The participatory approach implemented
For its pilot activities, the Brussels-Capital Region cluster will carry out a process of design thinking for social innovation focused on circular economy. The design thinking methodology enables the cluster to better understand the regional context and to implement research and observation methodologies ensuring a deep understanding of user needs and engagement of the local community. Beside one core pilot activity, the Brussels-Capital Region will also focus on capacity building towards strengthening core RRI elements in the implementation of S3 strategies within the context of R&I.
The process of the Brussels-Capital Region cluster’ pilot of TRANSFORM is running in different phases. In the first phase, the cluster is running the assessment of community needs and resources. Exploring the broad topic of circular economy, the cluster selects specific community needs and challenges to address, paying particular attention to sustainability and inclusiveness of the entire participatory process.
In a fully participatory approach, BE participation, in collaboration with other local CSOs and charities, will be engaging citizens belonging to different demographic groups in design-thinking participatory workshops. These events aim at (re)defining the problem, mapping user needs, and benchmarking for the Brussels-Capital Region cluster’ pilot of TRANSFORM and are facilitated by BE participation professionals.
In a second phase, the cluster plans to facilitate the co-creation of social innovation solutions with two axes:
- INSTILL Responsible Research and Innovation components into existing projects and programmes funded by the Regional Government of Brussels-Capital, through Innoviris.
- INSPIRE, providing examples for the uptake of Responsible Research and Innovation components into regional S3. Concretely, the plan is to award cascade grants to implement innovative ideas addressing the selected collective challenges.
In a third phase, the INSPIRE axis of the pilot will carry-out rapid prototyping of solutions and their testing “in situ” with users in the community to enable the cluster to understand what works and iterate new prototypes until optimal solutions are found. The involvement of business incubators is planned to contribute to developing business models. The INSTILL axis of the pilot will propose flexible add-ons activities to existing R&I projects in different domains. These will include capacity building for R&I actors, multi-stakeholder sessions and counselling to increase responsibility and link with society in R&I.