Accepted Research Papers

Following the evaluation procedure the OLLD evaluation committee has accepted the research papers. All papers reflect on the theme of the conference “Living Labs for an Era of Transitions: how human-centric approach is changing our lives” and have been classified according to its sub-topics. These are Green Transition, Digital Transition, Social Transition, Just Transition and Living Labs Transition – Methodologies & Impact.

Top Selected papers by the Evaluation Committee

Reframing Transition Pathways and Values Through System Innovation Across 9 European Regions

Carola Moujan, Isabelle La Jeunesse, Ebun Akinsete, Alice Guittard

Carola Moujan

Designer and Researcher

Track: Green Transtion

Abstract: This is an account of an ongoing participatory research involving 9 European regions at the forefront of climate change. Within the framework of ARSINOE, a Horizon 2020 project developing regional adaptation pathways and strategies across 15 countries, we implement the System Innovation Approach, a practice-based framework for innovation based on Living Labs where diverse pools of stakeholders self-assess the state of their system and co-design adaptation pathways. Living Labs are developed through a series of three workshops, each with a particular focus.  

Preliminary results show that the specifics of each territory act as triggers of situated strategies and actions that respond to challenges in novel ways. Beyond local problem-solving, the process reveals that 1) reframing problems from a holistic perspective is essential to unveil major blockers and opportunities currently overshadowed by partial viewpoints; 2) community well-being and care are perceived by Living Lab participants as core drivers for collective action; 3) finding new ways to address long-term social trends and transforming existing legal and financial frameworks are crucial to leveraging positive transitions; 4) the main types of innovations required are socio-technical, rather than technological, in nature.  

Keywords: Resilience, transition pathways, climate change, participatory research.

Blue Transitions in the Black Sea: Living Labs as a tool to support the transition to a sustainable blue economy in the Black Sea

Ebun Akinsete, Alice Guittard, Phoebe Koundouri, and Lydia Papadaki

Alice Guittard

Researcher Aephoria

Track: Green Transition

Abstract: This paper captures an ongoing joint initiative which spans three EU-funded projects active within the Black Sea region, each utilising living labs to support the overall development of the Blue Economy in a sustainable manner. The Black Sea is a complex resource-rich socio-ecological ecosystem nestled within a dynamic geo-political space, thus providing both fundamental challenges and great opportunities within the Blue Economy sectors. Each of the projects adopts diverse yet complimentary focii in terms of stakeholder groups, geographic location, thematic focus and level of governance. The paper outlines the overarching methodology of Systems Innovation implemented by the initiative, before presenting each project and the activities undertaken therein. The paper concludes on the potential implications held by emerging findings, both methodological and thematic, on the sustainable development of the Blue Economy and related policy in the region.

Keywords: Living Labs, Co-creation, Blue Economy, Black Sea, Systems Approaches.

Festivals as Living Labs for System Innovation, Experiences from the interdisciplinary innovation programme DORP

Aranka M. Dijkstra, Sybrith M. Tiekstra, Marije Boonstra, Peter Joore

Aranka Dijkstra

Festival experimentation - NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences

Track: Living Lab Transition

Abstract: The use of Living Labs is a promising approach to develop and test sustainable system innovations. A Living Lab approach that is yet to be discussed in literature, is that of a Festival Living Lab (FLL). Festivals can be considered as temporary mini societies with systemic sustainability challenges regarding water, energy, housing, logistics, waste management, food and behaviour. Since a festival is built up from scratch every time the event is hosted, adjustments can be made to its overarching system, and mutual interrelations between different aspects of the system can be experimented with. To evaluate the potential of FLLs as effective real-life experimentation settings for sustainable system innovation we present the Living Lab Activity Framework (LLAF), distinguishing various innovation stages and system levels. We deploy the LLAF to evaluate a selection of innovation projects within the DORP Festival Living Lab at the Welcome to The Village festival in The Netherlands, demonstrating that festivals can host various stages of the innovation process on different system levels 

Keywords: Festival living lab, real-life experimentation, evaluative framework, sustainable system innovation. 

