Sustainable Living Lab Processes, Business Models and Goals Papers

Chairs: Dr. Joëlle Mastelic – HES-SO Valais

  • Transformative research, methods, engagement.
  • Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6).
  • Affordable & Clean Energy (SDG 7).
  • Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12).
  • Climate Action, Decarbonisation (SDG 13).

Building a platform of social entrepreneurship and living together

by Athanasios Priftis, Leonor Afonso and Theo Bondolfi

Track:  Research-in-progress


  • Web-mobile application
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Co-living
  • Collaboration
  • Communities

Abstract. The goal of this paper is to present the initial steps of a web / mobile application of co-living and social entrepreneurship to be used in European ecovillages. The application is set to improve existing co-living conditions through more collaboration between its members, thus contributing to more stability and better long term relations. The main hypothesis is that if we manage to decode and re- introduce co-living activities, already taking place in ecovillages and ecoquartiers, in a clear, open and collaborative way, then we can stimulate more entrepreneurship in between communities, as well as other actors. In order to test and implement the first version of this application and build on an open and collaborative approach, we participated in a Social Hackathon (2018) presenting our concept for establishing a prototype. The results of this effort are included in this paper. Finally, our initial deployment target public will be one network of ecovillages (Ecopol – Smala) based in Switzerland.


Athanasios Priftis

University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland / Ecopol – Living Lab

Business model review for Living Labs: Exploring business challenges and success factors of European Living Labs

by Justus von Geibler, Julius Piwowar and Linda Weber

Track:  Research-in-progress


  • Living Lab as a service
  • Living Labs
  • Business model
  • Design-driven innovation

Abstract. Living Labs offer an open-innovation infrastructure for co-creation and product testing and gained increasing attention with regard to their potential to support sustainable innovation. However, many Living Labs face the challenge of financing their services, especially, when the business models focus on solving wicked problems such as urban transition and the future of health. Based on a desktop research and four qualitative interviews with active Living Labs, this paper explored experiences of Living Labs and their business model challenges as well as main future success factors. The findings demonstrate the need and opportunities to transition from public towards private funding, e.g., to clarify the Living Lab-as-a-service beyond technology show- room and innovation workshops; to be distinct from traditional R&D tools and consul- tancies and to place services within established innovation funding schemes, e.g., start-up vouchers. Furthermore, the results indicate challenges according to balancing the innovation process of flexibility and standardisation. Although iterative and agile processes are core values of the Living Lab, the innovation process needs some stand- ardisation to allow efficiency gains and to comply with public regulations, e.g., by struc- turing the process and to include descriptions where and how to use Living Lab meth- odology as well as to clarify linkages to other established design approaches. The paper concludes that future research needs to better understand the linkages between entrepreneurship and design research, e.g., towards design-driven innovation and user experience design.


Justus von Geibler

Wuppertal Institute, Research Unit Innovation Labs

Julius Piwowar

Wuppertal Institute

Facilitate innovation and collective intelligence through play

by Yves Zieba and Isis Gouédard

Track:  Innovation Papers


  • Boundary objects
  • Collective innovation
  • Collective intelligence
  • Digital fabrication revolution
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Inclusive and participatory approach
  • Living Lab tools
  • Natural Resources
  • Economic and social value creation
  • Mission Innovation
  • Gamified tools and technics
  • Inclusive mindset
  • Co-creation and co-construction
  • Quadruple helix
  • Multi-sensory experience

Abstract. While companies, universities, citizen and governments become aware about the Sustainable Development Goals, they are confronted with challenges as well. How to set the goals, how to agree on priorities, how to convince everyone, how to mobilise employees or advocates ? That is where our specifically designed methods and gamified tools help stakeholders turn SDGs intentions into action plans. This article relates our experience and gives a taste of our magic recipe and ingredients. Simple game rules and an inclusive climate of trust; openly oriented towards co-construction. These basic principles are the fundamentals of our innovative, inclusive and participatory approach based on the establishment of a permanent dialogue between populations and technical agents, on mutual respect and the principle of partnership, as well as on the recognition of local know-how. We use the concept of boundary objects as a foundation for the pursuit of a common goal and help to minimize or avoid conflicts. Our playful approach combined with our games made of natural materials allows us to highlight the multi-sensory dimension of the experience we offer. By stimulating all the senses, everything makes sense!


