counter

Putting People First

Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
Audience Business Culture Design Locations Media Methods Services Social Issues

Children


Disabled


Elderly


Gender


Teens


Advertising


Branding


Business


Innovation


Marketing


Mechatronics


Technology


Architecture


Art


Creativity


Culture


Identity


Mobility


Museum


Co-creation


Design


Experience design


Interaction design


Presence


Service design


Ubiquitous computing


Africa


Americas


Asia


Australia


Europe


Italy


Turin


Blogging


Book


Conference


Media


Mobile phone


Play


Virtual world


Ethnography


Foresight


Prototype


Scenarios


Usability


User experience


User research


Education


Financial services


Healthcare


Public services


Research


Tourism


Urban development


Communications


Digital divide


Emerging markets


Participation


Social change


Sustainability


Search results for 'cassarino'
16 November 2009

Recipes for disaster, a movie review by Irene Cassarino

India tailor
Over the last months Experientia collaborator Irene Cassarino has been working intensively on the preparation of Experientia’s Low2No project in Helsinki, Finland (see project site and submission summary) — where our focus is specifically on enabling positive behavioural change towards more sustainable lifestyles.

Write-ups on the conferences she attended are on this website and now Irene also reviewed the the Finnish documentary Recipes for Disaster [which by the way seems somewhat similar in concept to No Impact Man].

Recipes for Disaster is not brand new (developed and produced between 2004 and 2007 and released in Dec 2007), but as often happens with good independent movies, if you don’t manage to catch them in festivals, you miss your chance to see them almost forever (unless you are Finn: then you could have seen this one in theatres).

Luckily, Cinemambiente (Cinema-environment), an association based in Turin, not only maintains – in a rich media library – similar documentaries, but also subtitles them and organises public projections. In the case of John Webster’s documentary, half the meaning would have been lost without subtitles, since the Anglo-Finnish family portrayed there speaks two languages. More specifically, John, the father, director and inspirer of the carbon-diet experiment, speaks English; his wife replies in Finnish and the two kids speak both.

Such a language gap – in my view – is an intentional element, which represents the usual friction between those who understand the way our lifestyle is seriously damaging the environment we (will) live in, and consequently establishes new norms of behaviour people have to adopt, and the majority of people who don’t see any opportunity, as an individual, to save the world, and are recalcitrant in discussing and possibly changing their beloved habits.

The documentary reports on the 1-year adventures of a family in Espoo, Finland, that wants to slim down its carbon emissions. John’s family regularly escapes from the Finnish darkness to warmer sides of the globe by plane, drives to and from home to work/school/shopping, pilots a motor boat across the beautiful lake … like any regular family with two kids.

John proposes a detox diet. They start from a carbon weight of almost 20 tons of C02 per capita, while the sustainable amount of emissions is 3 tons. Basic recommendations to lose weight are: no more car (the kids say a sentimental goodbye to it), just oars and muscles with the boat, no more airplanes, no more new plastic (!!), all this for one entire Finnish year. The three members of the family that had to accept – or better stand – the experiment, suffered in several ways: discomfort, shame (they didn’t want to tell others), social discrimination (especially the children)… but they got back the only value that is more scarce than energy resources: time. Time to spend together, to talk with the kids on the bus, to share and shape tiny details (how do I get toilet paper not wrapped in plastic?), to big issues (John ended up starting a new entrepreneurial activity: selling vegetable oil for cars).

At the end of the year, the most rewarding time eventually came: when John shared with his team the result of their diet (they lost 52% of their carbon “weight”!) and their joint satisfaction was enough to forget the pain of the past year and halt the anorexic temptations of John-director (he eventually realises: “Well, the experiment hasn’t been perfect. But who said it should have been?”).

This conveys the crucial message that information and feedback are extremely important to support behavioural change. The better they are provided (hopefully not just once per year, as in this case, and via voluntary difficult calculations), the bigger is the power in people’s hands to shape their own behaviours and habits accordingly: otherwise, every recommendation sounds like a duty and ends up being hated and refused (“Are you behaving like Jesus? You seem to want to change people’s minds”, says John’s wife in a peak of frustration).

The documentary is worth seeing. Waiting for the moment when the producer will decide to upload a digital copy with English subtitles, please ask Otto Suuronen of the Finnish Film Foundation for it.

13 November 2009

Irene Cassarino: The social dimension of environmental sustainability

Environment Park
Experientia collaborator Irene Cassarino went yesterday to the international “The social dimension of environmental sustainability” conference, organised at Turin’s Environment Park with the support of the City of Turin. The event, which focused on the importance of social aspects in achieving environmental sustainability, took place in the context of the CAT-MED European Project (Change Mediterranean Metropolis Around Time).

Here is her short report:

Our shoulders feel heavier today: we just learned from Gian Vincenzo Fracastoro, expert in green energy policies and solutions from the Polytechnic of Turin, and vice-director of its Department of Energy, that the average C02 emission of a Turin citizen is 9 tons per year.

The objective of the Turin municipality is to reduce this by 18-20% by 2010. Solutions, Prof. Fracastoro said, range from a larger district heating (“teleriscaldamento”) network — a method that reuses surplus heat generated from the production of electricity — to the development of renewable sources.

Yet his long-term experience studying, researching and teaching renewable energy matters convinced him that “the major source of renewable energy lies in energy saving”.

In other words, more sustainable lifestyles, together with state-of-the-art eco-constructions (like the building-lab that hosts the events of the Environment Park) will be essential in making us both happier and richer.

Massimo Bricocoli from the Polytechnic of Milan and the University of Hamburg, underlined the importance of the social dimension to enhance environmental sustainability: five case studies from all across Europe highlighted the various roles that city administrations can play in leading housing projects.

In the first case, two elderly educated couples (the so called ‘empty nesters’) decided to move from their big family house to a smaller flat in Berlin within a eco-multigenerational project, where a particular amount of square meters were allotted to people of their age. While they have been very happy with their choice, Mrs Millo, in Trieste, Italy, had a worse experience when she moved into a social eco-house building: the house was said to be very advanced with respect to infrastructure, but since she was not taught how to use it properly, she ended up with very high energy bills and eventually had to switch off all the heating and electrical equipment.

Public administrations — summed up Giovanni Magnano, Manager of the Social Housing Department of the City of Turin –- have a crucial role in making the best of social housing projects. How? By focusing on introduction/learning paths, leveraging virtuoso community dynamics and concentrating on cost reduction potential, not only for the developer, but especially for the residents.

