Living labs as a tool for innovative resolution of conflicts


Wednesday 21 September
15.45 – 17.15


Krakow Living Lab
i2CAT Foundation


Sala Duomo


Living Labs emphasizes social and societal innovation that can be used to promote innovative solutions to current problems, building bridges and collaborations among people, regions, countries, and cultures.  

The current EU is also a lab, an open political experiment. It is the historical result of an attempt to solve a historical conflict by innovative means. Its founders proposed an innovative way to finish the disastrous cycle of wars between European nations, the so-called “methode communautaire”.  

In this session, we explore how European living labs can be used also to co-create innovative solutions for apparently irresoluble conflicts, like the Ukranian crisis or the climate change.  

3 cases where living labs can learn how to engage in innovative resolution of conflicts will be presented: 

  • “La methode communautaire”, the EU way to solving historical conflicts. What can living labs learn about it?
  • The current Ukranian crisis. How a Living lab in Krakow is acting helping to solve refugees’ problem. 
  • Preventing next European conflicts using creativity and cultural policies.  

The participants will learn about different approaches, best practices and techniques for managing these kind of crisis, the  citizens involvement and the living labs actions. 

New innovative ideas for managing the crisis and conflicts will be created.


Monika Machowska

She joined Krakow Technology Park 14 years ago. Monika is an experienced project manager with 25 years of professional experience. Her job is to support tech companies in their development and growth. She has been responsible for setting up, a hub for tech companies (current company’s headquarter), together with its services portfolio. Currently she is head of Business Support and Development Department, being in charge of tenants recruitment process; evaluation of applications, monitoring of tenants performance, support services for tenants (business development, B2B opportunities, networking events etc.). Monika is also responsible for international projects dedicated to technology park tenants, focused on business development/ innovation management / technology transfer & digitalization, strengthening cooperation among quadruple helix organizations. Together with her team, she undertakes initiatives aimed at better understanding of new technologies, monitoring technology trends and facilitating long-term strategic process of planning tailored policies and financial instruments for startups, SMEs at national and supranational level. Monika is a design thinking enthusiast, passionate about creative team work and project management. Her current professional challenge is to set up a urban lab in an post-industrial district of the Municipality of Krakow.

Agnieszka Włodarczyk-Gębik

She is a senior manager with professional experience in the financial sector, the FMCG sourcing office, government administration, and even NGOs dealing with urban and environmental issues. Over 25 years of professional experience, including in international cultural and business environments, has given ger the ability to openly and easily communicate with people and efficiently function and operate in various organizational ecosystems. Since 2008 actively cooperating with public sector – working for Malopolska Regional Office with responsibility for the analysis of the economic potential of Malopolska region, maintaining the cooperation with investors interested to place their business activities in the region as well as private public partnership projects and EU funded project on SME development. Responsible for creating and introducing new product development and launching product for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd. Since 2013, she has been working and developing at the KTP, where she deals with the coordination of regional and international projects in the field of smart city, innovation and regional policies on a daily basis. Since 2015,  she is a coordinator of Krakow Living Lab, supporting startups and young SMEs in designing and developing their products and services to meet clients expectations and requirements. Interests in the urban sphere: smart city, sustainable development, living lab methodology in practice, strategy for promoting local products and private label. She spends her free time sharing her knowledge and experience by taking part as a moderator and evaluator of many initiatives and competitions (smart city challenges, workshops or hackathons) or by writing various articles and studies in the field of smart city and the use of the living lab methodology. A practitioner lecturer at the Jagiellonian University and University of Technology sharing smart city concept and living lab methodology. Graduated from the Jagiellonian University, post diploma studies in SME & regional development, graduate of the Warsaw Banking Institute.

Artur Serra i Hurtado 

He is the Deputy director of i2cat research center and the former Vice president of European Network of Living Labs. Ph.D. in Anthropology  by the University of Barcelona, he developped his thesis etnographic field work studying the culture of the School of Computer Science of Carnegie Mellon University, where he met the Artificial Intelligent community,  DARPA officials and the founders of Internet at the begining of 90s. Since then he has participated in the creation of an international community of “techno-anthropologists” with colleagues in Denmark, Mexico and Spain.
He is founding leader of different research centers and labs, like CANET, Center for Internet Applications at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya and the i2cat Foundation in Barcelona, one of the first membres of the ENoLL. In 2002 started the design and building of the first community networks in Barcelona organizing the first Global Community Networking Congress in 2000, with participants from all over the world. From this experience he designed and built with Vicent Badenes from the City of Cornella,  the Citilab, the first European citizen lab opened in 2007.  In 2006, he participated in Helsinki in the launching conference of  the European Network of Living Lab, Since then he has been engaged in citizen driven innovation networks in Europe, Canada, Latin America,  the Mediterraean and now in Africa. He has participated in numerous European projects in the area of Internet technologies, applying user-driven methodologies, promoting the mission of “Empowering everyone to innovate”. Currently he is the head of the ENoLL Action Oriented Task Force on Social Innovation. At i2cat, he is leading the Digital Social Technology group, conducting now the research project Catalunya Collaboratory, based in the hypothesis of universal innovation ecosystems.  Recently, with Toñi Caro from i2cat and ESSI, European School of Social Innovation,  he is co-leading the new Horizon Europe project INTEGER, integrating social innovation into the European Innovation Ecosystems.