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Photo by Mikita Yo on Unsplash.

After the online participatory process concluded in 2021, the Lombardy cluster is now implementing an in-person public deliberation in the form of a Citizens’ Jury.

Lombardy regional cluster

The Citizens’ Jury on Responsible Smart Mobility takes place on two non-consecutive Saturdays, 11 June and 25 June, in Milan.

The objective? Within the framework of the Regional Strategy on Smart Mobility and Artificial Intelligence Lombardy Region is currently working on the implementation of innovative actions towards a regional responsible data-driven smart mobility. The citizens’ jury will gather citizens’ views on the collection, use and sharing of open data and issue recommendations to shape regional policies and initiatives on this topic.

24 randomly selected citizens from Lombardy come together to deliberate on recommendations for the Lombardy region on responsible (data-driven) smart mobility services in the territory. In the first day, taking place on 11thJune, the citizens met experts from the fields of big data and artificial intelligence, open data, smart mobility, privacy, digital rights and techno-surveillance and gender, data and mobility, providing transparent information and delving into the topic. In the second day, to be held on 25th  June, the citizens’ jury will discuss and deliberate on suggestions for regional policy makers on relevant societal and ethical issues around data-driven mobility in Lombardy.

What is a citizens’ jury? 

Citizens’ juries are a tool to engage citizens on a range of issues. A citizen jury is a method of deliberation developed by the Jefferson Center where a small group of people (between 12 and 24), representative of the demographics of a given area, come together to deliberate on an issue (generally one clearly framed question), over the period of 2 to 7 days. Their small size allows for effective deliberation, but they are sufficiently diverse and citizens are exposed to a wide range of perspectives.

Source: INVOLVE


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Can citizens be involved in the political decision-making of a municipality? The answer is yes, and in TRANSFORM, we are making it a reality, contributing to the improvement of the selective waste collection system in Mollet del Vallès.

The Catalan cluster set up two pilot projects using citizen science as an instrument to move towards a greener, more digital, more resilient and fairer socio-economic model. The pilots integrate the quadruple helix stakeholders to favour a collaborative and inclusive workspace. The process and the results aim to impact public research and innovation policies, both at a local and regional level, and for citizen science to be included in the new Research and Innovation Strategy for smart specialisation in Catalonia (RIS3CAT).

The Catalan cluster is led by Science for Change, in collaboration with the Economic Promotion Area of the Catalan Government and the OpenSystems research group of the University of Barcelona.

catalonia regional cluster

WASTE PILOT transforming the selective collection model in Mollet del Vallès

One of the pilots of the Catalan cluster is a citizen science project improving the selective collection of municipal waste, which involves all actors of the quadruple helix – government (both local and regional), academia, private sector and citizens. 

In Mollet del Vallès, the current share of the selective collection is 39%, far from the 55% target set to be achieved by 2025 by the European Union. To increase its efficiency, the city council is considering the implementation of innovative selective collection systems (smart containers and door-to-door collection), but first, it wants to involve the citizens, taking into account their preferences.

Currently, there is little information in Mollet on these preferences and variables that citizens take into account when adopting or rejecting innovations, or the reasons for opposing changes. It’s also of utmost importance that the citizens have prior information and reflect on the pros and cons of these systems in order to issue an informed opinion.

Dilemma R

To contribute to this process, the Catalan TRANSFORM cluster has designed a pilot consisting of the co-creation of a digital game on waste, called “Dilemma R“,  used as a citizen science tool.

This pilot is carried out together with the Mollet del Vallès City Council and in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Barcelona.  In addition to generating useful information for the strategic planning of the future municipal waste collection system, this pilot is also part of the specialization and territorial competitiveness PECT project  “HubB30, beyond circularity” (Operating Program ERDF Catalunya 2014-2020) of the RIS3CAT.

An educational game that is also useful to do science

cocreation

Co-creation of the digital game “Dilemma R”. The co-creation of the game was carried out through a total of four sessions: two sessions with citizens of Mollet (10-15 people, different profiles), the third with different departments of the city council and the fourth with students of the Smart Cities Management and Sustainability course of the UAB.

Deployment of the game as a tool within a citizen science program, involving 60 secondary school students from four schools in Mollet del Vallès, over four sessions, and 400 respondents. 

 The game has two objectives:

  • On the one hand, to inform citizens about the pros and cons of innovative systems, increase their level of knowledge and promote debate;
  • and on the other, to collect the preferences of citizens and their assessment of different environmental, practical and economic aspects of the new systems to detect the possible barriers to their implementation.

The purpose of this process is to detect the most relevant variables for the different agents involved and co-create the messages and hypothetical situations that would be part of the game.

Once the game had been developed, a citizen science program was deployed together with schools in Mollet del Vallès in which the students were able to participate in the definition of the data collection protocol, in the data collection itself (both in the neighbourhood and with their relatives), in the interpretation of results and in the preparation of proposals for the city council.