CAT-MED, represented and introduced by the general coordinator Pedro Marin Cots, from the City of Malaga, aims at preventing the natural risk related to climate change by leveraging the convergence of metropolitan strategies and actions. The City of Turin is a member of this project, together with the cities of Malaga, Marseilles, Seville, Valencia, Barcelona, Aix, Genova, Rome, Athens and Thessaloniki, all from the Mediterranean region.

27 October 2009

Irene Cassarino: A reflection on energy efficiency and behaviour

Energy and behaviour
Irene Cassarino, an Experientia collaborator, reports on the First European Conference on Energy Efficiency and Behaviour, which took place in Maastricht last week:

What role do objects play in our life and culture? It depends on their embedded scripts. Like actors on-stage, they tell us a story, influence our feelings, enrich our knowledge and at the end play a social and even political role in our society, somewhat like movies and plays do. They share the power to influence our behaviours with other individuals, their socio-cultural context, and routines, in a dialogical way. Too abstract?

Hal Wilhite from the University of Oslo and keynote speaker at the First European Conference on Energy Efficiency and Behaviour in Maastricht a week ago (20-22 October 2009), shared with attendees the defining story of the refrigerator in India: keeping leftover food used to be associated, in India, with stupidity. What the refrigerator as a functional object was suggesting to Indians was not enough to overwrite their routines and beliefs, so at first, they refused it. Then the refrigerator kept ‘saying’: it’s good to store raw food in a cool environment before cooking. With this new message, customs in Indian houses changed to include storing of raw food in the refrigerator, and slowly but firmly, the habits and beliefs of local people changed to eventually include storing cooked food as well. A side note – people using refrigerators also increased the country’s CO2 emission by 20%.

This story is quite simple, but it does give an idea of how complex it is to design tools, services and practices to trigger behavioural change in people’s lives. This is particularly true in respect to energy saving. Behavioural research in energy saving was born as a discipline 20 years ago in the university departments of environmental psychology, and a lot of experiences and case studies have been collected so far, but despite this, the issue is still widely debated and suffers from a lack of interdisciplinary cross-fertilisation.

Some objects, for instance, are introduced to market with an explicit script (the refrigerator to store raw food) and with potential scripts to change people’s attitudes (refrigerator to store cooked food). Scripts have to be taken into account and leveraged by designers in a positive way, but few designers have been ready to participate in the dialogue.

From supply to demand management

All speakers acknowledged that the climate change challenge is addressed so far with a strong emphasis on the supply side (as much energy as we want, but greenly produced and smartly distributed), while there is barely no systematic approach on the demand management front. A considerable amount of research has been done though by universities and research centres, especially in the household sector, while few efforts have been devoted to studying behavioural change in business organisations.

Many conceptual approaches and methodologies have been presented: this is not a signal of disciplinary confusion at all, because -– as Charles Vlek from the Groningen University pointed out — the more they are combined and tailored, in specific interventions, the more effective they become. Paul Stern from the US Research Council reworded this recommendation as the “full court press” approach. The audience waited with anticipation for his scientific estimations on opportunities for emission reduction in 5 to 10 years, but he was unfortunately unable to share much about his paper because it was under embargo from his editor.

Irmeli Mikkone from Motiva, Finland, presented the European Energy Network programme (EnR), a voluntary organisation that since 1992 has gathered 22 members from the whole of Europe, operating in 8 different working groups (from behavioural change, to labelling and eco-design, monitoring tools and common databases).

Methodological challenges

A common issue in several research papers was that results on energy use and percentages of reductions were just calculated –- that is deduced from information collected by users themselves and delivered to the researcher through questionnaires. This was criticised as a highly unreliable methodology. Although it is understandable from the point of view of budget constraints, the use of energy smart meters in research could be a valuable alternative. Similar issues refer to the fact that people often volunteered in these studies, while a professional recruitment system –- which also implies financial reward for participants –- would have led to more reliable results.

Discrepancies between attitudes and behaviours also introduce bias into research: meaning that it is not enough to ask people to what extent they support the environment and related policies. The change in their actual behaviour is the issue, and this holds true also for government and administrations. As Shane Fudge from the University of Surrey noticed, although the UK government has a strong strategy for behavioural change (the Enable, Encourage, Exemplify, Engage diamond), actual results are quite disappointing: emissions of CO2 continue to increase, as well as the rate of car use and air travels.

Leveraging people

“I want to change but I don’t want to be changed by others!”; the challenge is to leverage people’s intrinsic motivations, a member of the audience pointed out. How to do it? According to Gerjo Kok from the Department of Psychology and Neurosciences at Maastricht University -– in order to plan a successful intervention to foster behavioural change, the designer should concentrate on assessing needs, defining specific programme objectives (in terms, for instance, of target groups, performance objectives and desired energy saving behaviour), and choosing the right mix of methodologies, applications, development channels and continuous evaluation of programme steps.

Sible Schoone, Director of the Climate Campaign Office (Heir, Netherlands), shifted the attention to the importance of involving the consumer in climate policy: as a citizen (moral/knowledge level), as a neighbour (social level), and eventually as a customer (price/quality/easy-to-get level). Communication initiatives at citizen level involve celebrities, events and free publicity, while if you want to involve the consumer at a social level it is better to organise local events like the climate street party (competition over streets in taking energy saving measures, ending with a big party with celebrities). At customer level, it’s worth mentioning tikkie terug -– the most successful consumer campaign of the year in the Netherlands, which offered people advice and tips on energy friendly and saving behaviours via TV.

“Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new tools, but when it adopts new behaviours”
Clay Shirky

Employing this famous quotation, Karen Ehrhardt Martinez from ACEEE –- the American Council for Energy Efficient Economy –- reminded the audience that technologies are tools. Interventions must not be biased by technologies: people are the centre. Just by adopting easy to apply energy saving behaviours and measures, she calculated that it’s possible to potentially reduce carbon emissions by 9%. For big countries like United States, it is a huge amount. In order to underline the relevance of the motivational factor with respect to the enabling technologies, she recalled the episode in a US town, where people were told that the power infrastructure was partially broken. Citizens achieved a 30% reduction in 6 weeks and after having ‘repaired’ the problem, they maintained a 10% reduction!

