their co-creation journeys at a local level. Each of the presentations was followed by three to five minutes long Q&A from the participants. During the Q&A slots, the participants demonstrated great interest in the labs’ co-creation journeys and their successful or less successful approaches in getting policymakers to take part in those journeys.

The hands-on activity was implemented on the co-creation platform Miro. The process was initiated by CUBE, whose members illustrated the application of their prototype of a co-design canvas for the purpose of creating awareness and empathy in the co-creation activities.

Introduction to Awareness and Empathy Canvases by Cube

This prototype was developed by CUBE together with empathic co-design expert Wina Smeenk and is based on the Design Choices Framework by Lee et al. (2018). The four parts of the canvas were described using storytelling to establish a deeper understanding and increase relatability by the participants.

Storytelling methodology used to describe the canvases

The four parts of the canvas consisted of:

The brief introduction to the various canvases was then followed by direct interaction with the participants to identify and understand how these canvases can be used in their context. Five guiding questions were given to the participants to reflect on how they have previously used similar methodologies to assess the context and engage policymakers as practitioners or other stakeholders in co-creation. As a conclusion to the first exercise, the participants were asked how they deem the applicability of the tool in their own context.

Application of the canvases in the context of the participants

Some of the comments gained were:

Moving forward, the participants were provided a handful key elements to guide the open discussion.

Key elements to guide the open discussion

Together with the SISCODE labs and partners, the participants debated and discussed their most successful experiences in engaging policymakers and what they would give to other practitioners as recommendations.

Our list of best practices and recommendations

The participants kindly discussed and shared their list of best experiences, takes and lessons-learned as seen below:

The workshop was closed with a few words of thanks and information about the next activities of the CoRRI Forum. From the anonymous survey launched at the end of the workshop, some of the responses received were:

The Awareness and Empathy co-design canvas from Cube will be made available before the conclusion of the SISCODE project in April 2021. The canvases will be freely available through the SISCODE website, published under the Creative Common license.

Next steps for CoRRI Forum

The fourth and final workshop of the CoRRI Forum will launch on 10 November 2020 at 15:00. Registration is always open and free. The final workshop will address the issues of open innovation and science communication within co-creation practicing and promoting organisations and networks.

Contacts: For more information and feedback, please contact us at: olgaglumac@spi.pt; tedoraaibu@spi.pt

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