The 4th Plenary meeting of the Co-VAL project along with the 3rd stakeholder panel meeting took place in Athens hosted by ATC, from the 4th to the 5th of April 2019.
Day 1 | Plenary meeting and working dinner
During the first day, Co-VAL partners discussed the project progress so far, ensured that partner responsibilities, activities, and tasks outputs are aligned, reviewed the time plan and delivery in due time of the planned deliverables and also determined key priorities for the next phase of the project. The first day ended with a guided tour to the Acropolis museum and a working dinner for the partners.
Day 2 | Stakeholder panel meeting
The second day of the Athens plenary meeting started with the Stakeholder Panel meeting. All work package leaders presented the latest updates of each work package to the stakeholders and the consortium partners, who afterwards were divided in two groups for two design thinking sessions, in order to build a common understanding of key co-creation issues. In specific, Group A attended the 1st design thinking session on digital transformation, while Group B attended the 2nd design thinking session on service design, living labs, and innovation networks.
Results of the Design Thinking Session 1 | Digital Transformation
During the 1st session, every participant was asked to come up with one keyword related to co-creation and digital transformation. Used keywords were: User, interaction, user centricity, inclusion, user needs, effective, design for needs and empathy. Participants exchanged several experiences they had within the co-creation of digital transformation and further elaborated on how users can be involved through surveys, interviews, workshops and focus groups, in the different phases of digital transformation.
Furthermore, participants expressed some negative experiences of co-creation and how these could be turned into positive ones. There were quite some negative experiences shared, for example, when people were not committed or when the process was broken, then the citizens lost their trust. It is important to know the consequences of these negative experiences. There were also different thoughts shared about how to turn the negative experiences into positive ones. For example, by including the stakeholders into the whole process and making the stakeholders aware of the consequences of the project.
Finally, participants in the Digital Transformation session discussed about what value stakeholders are able to extract from co-creation processes. Answers included a better quality of life for the citizens and better social support, better service and working conditions for the civil servants, for example by enlarging competences, skills and integrating the skills of users and stakeholders. Last but not least, a mentioned value was that co-creation is lowering administrative effort.
Results of the Design Thinking Session 2 | Service design, living labs, innovation networks
During the second session everyone was split up in 2 groups of about 10 persons each. The leading question in this workshop was ‘How to address value co-creation in organizations?’. Participants created ‘co-construction experience maps’ in order to refer to a process involving participation (in which they were personally involved or not). These maps were filled with the ´5Wh + How framework´, Who (actors), When (in a public policy process?), Why (goals expected?), What (tools/techniques used?), Where (is the process located?).
The parties involved (the answer to the ‘who’ question) were: citizens, NGOs, academies, professionals, media, governments and consultants. By answering the when, why, what and where question, 20 problems were identified. Some examples are:
- No convincing objectives of the process
- Problem with lack of resources/money
- Many debates but less democracy
- A lack of understanding between different stakeholders
- Processes that are too long
- Language barriers and problems with the definition of value since there are different understandings
- Scalability and no end date of the project
- Contradiction between individual interest and general interest
- Opposition between the project agenda and the political agenda
Finally, a key problem that was faced during the workshop was that there was no initial definition of value, while the concept of value co-creation is different for everyone. This is a problem that needs to be solved, in order to get a general understanding of the concept within the project. That means that, before asking what is value co-creation, the participants should have asked “what is value?”.
Co-VAL’s 3rd stakeholder panel meeting will take place in Sardinia on the 27th of September 2019. The focus in Sardinia will be more on case studies presentations, while we will also exchange and discuss lessons from good and bad practices. We are looking forward to our next constructive meeting with Co-VAL’s stakeholder panel!