Addressing the gap between research and practice

C.F.J. Feenstra was representing the Changing Behaviour Programme (CBP), a demand side management programme of the EnR (see above). Such and similar programmes are led by governments, NGOs and utilities, but most of times they are not successful due to the gap between theory and practices. The aim of the CBP is to close the gap that lies between researchers and practitioners.

Is it possible, for instance, to develop a standard toolkit for similar programmes? Steps in this direction are: creation of a public database (so far there are 27 programmes), collection of case studies, close collaboration with local practitioners as cultural mediators, identification of guidelines, identification of pilot projects to implement those guidelines (6, so far). Finally, results of pilot projects will be exploited to create the toolkit.

Identified success factors, so far, are: good understanding of the context (target groups, intermediaries) and taking advantage of ongoing similar projects (to be considered as allies and not at all as competitors since they make people more open to welcome/accept/join similar initiatives).

Examples on the ground

The aim of Sustainable Everyday, a private agency from Belgium represented by Francois Jégou, is to design affordances of embedded user scripts toward 4 kind of appliances: lighting systems, heating thermostats, washing machines and PCs.

The process went through 4 entertaining steps: casting (recruitment) of a group of friendly users; happy hours (guided tours) in user’s homes, with card games; co-design sessions in homes and design studio, with maps and “play-mobiles”, and delivery and installation of new products (prototypes) in homes.

Each member of the family was involved and design guidelines emerging from the project are: (1) provide semi-manual interfaces; (2) reset default principles, e.g.: the washing machine with preset functions easily accessible at every washing cycle; (3) favour eco-conscious artefacts and energy smart meters.

In short

These are just few notes from a much richer conference programme (more detailed notes can be requested at info at experientia dot com). Next time, the organisers will maybe manage to publish abstracts and/or presentations from the many parallel sessions, if not streaming videos! Let’s see.

The First European Conference on Energy Efficiency and Behaviour has been an initial opportunity for psychologists and sociologists to step out of their disciplinary bubble and open themselves to the debate with practitioners and operators. We were there, indeed, and it was extremely useful for us.

Unfortunately operators came mostly from public agencies, consumer associations and utilities, while designers, architects and engineers were not well represented. But this was just the first time for Europe: we are sure that next time we will find more colleagues there.

Next appointment? The Behaviour, Energy and Climate Change Conference, 15-18 Nov. 2009, Washington DC — save the date! And for those not being able to attend, there is good news: most of the presentations there will be webcast live on the conference website.

27 September 2011

Low2No Camp: entrepreneurial ideas to activate Low2No vision

Low2No
Article by Experientia® collaborator Irene Cassarino, with additional input from Jan-Christoph Zoels.

 

How do you create community services and business models for a carbon neutral building block before the buildings stand?

Thirty Finnish entrepreneurs came together last Tuesday (20 September 2011) in Helsinki to present innovative business and service models for a carbon neutral to negative building block in the Helsinki docklands Jätkäsaari.

Campers are urban enthusiasts that were challenged to develop entrepreneurial projects around sustainable living in a urban environment – with the ultimate aim of activating the Low2No vision beyond the perimeter of the 22.000 sqm of the Airut* block on Jätkäsaari.

The Low2No Camp was sponsored by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, and supported by Demos Helsinki and Experientia.

 


The Low2No block will be ready by Summer 2013. The foundations are not yet there, but excavators are already working to make the site ready. The first buildings of the Jätkäsaari neighbourhood are already under construction.

(Click images to enlarge)


On Tuesday afternoon, the Campers presented their concept ideas to an audience of stakeholders, experts and possible investors.

Indeed, while for us (the designers) the event had the bittersweet flavour of closure, for the Campers it was just the beginning of a possible entrepreneurial path. Their adventure started in June, when – along with the Demos Helsinki crew – they sustainably travelled (boat + train) to the Maker Lab in Berlin. Refreshed and excited through the intense and multicultural brainstorming sessions, they came back to Helsinki with five preliminary ideas to be grown into concept and eventually entrepreneurial proposals.

 

The Low2No Camp final showcase event took place at the Jätkäsaari information centre, where future developments of the site are depicted through information panels and interactive screens.

(Click image to enlarge)


When we met them after their Berlin campaign, the five teams of Campers were so excited about their oversea experience that helping them to boil down their ideas into viable concepts has been at the same time amazing and challenging.

Not all propositions survived the Summer break and – as always happens when voluntary effort and self motivation are the main drivers of action – the geometry of teams also changed. They all have another job after all, as the majority of budding entrepreneurs have, and some people’s availability decreased when the new season started.

 

Demos and Experientia® contributed to support Campers' concept development from idea generation to the 10 minutes pitch.

(Click image to enlarge)


The five ventures presented at the final events were – in brief:

1. 100 ways to Eden is a social enterprise that makes urban food production as integral part of our everyday life.

The carbon footprint of an industrialised food production is enormous, not to mention other negative impacts on nature, social environment and health.

The most effective way to improve the situation is to turn urban food consumers into urban food producers. This change will be possible through intensive research, education, development and networking. There is a greener and better future for all.

The first projects that will make the “shift to Eden” start to happen within next few years include:

  • Multiple “Laaritalkoot”: service of small scale planters, greenhuts, composters, aquaponics (see below) etc.
  • Experimental “Green lighthouse” serves as community and information hub.
  • Edenet: Web services for information, discussion, networking, support from the growing urban community of gardeners.

Team members: Pinja Sipari, Kirmo Kivelä, Kaisa Nirkkonen, Tomi Oravainen, Minna Ritoluoma

Minna Ritoluoma presenting 100 ways to Eden

(Click image to enlarge)


2. Aquaponics Finland designs and commercialises hydroponic irrigation and gardening systems. Aquaponics aims at replacing traditional issues surrounding access to food by essentially bringing scalable farming into the home, into the courtyard – including a warehouse scenario that in addition to supporting local food demands, handles logistics for local aquaponics users.

The project (slide presentation) will enable a considerable decrease in carbon impact due to reduced transportation, processing of food & logistics, with the added benefit of having fresh organic food grown within the fiber of the community.

Team members: Antti Kirjalainen, Peter Kuria

 

3. Pukuhuone.fi – ”Dressing Room” is an ecological style guide which believes in style before fashion, sharing before ownership and storytelling before ignorance.

It brings together local designers and artisans, vintage shops, flea markets, tailors and shoemakers, laundries and repair services to create a platform which leads the consumer to dress up with a bit more love and care.