Yves Zieba


Isis Gouédard

Co-founder of KoKrea Lab, gamified collective intelligence facilitator

Launch Process of a Living Lab and Required Leadership for Practitioners

by Masataka Mori and Kyosuke Sakakura

Track:  Full Research 


  • Process of launch
  • Launching
  • Components
  • Leadership
  • Orchestration

Abstract. This research aims to clarify the process to set up living labs and required leadership for its practitioners regardless of social condition each country or community has. Using Forum Virium Helsinki in Finland, High Tech Campus Eindhoven in the Netherlands and Living Labs Taiwan as a case study, data were collected through web surveys and interviews and analysed with Grounded Theory Approach. As a result, research shows three phases of launch process (launch, foundation and involvement) and eight components(theme setting, ecosystem formation, co-creation approach, funding and framework, places and opportunities, media and transmission, citizen-based projects and leadership)are essential to set up a living lab, and five principles with sixteen actions(co-creation, empowerment, exploration, open and fair, and reflection)are required for leaders, which we call “orchestratorship”.


Masataka Mori

Research Analyst

Kyosuke Sakakura

Associate Professor

Living Labs need sustainable business models: the Funding Mix Framework to bridge the gap between theory and practice

by Edoardo Gualandi and Flavia Fini

Track:  Innovation Papers


  • Living Lab
  • Financial sustainability
  • Long-term viability
  • Social value 
  • Social challenges
  • Business model
  • Revenue model

Abstract. Living Lab (LL) represents an emerging innovation methodology which has the potential to bring together different actors in a collaborative process to develop solutions to diffuse social problems. Nevertheless, a substantial number of Living Labs struggle to translate the value created into a sustainable revenue model and, thus, they often present an unintended temporary nature. Research about Living Labs is primarily focused on theoretical and methodological aspects, while good practices, especially for what concerns funding, revenue and business modelling, are still under-researched. In this paper, we analyze good practices and critical problems of six LLs from across Europe. Then we apply the previously developed Funding Mix Framework to understand if it can be considered valuable support for LLs to develop a more sustainable revenue model, ensure long term viability and scale up their operations

Sustainable person-centered Living Lab for regional management as extension of Japanese dementia care activities

by Atsunobu Kimura, Mizue Hayashi, Fumiya Akasaka and Masayuki Ihara

Track:  Research-in-progress


  • Philosophy of person-centred
  • Living Lab
  • Regional management
  • Co-creation
  • Sustainability

Abstract. One of the difficulties of Living Labs (LLs) is ensuring their sustainability. Our research focuses on creative person-centred care activities on dementia for 19 years in Omuta city, Japan. We analyzed their sustainable co-creation activities and extracted 3 key functions (pursuing regional philosophy, sharing the philosophy with neighbors and co-creating activities with the neighbors). This paper proposes sustainable LL as regional management method to utilize those 3 key functions. To societally implement the sustainable LL based on Omuta’s philosophy of person-centred (person-centred LL), Omuta future co-creation center was established in collaboration with Omuta local municipality. The center and Omuta local municipality tackle comprehensive regional management through sustainable LL activities.


Atsunobu Kimura

NTT Service Evolution Laboratories

The value of participatory approaches in developing energy services

by Joelle Mastelic and Stéphane Genoud

Track: Innovation Paper


  • Living Labs
  • Energy Services
  • Social Marketing

Abstract. How can stakeholders be involved in the development of energy services to increase energy efficiency? What is the optimal process for engagement? This is what has been tested in this Living Lab, which focuses on energy efficiency. This innovation paper is based on several applied research projects. Its objective is to disseminate research results. The advantages of the Living Lab method for developing energy services are highlighted. The main steps of the Living Lab Integrative Process are summarized in a checklist for professionals and includes: (1) Selection of a practice, (2) Identification of barriers, (3) Integration of stakeholders, (4) Development of a pilot, (5) Measurement of results, (6) Communication and dissemination. In conclusion, this vulgarization article facilitates the transition from the local to the global scale by encouraging the development of Living Lab mode initiatives in the energy sector.