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KoSI-Lab - Municipal social innovation labs

Client:Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Partner(s):Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund (Scientific Institute of the Technische Universität Dortmund); Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy; City of Dortmund; City of Wuppertal; Zentrum für gute Taten e.V.
Time frame:06/2016 – 05/2019

The project KoSI-Lab develops two municipal social innovation labs in the cities of Dortmund and Wuppertal, Germany. Urban social innovation labs are open institutions to support collaborative work on cities' social, ecological and economic problems. Multi-stakeholder processes convening people from politics, municipal administrations, companies and civil society play a key role in advancing new solutions to urban problems. A driving force of the two innovation labs which KoSI-Lab develops are the involved municipalities, Dortmund and Wuppertal.

The project consortium of KoSI-Lab consists of

  • Social Research Centre, TU Dortmund University
  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy  
  • ILS – Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development
  • City of Dortmund, Economic Development Agency
  • City of Wuppertal, Department of Civic Engagement
  • Zentrum für gute Taten (a civil society organisation in Wuppertal)

SI-labs are important intermediaries convening and facilitating cross-sector stakeholder groups to develop social innovation initiatives. The existing literature gives important hints to what needs to be taken into account in order to build successful SI-labs. It has been shown that lab-participants need careful process-facilitation, e.g. with respect to differing values and institutional logics as well as possible hidden agendas. This poses a challenging task on lab-facilitators. Certain competencies combined in the staff of an SI-lab will help to manage successful cross-sector collaboration.

KoSI-Lab project has received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research Programme Research for Sustainable Land Management.

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