On a larger scale pukuhuone.fi aims to slow down fashion, speed up sharing and make old (recycled, shared, something with a story) more valuable than new (anonymous, with no personality, silent).

Pukuhuone.fi fights against faceless mass production, poor quality materials, information overload and fast fashion which creates needs people don’t really have. Style will save us but we need good storytellers to make that happen.

Team members: Hanna Linkola, Outi Ugas, Anniina Nurmi, Minna Ainoa, Laura Puromies, Outi Pyy, Arto Sivonen

 

4. School of Activism is a world-traveling series of urban activist workshops and festivals: a platform for those who shape our urban future.

Two groups of 30 selected participants – activists, producers, innovators, artists, and allround urban mavericks from all around the globe – come together in a new city each year for two weeks worth of creative sessions, lectures by urban luminaries, and unforgettable urban interventions.

The School organises workshops both from pioneering mavericks of old and trailblazing innovators of the present, followed by sessions that put that breadth of knowledge and inspiration into practice to solve urban problems.

School of activisms offers the chance to solve actual problems in some of the host city’s suburbs: with plenty of time to chat on cool new ideas, get to know each other, get a glimpse into local happenings and places, and ask the questions people were always keen on asking.

Team members: Heta Kuchka, Arto Sivonen and Olli Sirén

Heta Kuchka presenting School of Activism
(Click image to enlarge)


5. Ab Hukkatila Oy – Ab Waste Ltd does toward space what internet did toward information.

Hukkatila is an development company with an eye on urban places that are empty, underused, or shunned but do have potential because of their location, demand for certain functions in the area, their unique design, unintentional and unseen attractiveness and functions. Development strategies focus are temporary usage, mixed use or ‘life after urban death’ scenarios.

The goal is to create more enjoyable urban environment, regenerate the local communities, promote mixed use of places and develop replicable concepts of synergistic space and property sharing.

Hukkatila exploits sophisticated place-bound architecture, integrated with urban food and energy saving ecosystems, open source apps for built environment, in order to make unlikely processes and collaborations happen.

Team members: Eve Astala, Virkkala Inari, Inari Penttilä, Jaakko Lehtonen, Lari Lohikoski

 

Camper Eero Yli-Vakkuri also took the chance to present No Chair Design Challenge, the provoking challenge to worldwide designers not to design any chairs for all 2012.

Are you a designer? Then look at the tutorial (video).

During their presentations Campers collected plenty of audience feedback. Next steps include a colloquium with an experienced VC and business mentor from Sitra to advice teams business and managerial approach.

Good luck to all from Experientia!

 

* The Airut Block

The block which is the result of the Low2No project will be called Airut.

Airut signifies a “forerunner” and “messenger” in Finnish, thus it is conceptually easy to link to the idea and spirit of Low2No. The block aims to be a forerunner in sustainable building and construction, as well as to spread and promote the ideas of the Low2No model of sustainable urban living.

Airut is an old Finnish word which has Germanic roots. It has been used in spoken language for about 1000 years, and was introduced in written language for the first time in 1745.

It is not commonly used in Finnish spoken language today, thus it has a fresh sound to it. Also, it can rarely be found in brand or company names.

 

Links:
- Low2No website
- Low2No Camp
- Profiles of Campers
- Low2No campers facebook page
- Demos Finland website

24 May 2011

Designing Connectivity notebook available

Designing Connectivity
On 15 March 2011 the DeST Research Unit of the INDACO Department of the Milan Politechnic together with the British Consulate General organised Designing Connectivity (pdf), a seminar on building and activating collaborative networks towards sustainability.

The seminar discussed projects that work with a variety of social and economical actors, including companies, territories and individuals, and the facilitating role that service design can play in this context.

“Connectivity is a key element in the current behavioural change approach, that started through the development of ICT technologies, and is nowadays branching out to underpin new ways to work, produce, socialise, be creative and live. Behavioural change for sustainability is the output of novel social mechanisms that are interesting to be looked at on many levels: people, companies, organisations, institutions. They are all coming together to exchange knowledge, to share experiences, to find solutions, to discuss and confront. Collaboration and connectivity are keywords that feed visions and scenarios of sustainable and collaborative futures.This theme has been explored during the seminar in relation to Creative Industries and Sustainability in order to learn by discussing, by debating, by sharing experiences and insights, and by identifying hot-spots and synergies.”

Two of Experientia’s key staff members – Irene Cassarino and Camilla Massala – presented and discussed our experience in creating a behavioural change for sustainability strategy at the Low2No project in Helsinki, Finland.

Other participants included Alessandro Belgiojoso (Project Leader, 100 cascine); Clare Brass (Director, SEED Foundation); Emily Campbell (Director of Design, RSA); Alberto Cottica (Project Leader, Kublai): Jeremy Davenport (Co-founder and Deputy Director of the Creative Industries KTN); Rosie Farrer (Development Manager, Public Services Lab, NESTA); Cristina Favini (Strategist & Manager of Design, Logotel; Project & Content Manager, Weconomy); Mark Leaver (Global Markets Advisor, Creative Industries KTN); Katie Mills (Knowledge Transfer Consultant at the University of the Arts London); Alison Prendiville (Deputy Director of C4D (Centre for Competitive Creative Design) and Course Director MDes Innovation and Creativity in Industry at London College of Communication, University of the Arts); Ben Reason (Director and Founder, Live|Work); Roberto Santolamazza (Director, Treviso Tecnologia); Adam Thorpe (Reader, Design Against Crime Research Centre (DAC), Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design); in addition to the INDACO Department team (Venanzio Arquilla, Stefano Maffei, Anna Meroni, Marzia Mortati, Giuliano Simonelli, and Beatrice Villari).

The seminar notebook is now available. A seminar blog provides even more inspiration.

7 April 2011

Experientia presentation at Fuorisalone, Milan

Designing Innovation
Irene Cassarino, Experientia’s senior open innovation expert, will be speaking on Designing for Sustainable Change at the Hub Milan on Friday, as part of the Hub’s Inspirational Conversations series at this year’s Fuorisalone in Milan.

The conversations are part of a wider event, entitled Designing Innovation: Ideas, works and story tales, that involves workshops, exhibitions, and inspirational conversations with the protagonists of Italian social innovation.

Irene will speak together with Eva Teruzzi, director of business R&D at Fiera Milano. Together they will address how to develop awareness of sustainability and conduct business regarding our future technologies.

