Gendered Innovation Living Labs to increase gender responsive smart innovation and enterpreneurship in EU


Friday 22 September
11.00 – 12.30


Living Lab Transition: Methodologies and Impact


GILL project, Francesca Spagnoli (ENoLL)




Challenges. The EU and the UN actively promote gender equality and gender mainstreaming at all levels. Despite this, Europe shows a strong under-utilisation of female talent and still reports a high disproportion in the representation of women and those from diverse and minority groups in innovation and entrepreneurship activities and outputs.

For instance, SheFigures (EC, 2018) reported the under-representation of women in STEM education, a high drop-out rate of women at postgraduate level in STEM, the presence of discriminatory practices (e.g., pay gap and ostracism), lower career progression, and under-representation of women among innovators and start-up entrepreneurs. This is a missed opportunity for Europe’s economy and for European society that needs a serious counteraction to create gender equality in innovation and entrepreneurship to stop the large-scale, systemic undervaluing of female knowledge and potential.

A gender responsive smart approach means “going beyond acknowledging and raising awareness of gender gaps, to making sure that women’s and men’s experiences are equally integrated in the design of innovative products and services and that due consideration is given to gender norms, roles and relation.” (She UN, 2019) This requires that gender and gender issues play a key role in every phase of the innovation cycle.

How we aim to solve the issue. In the ambitious EC funded project coordinated by ENoLL, GILL will go beyond the state-of-the-art of “fix the numbers, fix the institutions, and fix the knowledge” and address the main obstacles as identified by ERAC (2019): It creates tools and methods to “fix” the culture around innovation and entrepreneurship – a 4th fix, to change the practice (as a bottom-up approach which can enable EU strategies and policies to be enacted) – to create the environment and skills needed to support Gender Responsive Smart Innovation and Entrepreneurship (GRSIE) in the OIEs.

To achieve this 4th fix, GILL will develop a pan- European, virtual, learning, and collaborative hub – embodying and built on Living Lab (LL) principles – providing information, tools, methods, and a collaborative environment to transform individual, team, and organizational practice. The 4th fix will ensure that gender responsive innovation and the culture to support this are fully integrated at all stages of the innovation process, rather than simply an added extra, and ensures gender and diversity into product design, technologies and innovation.

Goal of the debate. This session will provide attendees with insights into how effectively the Living Lab approach and methods/tools can support the transition into a more just world, not only for women, but also looking into diversity and inclusion of minorities into STEM careers. The debate will present the EC policy perspective on gendered innovation, as well as some concrete approaches from the ENoLL Living Lab community and GILL sisters projects on addressing the challenges of our current times on both organizational and cultural changes needed in the workplace to support not only professional development and educational practices to be improved towards gendered innovation approaches, but also for developing technologies and innovation which are fairer and more inclusive. The speakers will share their expertise on the initiatives and projects they are involved in and offer diverse perspectives on the challenges and opportunities identified on gendered innovation and Living Labs. 

Link with our AOTFs and Working Groups 

  • Social Impact of AI 
  • Social Innovation & Digital Rights 
  • Health & Well Being 
  • Energy & Environment


  • Policy makers
  • Companies and entrepreneurs
  • Researchers & Academics
  • Living Lab representatives and practitioners
  • Innovators


11:00 – 11:05 Welcome and intro  (Francesca Spagnoli, Head of Capacity Building & Research at ENoLL and GILL Project Coordinator)
11:05 – 11:15 The policy perspective of gendered innovation Living Labs (Barbara De Micheli, Head of Social Justice Unit at Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini)

11:15 – 11:25 The ENoLL approach on Gendered Innovation through Living Labs (Martina Desole, Director of ENoLL)

11:25 – 12.05 Focus session & debate (Moderated by Francesca Spagnoli, ENoLL)
  • 10′ The GILL contribution to the Gendered Innovation methodological context through Living Labs (Andree Woodcock, GILL Scientific Lead and Professor at Coventry University )
  • 10′ Advancing gender equality in STEM Research in the EU (Marcelo Mora, Human Resources Project Manager at IRB Barcelona and CALIPER Project partner)
  • 10′ The educational perspective to support Gendered Innovation of girls in STEM (Melissa Rancourt, Founder and Board President of Greenlight for Girls)
  • 10′ The business perspective of gendered innovation Living Labs (Andra Tanase, Senior Green and Digital Strategist and Project Manager, Transilvania IT by ARIES Transilvania)
12:05 – 12:20 Debate questions
12:20 – 12:30 What’s next? The ENoLL Working Group on Gendered Innovation Living Labs – Wrap up (Francesca Spagnoli, Head of Capacity Building & Research at ENoLL and GILL Project Coordinator)


Dr. Francesca Spagnoli

Head of Capacity Building & Research at ENoLL and GILL Project Coordinator

Martina Desole

Director ENoLL

Melissa Rancourt

Founder Greenlight for Girls

Andree Woodcock

Chair of Educational Ergonomics and Design

Barbara De Micheli

Head of the Social Justice Unit in Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini

Marcelo Mora

Human Resources Project Manager at IRB Barcelona and CALIPER Project Partner

Andra Tanase

Green and Digital Strategist and Skills and Future Competences Programme Manager at Transilvania IT