On Social Innovation Platforms (SIPs) co-creation will work as a mechanism to bring together new stakeholders with the emphasis on building a joint response to a complex challenge for which there is no defined answer (‘wicked’ problem).
The SIPs foster a large co-creation process at 5 different levels of action: community initiatives, startups and social entrepreneurship, large scale public-private partnerships, redesign of the current public services offered by the local authorities (innovative services that were not previously provided) and new regulation associated to the new challenges (climate emergency, COVID, digitalization, etc.).
If a portfolio is only built on already existing initiatives, the capacity to have a systemic impact will be limited. Therefore, co-creation allows to adapt the ongoing initiatives in the area but also to create new prototypes that will be added to the portfolio. A good and advanced people centered portfolio has to have a good balance between new ideas/prototypes, projects and pilots:
- EXISTING PROJECTS – Those that work and respond to perceptions, extracted from the mapping
- PILOTS – Inspiring things working in similar / neighbor cities
- NEW PROTOTYPES – From the co-creation process, addressing gaps
Creative ideation, design and prototyping of new solutions involves making things seem tangible and real. It is crucial that the key stakeholders and partners involved in the process fully understand and immerse themselves in the process. It is important to differentiate the three stages and understand them in an integrated manner, connected to the process of deep listening and collective interpretation:
Co-Creation: New ideas that respond to personas (patterns of narrative) are shared. Is the collaborative development of new value (concepts, solutions, products, and services) together with experts and stakeholders. Co-creation is a form of collaborative innovation: ideas are shared and improved together, rather than kept to oneself.
Co-Design: New ideas are developed and specified. Is an approach to design attempting to actively involve all stakeholders in the design process to help ensure the result meets their needs and is usable. Co-design involves shared decision making – everyone taking part has an equal level of power and consists of people with the relevant skills and experience coming together to create a tangible product or service.
Prototyping: Testing of new ideas. Is an experimental process where co-design teams implement ideas into tangible products or services. Teams build prototypes of varying degrees of fidelity to capture design concepts and test on users. With prototypes you can refine and validate your designs, so your product/service is right for your end user(s). The initial steps of deep listening, collective interpretation, and collaborative analysis, lead naturally to finding shared values, areas of opportunity and barriers, that motivate stakeholders involved in the process to come together to co-create. This inclusive process will lead to numerous idea sparks that are then the basis for co-design and prototyping. This process should not be understood as linear yet as an evolving system that implies rapid iterations and learning through feedback loops.
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