“When we plan a new urban environment, we need to think of a 100-year-plus horizon,” says Irene Cassarino. “The main challenge is to create an environment that responds to the needs and ambitions of different communities of inhabitants (different also across time), in terms of long-term sustainability objectives, which are themselves uncertain and constantly evolving. This, in our experience in Helsinki (Low2No) and Denmark (FredericiaC), means ‘planning for sustainable change’. When planning technology applications that are people’s future, how can we work with companies and public administrations to develop sustainable change solutions?”

The Hub Milan is the Italian node in an international network of social, creative and professional entrepreneurs. It provides space and resources for people to be inspired, get innovative, develop networks and identify market opportunities, while building up an arsenal of experiences that will help them to truly change Milan and the world. The Hub Milan focuses exclusively on social and innovation and the people that promote it.

The Hub is located in via Paolo Sarpi 8, Milan. Irene will speak at midday on Friday April 15th and (free) registration is required.

24 February 2011

Experientia at Ecobuild 2011 in London

Ecobuild
Experientia will be taking part at Ecobuild 2011, March 1-3, in London, UK.

Ecobuild is the world’s largest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, and with more than 600 speakers, 1300 exhibitors, one of the most influential conferences in the sector.

Experientia, the international experience design consultancy, has extensive experience in innovative user-centred design and is now bringing its unique perspective to sustainable architecture projects.

The company is currently working with ARUP and Sauerbruch-Hutton on Low2No, a major low-to-no carbon impact development in Helsinki Harbour, Finland.

The Low2No project is run by Sitra, the Finnish innovation fund, and Marco Steinberg, Sitra’s head of strategic design, will make a case study presentation about Low2No at Ecobuild (Tuesday 1 March at 11:50). He will also participate in a Jonathan Glancey led panel on the role of design in creating a sustainable world (Tuesday 1 March at 13:00).

Experientia’s contribution to the Low2No project is to understand contexts, habits and beliefs that influence sustainable change in behaviour and design solutions that offer people control over their consumption and allow them to see the effects of their actions on the environment.

Renewable energy, smart grids and sustainable technologies will only make an impact if we also address the underlying behavioural issues of our energy use. Rather than individual smart meter designs, Experientia is therefore working on integrated demand management solutions, that is, a holistic approach in which advanced smart meters actually become an access point for social networking tools and services in the community, by offering things like bookings, deliveries, schedules for communal services, and information about public transport solutions.

At Low2No, Experientia applies its user research methods to evaluate the impact of the architectural and design choices on residents’ behaviours.

Experientia also led the mixed use planning of a regional and seasonal food hub offering a restaurant, cafe and natural/organic supermarket, an eco laundry and a communal sauna for the Low2No block. Engaging prospective residents early in various stages of the design of service and residential design, helped to understand people needs, desire, fears and expectations. This helped in addressing issues such as multi-story timber construction, natural vs centralized/decentralized ventilation systems, flexible layout of living spaces and the planning of smart systems to reduce residential carbon footprints in the post-occupancy phase.

Experientia researched the user requirements for smart systems to design smart home assistants:
- provide contextual real-time feedback
- analyse personal consumption (energy, water, waste…)
- incentivise reduced consumption through social reward systems
- integrate controls – holistic approach
- design intuitive and meaningful interface controls

Experientia can be visited at stand S334 of the Region of Piedmont, Italy. Representatives are Mark Vanderbeeken (senior partner) and Irene Cassarino (senior open innovation expert).

> Experientia profile page on Ecobuild website
> Background on Low2No

25 November 2010

Experientia’s framework for behavioural change towards sustainable lifestyles

Canvas8
Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken recently became one of Canvas8’s newest Thought Leaders, lending his insights and knowledge to the site’s growing archives of articles and interviews on cultural global trends.

Canvas8 draws on the knowledge of recognised industry thought leaders to offer expert insight into attitudes and behaviour. They encourage a deeper understanding of people so brands and agency planners can more effectively engage with their audience. This people-centred focus is a strong fit with Experientia’s own motto of Putting People First.

Mark’s first contribution, co-written with Experientia team member Erin O’Loughlin, was a reflection on designing for sustainability-focused behavioural change. This is a vital issue, which needs to be addressed at a multitude of levels, from a national outlook of global cooperation, to action by communities and individuals.

The article (which was originally published on the Canvas8 site and is now reproduced below) outlines Experientia’s behavioural change framework, which has been developed over the course of our work in Helsinki’s Jätkäsaari area, as part of a team constructing a low-to-no carbon emissions building block called Low2No. It identifies some of the barriers to changing to more sustainable behaviours, and some of the ways that change can be promoted and supported, in particular, by the construction of new social values and norms that value sustainability over a consumption-driven economy.

*****

Sustainable change: discovering motivations and building a community of values
Mark Vanderbeeken and Erin O’Loughlin
Conceptual input by Jan-Christoph Zoels and Irene Cassarino

 

Business has been told for years that the perfect product or service should fit people’s contexts, behaviours and attitudes. The designer’s own feelings about what might make a product or service attractive should always be informed by a solid understanding of the target market, and their contextual wants and needs.

Although too many businesses still aren’t catching on to this idea, current design thinking is moving people-centred design even further: the concept of design for behavioural change, particularly with regards to health and sustainability, sees the understanding of people as a first step in changing them. Can we use design to change people rather than adapt to existing desires and behaviours? Is it ethical? Is it desirable? Is it possible?

In the midst of a worsening climate crisis, design for behavioural change is a vital issue. We know that individually and collectively, we urgently need to start consuming less. In fact, we know that individual behavioural change could reduce personal carbon impact by as much as 15% by 2020 (see Smart2020 report). Yet not only is it difficult to know which actions are the most effective, it’s also often difficult to carry them out – whether due to lack of time, lack of commitment, lack of tools, infrastructure and services, or even the feeling of being one person toiling against the mainstream, which neutralises our good behaviour. This is where design can play a huge role in helping people and communities to comply with the existing desire to be more sustainable.
 

Not forcing change – tapping into motivations

If changing people’s behaviour through design sounds somewhat sinister, don’t worry. We’re not talking about 1984-style attempts to make people act against their natural instinct. The aim is not to constrain people’s autonomy and freedom of choice, but rather to tap into those motivations that might make changing behaviour worth it to them as individuals. Of course, we are all motivated by different things. Just look at the 2007 study on ‘nudging’ people to change their behaviour through comparative electricity bills.

