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In the new period, smart specialisation strategies (S3) should focus on addressing the challenges that matter to society in a responsible way, this is integrating the four dimensions of RRI: anticipation, reflexivity, inclusion and responsiveness.
In this context, S3 face two main challenges:
- The transformative challenge, which is strong related to the question about how R&I contribute to more sustainable and inclusive development pathways.
- The stakeholders engagement challenge, which can be reformulated as the challenge of moving from collective awareness about societal challenges (like climate change) towards collective action to address these challenges.
In order to tackle these two challenges, S3 need:
- to increase the focus on experimentation
- to articulate structured discovery processes engaging multiple stakeholders and combining top-down and bottom-up approaches, encouraging them towards transformative collective action
- to develop new kind of indicators and monitoring tools focused on collaborative networks and transformative outcomes, with approaches that help us to understand how we are contributing to accelerate transition towards more sustainable and inclusive pathways, this is transitions towards the SDGs.
- to find new methodologies and ways to articulate transformative collective action, and for that we have been experimenting and developing our RRI transformative shared agendas, which can also be defined as ecosystem-based missions.
In Catalonia, the TRANSFORM and the SeeRRI EU projects have provided spaces for experimentation and debate with quadruple stakeholders about how to integrate RRI into S3. A relevant finding is that citizen science is a powerful tool to co-design public policies that are more effective in addressing the challenges that matter to society, engaging citizens in policy-making and public services co-design and monitoring processes.
Head of Economic Promotion, Generalitat de Catalunya