Photo by Polina Chistyakova from Pexels.

The ideas and recommendations gathered during the event contributed to the definition of Regione Lombardia’s strategic plan.


After the survey conducted in April 2021, the citizen engagement activities carried out within the TRANSFORM project continued with the organisation and testing of an online deliberative workshop. The event took place on the Zoom platform on 29 May and involved 18 Lombardy residents. This methodology, which has been widely applied in various countries and on various issues, consists of a meeting in which a small group of people is asked to express their opinions in an extensive manner on a specific topic. The deliberative workshop follows a structured dialogue format and begins with an information and learning phase.

For an in-depth look at participatory methodologies and their application in Europe, click here to download the OECD report “Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave”.


The theme of the TRANSFORM workshop, the Just Energy Transition for All, was selected by the project partners based on the citizens’ interests and needs that emerged from the survey – the first step of the participatory process – and allowed the topic of sustainability to be explored in all its dimensions, including the social one. With the support of an agency specialised in this type of activity, the citizens that were called to participate in the workshop were selected in a balanced way considering gender, age group and province of residence. The discussion, which was moderated by professional facilitators, was structured and divided into plenary sessions (with the full group of 18 participants) and moments of dialogue in smaller subgroups (each with 6 participants).

The workshop opened with an informative phase, during which the theme of energy transition was introduced via a video interview with Nicola Armaroli, who is the Research Director of the Italian National Research Council in Bologna, one of the most-cited Italian experts in the international literature on this topic. Afterwards, Luca Donelli, President of the Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster (LE2C), spoke in an online session, illustrating through a presentation the technological solutions and lines of research that can be introduced to facilitate the energy transition, focusing in particular on the initiatives and strategy in place at regional level. The expert then remained at the participants’ disposal to answer their questions and interests (e.g. on the future prospects of hydrogen).

In the discussion concerning the actions to be taken to start the energy transition in Lombardy, the citizens identified 10 macro-areas, of which 3 were designated as priorities:

  • education, training and job innovation;
  • better services and green incentives for housing (public and private);
  • and digitalisation of PA.

For each selected macro-area, they then analysed issues and opportunities related to “social justice”: the need to retrain workers engaged in non-renewable energy chains, as well as opportunities for new green jobs; difficulties in providing information and accessing existing incentives, and; problems related to the digital divide and especially the digital literacy of the older population.

Finally, participants produced a set of recommendations in the three priority areas discussed, aiming to facilitate the training or retraining of professionals, to address and solve the complexity of the mechanisms related to the use of incentives in order to render them more accessible and to support the needs of the older population in using digital services.

deliberation workshop Italy

The event was a success. The considerations and ideas that emerged during the participatory event provided Lombardy Region and Finlombarda with useful elements for writing the 2021-2023 Strategic Programme for research, innovation and technological transfer (STP), which was approved on 19 October.

Moreover, in the evaluation questionnaires filled out following the close of the event, the participants expressed great satisfaction, both for the format of the deliberative workshop and “the innovative opportunity that the Lombardy Region has given citizens to express their opinion on an important issue such as sustainability and ecological transition”, confirming the positive effects of this type of initiative on the relationship between citizens and public institutions.

Click here to download the workshop report.


Photo by Roy from Pexels

Citizens’ needs, which emerged from the survey proposed by the European project, have been integrated into the 2021-2023 Three-year Strategic Programme for Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer guiding research and innovation


This past 19 October, the Regional Council approved the new “The 2021-2023 Three-year Strategic Programme for Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer, the governance tool that guides the development of Lombardy in the field of research and innovation. The Programme “traces the lines of development of research and innovation to respond to the global challenges of our time, through a distinctive approach that puts people and their needs at the centre of all choices,” as explained by Lombardy governor Attilio Fontana.

In order to investigate the needs of the population in the field of research and innovation by directly involving citizens, in 2021 the TRANSFORM project designed and conducted a dialogue process structured in two phases: a survey, which will be discussed in the following paragraphs, and a deliberative workshop, information on which can be found at this link

The first phase of the process – the survey – took place at the end of April and involved a sample of one thousand Lombardy residents, selected so as to have a group of participants representative of the Lombardy population in terms of age, gender and province of residence. The responses, collected with the support of an agency specialising in this type of survey, were then analysed by the Giannino Bassetti Foundation and integrated by Lombardy Region – with the support of Finlombarda – into the new Programme.



The results of the survey highlighted

  • ‘quality education for more children and young people’,
  • ‘decent work for more people’,
  • and ‘less pollution impact of cities’

as the most urgent objectives for the area (indicated by 66%, 65% and 62% of the sample, respectively). According to the interviewees, two of these same ambits – education and work – have been among the most affected by the health emergency: “quality education”, “improving health and well-being”, and “decent work” are in fact the objectives that have become even more important in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the greatest impact recorded especially in larger families.

Young people aged 18-24 showed greater sensitivity to issues related to environmental sustainability, including ‘more responsible consumption and production’, ‘mobility infrastructure’, ‘more people using clean and safe water for consumption and personal care’, and ‘more action to protect biodiversity’.

Among the most important personal and family needs, respondents indicated needs related to health, work and safety (“preventing illness” 87%, “living in safe environments and contexts” 85%, “having user-friendly citizen services” 83%, “moving on safe roads” 83%). Two-thirds of the participants indicated research and innovation as tools capable of providing answers to these needs, especially in the medical field, while another 24% considered that scientific and technological development could play a partial role.

Who to involve in the design of research and innovation policies of Regione Lombardia? According to survey participants, universities/research centres and the government are at the top of the list, as are citizens (37%) and public bodies, specifically municipalities (35%). Businesses and the European Union, important players in the regional research and innovation system, are in fifth place (28%). 

The issues related to environmental sustainability, which emerged as priorities based on the responses, were further investigated at a later date during a deliberative workshop. The pilot event, entitled “Just Energy Transition for All”, took place on 29 May 2021 and involved 18 citizens living in Lombardy.


Photo credit: Photo by Alex Vasey on Unsplash.

16 June 2021

TRANSFORM took part in the online workshop L’innovazione alla prova dei territori: co-creazione, agende collaborative e ricerca responsabile’ organised by ART-ER within the framework of the TeRRItoria project  funded by Horizon 2020.

The objective of the webinar was to present some elements that have emerged from the experimentation phase. Together with other actors at national level that deal with responsible research and innovation (RRI) and co-creation practices, the most useful elements for the development of collaborative research and innovation projects with territorial effects were defined.  The themes of co-creation, collaborative research agendas, design for responsible innovation and RRI in general were discussed. The webinar showcased concrete cases of citizen participation and presented the first draft of regional guidelines for RRI, developed in a participatory process.

TRANSFORM’s Project Coordinator and leader of the Lombardy regional cluster Angela Simone from Fondazionne Giannino Bassetti (FGB) presented co-creation and participative methodologies applied within the project. Moreover, Tatiana Fernandez representing the Generalitat de Catalunya (GENCAT), a regional Government of Catalonia which is part of TRANSFORM’s Catalan regional cluster, talked about RRI in regional programming from a perspective of Catalonia, one of the pioneers in the implementation of RRI in the regional R&I.

The webinar took place took place on Wednesday, 16 June from 2 pm to 4 pm CET and it was held in Italian as it was targeting Italian stakeholders.

TRANSFORM Angela Simone
TRANSFORM Tatiana Fernandez

EU flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 872687. This website reflects only the authors' view and the REA and the EC are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Project Coordinator: Angela Simone Fondazione Giannino Bassetti angela.simone@fondazionebassetti.org
contact: info@transform-project.eu