The study was carried out in 80,000 Californian households, half of which received feedback on whether they were using more or less electricity than their neighbours. The results showed that people who got the feedback cut electricity usage by a modest average of two per cent. But looking closer, the researchers found something interesting – homeowners who identified themselves as politically republican only cut usage by an average of around 0.4 per cent. Those republican households who showed no practical interest in the environment actually increased their consumption by 0.75 per cent.

This doesn’t mean that those people can’t be convinced to cut back on their energy use – but it won’t be comparative billing that convinces them. Feedback has to be tailored, and changing our behaviours has to bring us a result that we want – and while people may not always want to ‘be green’, non-green motivations, such as saving money, could also lead to more sustainable behaviours. It also highlights another important aspect of behavioural change: the groups and communities that we identify with can have a big impact on our likelihood of responding to certain triggers and stimulus. So, designing tools and services for behavioural change needs to start from a triple bottom line approach, which considers the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable decisions.
 

Conflicting desires

What people really want can be complicated and is of course defined by much more than our personal values. As we will discuss, physical, cultural and social factors also come into play. Often, what we want as a long-term goal, and what we want to do right now can be in conflict. Take the desire to stay trim and fit – a longer term personal value – which wavers as we walk past our favourite restaurant; or the desire to live a more sustainable life, compared to the inconvenience of walking three blocks to recycle rubbish into the right bins. Solutions need to understand the entire context of our behaviour, use the right tools to gently remind us of the benefits whilst overcoming the barriers, and then trigger the right behaviour. An elegant example of a behavioural change solution comes from Paris, where a new fountain offers locals sparkling water on tap – after discovering that aversion to still tap water was one of the main reasons many French people were buying bottled water despite concerns about the waste. A municipality in Italy is doing the same thing along its coastal walkways, in an attempt to cut down on discarded bottles. This, in turn, steps into the realm of creating products, services and public infrastructure that support sustainability – the more we build a world that supports sustainable behaviours, the easier it will be for people to change, irrespective of their values.
 

“I want to behave sustainably, but not right now”

Of course, offering us free, fizzy tap water might be a quick fix for plastic bottle consumption, but getting people to change their behaviours, and making that change last over time, is not always so simple – even when they know they should. First there is the issue of self-perception. Dirk Dobbs, in his article ‘The climate is changing, why aren’t we?’ says people often overestimate their own abilities and therefore don’t think they need to change, and have a general tendency to discount the seriousness of risks, especially if they occur far in the future.

At Experientia we’ve encountered both mentalities as barriers to more sustainable behaviour in different research projects. In one, we asked people to comment on their energy consumption use. The majority of our participants stated that they believed they used less energy than average. Obviously, statistically speaking, this can’t be true. In another project, we identified a kind of ‘on hold’ mentality, in which people are aware of the issues, want to change, and even know some basic information on what actions they could take – but put off making the changes to a “more convenient time”, perhaps waiting until they own a house to install new insulation, or get married to buy more sustainable appliances, or a new job to think about alternative ways to travel to work.
 

There is a whole world beyond the personal

As mentioned above, however, individual motivations don’t spring from nothing – they are formed by our physical environment, our culture, our social groups, our political leanings, our government’s stance and policies, and the practical tools we have at our disposal, among other things. Any attempt at behavioural change has to take action across these different areas. In Experientia’s work in Helsinki’s Jätkäsaari area, as part of a team constructing a low-to-no carbon emissions building block called Low2No, we have been working on a behavioural change framework that identifies the interplay of forces that impact our likelihood of complying with behavioural change efforts.

  • Physical considerations and constraints
    Such as the spaces in which we live, heating needs, transport infrastructure, light conditions, water and food supplies, and available technology, including the tools and interfaces which give us the information we need to make informed decisions.
     
  • Personal factors
    These include our individual green values, current consumption behaviours, transport behaviours and our levels of self-awareness regarding our own impact on climate and the available options to modify it.
     
  • Social environment
    Such as community identity, values, beliefs, memories, needs, and habits. How widely are green values shared in the community? Are people aware of pollution conditions and the associated risks? Is there a collective knowledge base about the behavioural impact on climate and the options to modify it?
     
  • Cultural context
    Finally, consider issues such as the level of commitment of public administrations and businesses to green values, the number and quality of public/private incentives for sustainable behaviours and continuous improvement and maintenance programmes, affects the likelihood of us taking personal action.

 

A framework for bottom-up change

Of course, the government has a major role to play in creating the conditions for these frameworks to thrive. Legislation will need to play a strong role in behavioural change towards sustainability. We have already seen the limits of self-governing regulatory bodies and voluntary standards in the past – Norwegian businesses only started allowing women into their boardrooms once this became mandatory, despite ten years of promises from the companies involved.

Governments will mandate change because they need to meet targets set by various international bodies and agreements. However, for change to be sustained in the long-term, it also needs to be bottom-up, and not just top-down, rising from a grassroots commitment to change, which in turn brings pressure to bear on political bodies to change at national level.

Design can support and nurture the development of this grassroots movement, through concepts that work in the four contexts described above. Our Low2No framework also defines four different kinds of actions that need to take place: Engagement and Awareness, Community Actions, Self Assessment and Leading by Example.

  • Engagement and Awareness
    As people’s awareness of climate issues are raised, they need meaningful and contextual information to help them respond. What is the difference in real terms between an A and an A++ appliance? How could this information be presented to people so that the benefits are clear? This also involves providing people with tools for evaluation, so that they are empowered to make better choices. Engagement with a new behaviour is more likely to be sustained long-term if it is easier and more convenient than previous patterns – for example, making it easier to recycle technological waste products or systems that automatically reuse grey water in gardens without any extra effort.
     
  • Community Actions
    We are social animals and our neighbours’ or peers’ behaviour will impact us strongly. We are already starting to see social reputation being used to enforce or “proof” behaviour. Comparative billing is just one example of this. How else might people’s behaviours start to change if they knew exactly what keeping up with the Joneses meant in terms of consumption?

    However, we need to go beyond the passive concept of social proofing, to help communities to build a sense of shared values, of people who have the same goals and work together. One person working alone may find it hard to sustain their commitment to a new activity – but once it becomes a social activity, family, neighbours and peers become a force of encouragement and support, with common interests. This means creating a pool of shared knowledge, accessible to all members of the community, and putting support mechanisms and networks in place to encourage compliance. This opportunity to focus sustainability efforts through the lens of community involvement also has lifestyle implications – it reframes the paradigm of urban living from one in which we live in our own households and don’t know the neighbours, to a social network in which we know exactly what our joint energy consumption is, and metaphorically (or even actually) stop on the stairs to exchange tips.
     