Finally, the results will be presented to the city council, which will provide a clearer picture of the preferences of citizens regarding innovative selective collection systems and the most relevant aspects to take into account for their implementation.

The city council, for its part, will reflect on and take into account the results when defining the new waste management contract for the municipality, to be launched at the end of June 2022, and its strategic planning for the future selective collection system in Mollet del Vallès.

Citizen science, a methodology that benefits all the agents involved

For Diana Reinoso, TRANSFORM project manager at Science for Change, citizen science has multiple impacts, and it has been demonstrated in this pilot. The lessons learned from this participatory methodology are being valued by the Catalan government, in its effort to make research and innovation policies more responsible and more aligned with social needs.

TRANSFORM project helped to introduce citizen science into the next RIS3CAT as one of the methodologies to promote a shift towards a greener, more digital,  more resilient and fairer socio-economic model.

On the other hand, this experience shows that collaboration between quadruple helix stakeholders allows for aligning the objectives, perspectives, expertise and efforts and to develop innovations that respond to the challenges that society currently faces.

“Working collaboratively is a challenge, but it allows us to transform the traditional isolation in which the different sectors of society have developed and create new work models oriented towards the common good. Ultimately, this results in more efficient innovation public policies, more aligned with society and with greater acceptability”
Diana Reinoso
Diana Reinoso
TRANSFORM Project Manager, Science for Change

In the case of this pilot, the planning of the future Mollet selective waste collection system will not be based solely on a strictly technical perspective, but the results of a fruitful collaboration between public authorities, academia, private sector and the citizens themselves.

We also see that the participation of society in citizen science projects increases their level of scientific knowledge, in this case, on the issue of waste management. All people who came into contact with the game had the opportunity to obtain accurate information and reflect on the innovative selective collection systems, helping to improve their critical capacity. The results and the process followed in this pilot will be analysed and published in a scientific article, contributing to the social sciences that study environmental behaviour, resistance to change and the social adoption of innovations.

GALLERY

Waste pilot
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The University of Bergen, leading the work package on Monitoring and Evaluation, has been engaged in continuous monitoring and evaluation, analysing a number of documents from meeting minutes and cluster progress reports to TRANSFORM deliverables. In addition, at the end of the second year, they conducted evaluative conversations – semi-structured active interviews with cluster partners about the project partners’ experiences and about the organisational-institutional settings in which they are working.  The findings fed into the Second Interim Monitoring Report available.  Do you want a sneak peek of the preliminary findings?  Then keep reading…

The evaluation approach used in the Second Interim Monitoring Report combines the notions of double loop learning for the project formation processes with the concept of translation and ecologies of participation. Double-loop learning can be defined as learning that involves the questioning and revision of elements of one’s own world-view. This can happen gradually or also take place at crucial moments. A focus on translations of RRI within broader ecologies of participation allows for moving beyond the assessment of individual engagement activities as “good” or “bad” and scoring, scaling or ranking them, and enables us to assess how techniques or methodologies of engagement shift and change when they are applied in a particular regional or territorial setting.

The TRANSFORM Second Interim Monitoring Report highlighted the diversity of the RRI types that are being implemented in the different clusters.

Lombardy regional cluster

The Lombardy cluster largely relies on longstanding collaborations with partners from the administrative sector of the region. Its objective is to test and eventually stabilise RRI methods such as participatory agenda setting and citizen assemblies as more permanent tools of R&I governance.

Catalonia

The Catalonia cluster centers around citizen science pilots in waste collection management and endometriosis. Much like the Lombardy cluster, this one coordinates with regional authorities, and is predicated on pre-existing networks while still contributing to new transversal relations among government entities and their approaches.

Brussels-Capital

Finally, the Brussels cluster illustrates the variety of RRI translations. It has engaged in a pilot aiming at transformations in the regional R&I system and academia, as well as in other pilots focused on bottom-up citizen science and participatory urban development.

Two years on, there is strong evidence of synergetic interaction between pilots and the development of S3/RIS3 strategic work. TRANSFORM RRI pilots contribute to RIS3 development at public administration level; however, it is also true that public administrations develop RIS3 through the TRANSFORM pilots. Moreover, it can already be observed that TRANSFORM has affected democratic RRI benefits, which can be identified in the Lombardy cluster’s contribution to deliberative methodologies, together with the Catalonia cluster’s contributions to transversal communication and collaboration in the quadruple helix.

The existence of such synergetic relationships might be an important condition for success and we will return to this issue in the final report. In terms of the various aspects of RRI, TRANSFORM casts light upon RRI achievements within the domains that MoRRI indicators GOV2 and PEx (including PE2, PE5, PE7 and PE10) were intended to measure.

Stay tuned for the full report.


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