Co-creating services for smart cities

ENoLL Open Living Lab Days 2017 gathered living lab experts, researchers and practitioners to Krakow during 29th–31th of August. The third day’s theme was learning by doing, and Smart Kalasatama together with Laurea University of Applied Sciences gave a workshop to share learnings with the ENOLL network. The workshop focused on models, processes and ecosystems to create smart city services. The introductions provided learnings and experiences from a recent case from Helsinki, Smart Kalasatama Living Lab.

Zooming on Health and wellbeing in Smart Kalasatama

A new health and wellbeing centre is rising to Kalasatama, a central new area in eastern downtown of Helsinki. The new center besides being the largest in the Helsinki area will also serve as a platform for development and experimentation a testbed for new wellbeing services. To support this plan, Laurea was commissioned to draft a model for the development and experimentation platform for wellbeing services for the city of Helsinki.

The Department of Social and Healthcare Services of the City of Helsinki has started to implement and realize the model in practice in collaboration with Smart Kalasatama Living Lab. A central role in the model is the Circle of Facilitators, that serves as an enabler for innovation activities and cultivates a wider ecosystem. Laurea has also drafted a similar model for the city of Espoo, but in the context of school as an innovation platform.

Workshop focused on living lab ecosystems and co-creation of smart city services.

How it works in Kalasatama and Helsinki

Although the new health station is still under construction, the model has been taken into practice in Smart Kalasatama health and wellbeing context. The city is committed to experiment and to support collaboration with companies and third sector organisations. Laurea’s model works as a cookbook for city developers: The model from Laurea provided thematic roadmap that helps in defining the challenges for the pilots. The Circle of Facilitators has been formed and has a central role in running the activities. Agile piloting – a ready format that had previously been used in Kalasatama – offers a complementing process to find and test interesting smart service prototypes and get things happen.

The participants of the Circle of facilitators are no steering group but people who are actually doing the work. In Helsinki Social and Healthcare context, the Circle of Facilitators includes the business advisor of the city, the principal doctor and project manager responsible of the new health center, Business accelerator, and last but not the least the Living Lab team for Smart Kalasatama Living lab who participates in running open calls and experimentation phase. Depending on the pilot themes, participants from other relevant collaborators are included in these activities.

Building open innovation ecosystem

One essential question for living lab activities on open innovation platform is: how to reach for the wider ecosystem – different stakeholders – to help and support the co-creation of new services?

In Smart Kalasatama, the agile piloting process includes various co-creation activities related to the pilots bring together a wider range of stakeholders representing the whole urban community: public sector, academia, NGO’s, companies & start-ups and the residents. The models for co-creation serve for building and strengthening the ecosystem and engaging the urban community to the development of new services. The key is relevance to the pilot – and demands handpicked actors to the sessions. Success in our terms is the accumulated learnings, as an outcome of co-creation by tight facilitation and meaningful encounters.

Living lab experts, researchers and practitioners gathered to Krakow in August.

Discussion: Learnings and best practices

The lively discussion in the workshop concentrated on two questions:

a) How to cultivate multi-actor cooperation on the development and experimentation platform?
b) How to cultivate innovation ecosystems on smart city service creation?

Key learning from the workshop can be summed up as follows:

  1. Be inclusive – multi-actor cooperation demands wide perspective when thinking about stakeholders. Collaboration needs to provide value for all participants.
  2. Ecosystem collaboration is a matter of trust – Building trust between the different actors demands managing expectations, commitment and engagement. Common activities and communications were identified as means to build trust.
  3. It is essential to define, map and analyse the participants of the ecosystem from the beginning of any project.
  4. The importance of assessment of impact was raised in the discussion. To win the long-term engagement of leaders: results are needed. Hence, ongoing feedback to leaders and other stakeholders is very important. Continuous evaluation is essential, and the learnings have to be shared widely (the evaluate-learn-adjust –loop).

The cities provide on one hand a neutral basis for cooperation but on the other hand a complex area with many political issues. When reflecting on the findings from the discussion, ENoLL Chair Tuija Hirvikoski, also from Laurea University of Applied Science pointed out that for co-creating smart city services, in addition to the local ecosystem, it is valuable to consider the possibilities offered by the transnational level of collaboration.

For more information:

Autumn 2016 health and wellbeing pilots: Auntie and Kuntokaverit
Programme for agile piloting in Smart Kalasatama

Hirvikoski T., Lehto P., Äyväri A., (2016). Development and experimentation platform for social, health and wellbeing services in the context of Kalasatama health and wellbeing centre. Laurea Julkaisut, Laurea-ammattikorkeakoulu. URN:ISBN:978-951-799-441-5

Sutinen P., Erkkilä K., Wollstén P., Hagman K., Hirvikoski T., Äyväri A., (2016). KYKY Living Lab handbook for co-creation by schools and companies. KYKY Living Lab handbook, City of Espoo. URN:ISBN:978-951-799-441-5

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