  • Self Assessment
    In order to translate understanding into action, people need to be able to see the real impact of their individual or group actions. Targets can help make information measurable and actionable, and simulating the impact of different alternatives can help people decide on the best course to take. Monitoring and immediate feedback can help people to see patterns in their own behaviour, showing when they are more or less compliant with their goals, and perhaps helping them to identify why. Success should be tied to rewards, from emotional satisfaction, such as having achieved the goal of using less than the average, to more tangible benefits such as financial savings or a bonus. At a community level, the ability to evaluate joint consumption and carbon emissions is an important tool for highlighting the need for further action, and the opportunity to reward sustained change.
     
  • Leading by Example
    Encouraging individuals to change is vital, but the impact has to occur at community, regional and national level. Governments and local authorities need to show their commitment to sustainable causes by facilitating open dialogue between public and private sectors, and offering public incentives to sustain change, for individuals, communities and small and big businesses alike. Positive feedback loops are needed to constantly refine processes and policies. More importantly, governments need to model the behaviours they are hoping to encourage in their populations. Change at this level can only occur once governments start to feel the pressure from their voters, and to believe that sustainability is a challenge we can no longer afford to procrastinate around.

 

A virtuous circle

The ultimate aim of behavioural change for sustainability has to be to make our lives better. If designers and policy makers can find a way to link more sustainable behaviours with a higher quality of life, then we have the problem cracked. If we can provide a context in which we can link personal satisfaction and self-actualisation with a lower rate of consumption, and a more sustainable lifestyle, then we can create a society in which wealth means not having more, but living better. To do this, people must be offered the right tools and information to effect change, as well as the conditions to create new tools and new values, and to communicate these to others. In the end, change becomes a self-reinforcing loop, in which design influences people to behave more sustainably, and people’s desire to act ‘green’ drives design and public policy.

12 December 2009

Presentations of the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference

BECC
Presentations are now available of last month’s Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference, which took place in Washington, DC.

The BECC conference focused on understanding the behavior and decision making of individuals and organizations and using that knowledge to accelerate our transition to an energy-efficient and low-carbon future.

The conference brought together people from the US and around the world to share the latest insights, research, and experiences pertaining to behavior, energy and climate change.

The 2009 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference was the 3rd annual conference to focus on accelerating our transition to an energy-efficient and low carbon economy through an improved understanding and application of social and behavioral mechanisms of change. This year’s conference built on the overwhelming success of previous BECC Conferences in which participants discussed successful program strategies, shared innovative research findings, and built dynamic new networks and means of collaboration. This conference brought together a diverse group of energy experts, social scientists, and policymakers to discuss the social and behavioral basis for, and practical implementation of, reducing energy use through the adoption and application of more energy-efficient technologies, energy conservation activities, and lifestyle changes.

Download presentations

Related materials:
- New York Times article on the conference
- Reuters article on the conference
- Article by Energy 2.0 Community
- Conference report by attendee Philip Johnson: Day 1Day 2Day 3
- Conference report by attendee Douglas Fisher: Part 1Part 2
- Conference report by attendee Scot Holliday
- A review by Experientia’s Irene Cassarino on a similar conference in Europe

2 December 2009

Smart tools to reduce our impact on the environment

UX Magazine
The latest issue of UPA’s UX Magazine is devoted to sustainable design, and one of the articles is by Experientia.

In their contribution, Experientia collaborators Michele Visciola, Erin O’Loughlin and Irene Cassarino reflect on how smart tools can help reduce our CO2 impact, and illustrate this with a case study on the company’s winning proposal (together with ARUP and Sauerbruch Hutton) for the design of a sustainable urban district in the Jätkäsaari area of Helsinki, Finland.

Some people believe that making people consume less and more carefully is not a user-centred approach because it is based on forcing people to give up things. By changing our perspective, we could see another story. We have the ability to leverage the freedom of choice of human beings to consume less to improve their health and the health of the community they belong to. They have to be provided with the right information to understand the value of their actions on their personal wealth and happiness, and tools to make such an understanding actionable. Not to have more, but to be better.

Experientia in Turin, Italy shared with ARUP in London and Sauerbruch-Hutton, in Berlin (an international agency for architecture and urbanism), an international design competition (Low2No): designing a sustainable urban district in the Jätkäsaari area of the city of Helsinki. Our responsibility was to address the delicate theme of how to initiate behavioral change to support a sustainable style of living in this completely renewed urban district.

A comprehensive strategy to facilitate behavioral change has to address the various factors that influence and constrain people’s actions, whether physical, personal, social or cultural. People must feel they have control over their consumption, with actions that have visible effect on it. Smart meters, dynamic pricing systems, and data on cost and peak usage can all address this concern.

Social behavior can also be considered as a community-regulatory process through which people assess and verify their adherence to social norms and policies. We recommended the design and implementation of a large program of design ideas and services aimed at creating social actions and customs based on green values.

Because our perception of what’s possible dictates our standards of what’s acceptable, we suggested included designing incentives to sustain behavioral change, along with sensors and monitoring installations that we expect will affect policy changes well beyond the boundaries of the renewed urban district.

Download article (pre-publication version)

19 November 2009

How understanding the human mind might save the world from CO2

ClimateWire
What will solve climate change? Will it be technology? Policy? A growing number of researchers and activists say it’s what’s behind it all: people. And understanding them is vital to addressing climate change, argues Annie Jia of ClimateWire in The New York Times.

“Participants at the three-day third annual Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference, which ended yesterday, in Washington D.C., focused on examining the underlying reasons behind why many efforts toward getting people to adopt more sustainable behavior have had limited success. They also explored ways to design more effective programs to change behavior surrounding climate change. [...]

The example illustrates a basic principle in social psychology: that people’s attitudes do not translate into action. But most environmental activism remains centered around the assumption that changing behavior starts with changing attitudes and knowledge.

“Social psychologists have now known for four decades that the relationship between people’s attitudes and knowledge and behavior is scant at best,” said McKenzie-Mohr. Yet campaigns remain heavily focused on brochures, flyers and other means of disseminating information. “I could just as easily call this presentation ‘beyond brochures,’” he said.”