Me or the machine, who decides? Acceptance spillover of digital automation for a sustainable transition

Emilie Vrain and Charlie Wilson

Emilie Vrain

Research Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Track: Green Transition

Abstract: To meet net zero targets and achieve a sustainable transition, the electricity network needs to become more integrated, decentralised, and flexible. Digitalisation – specifically provided through algorithms and automation – of daily life activities has huge potential to enable such a network. Many daily life activities have already become automated and/or are controlled through algorithms, e.g., paying our monthly bills, searching for information online and streaming entertainment recommended to us. However, activities with greater impact on the energy system, such as home energy management, struggle with issues of trust and acceptance from end-users. Research is lacking on the concept of acceptance spillover, the acceptance and use of automation in one activity or domain of daily life and the impact it has on acceptance and use in another. 

As part of a living lab of UK households with wide ranging characteristics (household composition, socio-economic, digital engagement, home type and ownership, rural/urban location), this research will conduct two distinct trials which automate daily life activities. We will use a mixed methods approach of interviews, surveys and activity-specific behavioural and energy monitoring data to: 1) detect feedback mechanisms of automation experience and potential acceptance spillover across activity domains that have varying levels of impact for a sustainable transition; 2) identify generalisable insights on factors influencing acceptance of automation across different activities of daily life; and 3) contribute to the literature on time-use, energy and resource impacts of specific automation technologies. 

Keywords: Daily life, energy use, IoT, automate activities, technology acceptance model.

Integrated Impact Assessment of Living Labs

Roger Bär, Jan Rosset, Selin Yilmaz, Valentino Piana, Stephanie Moser, Nina Boogen, Manuel Grieder

Roger Bär

Senior research scientist at the Centre for Development and Environment CDE at the University of Bern and at the Forum Biodiversity at the Swiss Academies of Sciences

Track: Living Lab Transition

Abstract: Switzerland aims for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Against this background, the LANTERN project uses urban Living Labs to co-design, test, validate, and scale up a portfolio of interventions that can contribute to a more user-empowered, decarbonized, resource efficient and sufficient energy consumption in Switzerland. An important component of this project is the development, test, and application of an integrated impact assessment.

However, an important limitation of the Living Labs approach that has been identified in the literature is that it has failed so far to convincingly demonstrate its impact.

To contribute to the discussion about how to overcome this gap, we are currently developing a conceptual framework with support of our project’s different work packages and Living Labs using a co-design approach.

This Research-In-Progress paper will present the current state of the ongoing work related to the integrated impact assessment in the LANTERN project, thus providing the opportunity to receive feedback on our work in progress and to discuss our experience on the topic of impact evaluation of Living Labs with the other conference participants.

Keywords: Living Labs, Energy, Integrated impact assessment, Conceptual framework, Methods, Socio-technical systems.

Towards living lab value proposition: Living lab experts’ perceptions on living lab value

Teemu Santonen, Silia Petronikolou, Despoina Petsani, Sarantis Dimitriadis, Panos Bamidis, Evdokimos Konstantinidis

Teemu Santonen, DSc

Principal Lecturer Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Track: Living Labs Transition

Abstract: Prior studies have argued that the value what living labs are providing is blurry. Grounded on the Living Lab experts’ opinions, the study aims to identify the key value proposition elements for Living Labs. An online workshop was arranged in which 22 experts provided a total of 209 value proposition suggestions. Participants were asked to generate value propositions for the following Living Lab customer groups and for different innovation process phases: researchers, policy makers and public authorities, and SMEs/companies. The suggestions were strongly relying on the activities that living labs are doing and resulted in an initial categorization of Living Lab values. In the follow-up process, expert arguments were used as a guidance for literature search, in which the following quantifiable value proposition elements were defined: 1) Economic benefits, 2) Improved innovation, 3) Better validity and reliability, 4) Benefits for the users and society, 5) Enhanced collaboration and networking possibilities, 6) Safe environment for RDI and 7) Increased skills and capabilities.

Keywords: Value proposition, Expert opinion, Living lab benefits, Living lab value.