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How empowering is social innovation? Identifying barriers to participation in community driven innovation

AuthorsEdwards Schachter, Mónica E. ; Tams, Svenja
Living labs
Social innovation
Community-driven innovation
Issue Date2013
Citation1st Social Frontiers Research Conference (2013)
AbstractEmpowerment and community participation have been recognized as means and outcomes of social innovations. In the last decade, these ideas have been reflected in the growing movement of formal and informal ‘Living Labs’ (LLs). They are emerging as a new model of organizing collaborative innovation processes with the participation of business, government and civil actors. LLs constitute knowledge hubs that are opening a contested terrain in which habitual distinctions between ‘producers’ and ‘users’ of knowledge are increasingly blurred. This chapter investigates actors’ perceptions about power and knowledge relationships in a Living Lab context. We present an in-depth study case, complemented with information of 120 Living Labs obtained from the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) website and other secondary sources. Our findings show that participation and empowerment are constrained by relational, structural and cultural barriers. Understanding power and knowledge dynamics in innovation processes entails broadening our analytical and practical lens to consider knowledge asymmetries and struggles between ‘instru- mental’ and ‘transformative’ rationalities. Findings suggest that the governance of LLs and similar models of collaborative innovation needs to consider how the power dynamics of a given context can enable or constrain the empowerment of people as ‘users’ and ‘co-creators’ of knowledge. .
DescriptionTrabajo presentado al 1st Social Frontiers Research Conference: "The next edge of social innovation research" celebrado en London (UK) del 14 al 15 de Noviembre de 2013.
Publisher version (URL)http://www.nesta.org.uk/event/social-frontiers
Appears in Collections:(INGENIO) Comunicaciones congresos
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