Read full story

>> Read a review by Experientia’s Irene Cassarino on a similar conference in Europe

27 January 2009

Two Experientia/Vodafone workshops at the upcoming LIFT conference

LIFT 2009
Experientia, in collaboration with the Vodafone User Experience team, is running two workshops on 25 February at the upcoming LIFT conference to present the results of two recent projects and explore their impact.

KashKlash: exchanging the future

Join us for a workshop to explore alternative methods of exchange. The focus is on a possible future ecosystem – in a new world where today’s ageing, less useful and even dangerous financial systems are replaced by (or mixed with) more disruptive innovations and exchanges. Imagine yourself deprived of all of today’s financial resources. Maybe you’re a refugee or stateless. Yet you still have your handset and laptop and Internet and a broadband cellphone connection….

This is one of the provocations posed on KashKlash , an open forum and web project focusing on alternative economies in a post-money future. What will such a world look like? How will the concept of value be measured? What concepts will shape the formal and informal economies? Bright thinkers from around the world came together to discuss, debate and ideate in this innovative and exciting project.

KashKlash is a collaborative project between Heather Moore of Vodafone, Irene Cassarino, Mark Vanderbeeken and Michele Visciola of Experientia and a group of independent visionaries. The project started with four bright and innovative provocateurs, Nicolas Nova, Joshua Klein, Bruce Sterling, and Régine Debatty, and as the debate gathered steam, contributions, comments, flickr photos and twitter streams rolled in from more than 50 additional participants to shape and envision possible futures.

Intrigued? We are looking forward to exchanging ideas with you. See you at the workshop!

Lifestream – Visualizing my data
Explorations of large quantity information visualization

Current technologies allow people to capture, warehouse and retrieve vast amounts of data; more information than we can comprehend as individuals – more than we will ever need. As we move through our days, generating text messages, phone calls, photos, documents, and their inherent metadata, we are not conscious of the cloud of information that we create and carry with us.

In a world where we are constantly bombarded by more information than we can process, it is tempting to entrust this information to computers to store and organise for us. It is tempting to think that the more we store, the safer our memories and important ideas are. We let paradigms that are logical for computers govern the way our personal data is organised and accessed, at the expense of more human forms of interaction.

This workshop explores new paradigms to overcome the defects of current visualization methods. How can interfaces support traditional ways of coping with large amounts of information? How best can we facilitate such cognitive processes such as forgetting and constructing memories? Can our data be presented to us in such a way that it accrues layers of meaning, enhances nostalgia about our past, keeps us in contact with the present, while aiding us in thinking ahead? How can we design information patterns to make visible the connections, patterns and coincidences in our lives, remind us of favourite memories and moments, and allow all that is no longer relevant to fall away like dust.

The workshop by Willem Boijens, Vodafone, and Jan-Christoph Zoels, Experientia will introduce insights and examples of information visualizations, engage the participants in interactive exercises and team discussions.

I might want to add that the original concepts on both projects stem from Willem Boijens (Vodafone) as well, who was also the driving force in making sure that these projects would be presented at the LIFT conference.

A third workshop might be added still. More soon.

22 February 2007

Cinema 2.0 project in Turin

CineTma
“Open source cinema launched in Turin” is the headline of an article in the Nova24 supplement of Italy’s newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, published on 25 January 2007. Here is a quick (and rough) translation.

Turin is setting up a second-generation type of cinema. It is written, created and distributed by a community of film lovers. The project is called CineTma (www.cinetma.org) and is about to be launched by Finpiemonte and the Piedmont Region as part of its broader “Creativity Platform”.

This initiative bets on a new and sustainable development for the movie industry: to make a feature movie where script, casting, soundtrack, investment and distribution result from the collaboration of many movie lovers, who can taken possession again of the cinema product by investing their creativity in an interactive web platform.

Also the editing process can now be done in streaming, thanks to a new open-source technology developed by the Polytechnic University of Turin. It allows various editors to work simultaneously on the same material online. [...]

This of course means that the very concept of creating something needs to be redefined.

And this is what the people behind the CineTma project are doing, inspired by the pioneering experience of “A Swarm of Angels,” which gave birth to the movement of “Cinema 2.0.” The connection with the Web 2.0 model is obvious: it offers the consumers of a creative product the possibility of also interacting with it: by completing it, improving it, or creating new products with the original one as the basis. [...]

In the case of Cinema 2.0, the process is not limited to the co-creation of online contents, but also includes offline activities that use human and material resources, which are of course relatively expensive on the market, to shoot the actual feature movie. As opposed to what happens in traditional movie production, the participants in the CineTma project are also its financiers, each one of them investing a small sum somma (about 35 euro). Multiplied by all those who invest in the movie, this can help assure the full movie budget, which is rarely less than 600,000 euro.

The article (available in Italian via Cotec) was written by Irene Cassarino who works on user-driven innovation policy for Finpiemonte, the agency supporting research and innovation projects in Piedmont.

22 February 2007

A focus on user-driven innovation in the Nordic region

User-driven innovation in the Nordic region
The Nordic Innovation Centre (NICe) recently launched User-Driven Innovation as a new theme within its Nordic Innovation Policies’ focus area.

The organisation just invested 1.4 million Euro to support a portfolio of projects focusing on activities in support of user-driven innovation.

NICe was set up by the Nordic Council of Ministers to promote an innovative and knowledge-intensive business sector in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

A recent call for expression of interest (deadline: 31 January 2007) provides some interesting reading on the innovation strategy in Northern Europe. Make sure to read the associated Word document.

Another worthwhile read is “Understanding User-Driven Innovation” (pdf, 399 kb, 33 pages), which was excerpted from a briefing paper which was prepared for the first meeting of the Northern Dimension Learning Forum on User-Driven Innovation (NDLF-UDI) – a project initiative of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

“The project aims to facilitate policymakers in the region to develop increased competencies in this field of innovation policy, as well as to support and inspire each other in defining the policy rationale and possible mechanisms to catalyse user-driven innovation.

The briefing paper was prepared to provide a general overview on the area of user-driven innovation, and to provide a basis for discussion of the policy rationale. The paper was geared toward a policymaking audience and is meant to serve only as an overview on the topic and a basis for discussion, and therefore does not provide the level of depth, analysis or academic rigor that would be expected from a research document.”

(Thank you Irene for the lead)