Are we all Ali Babas? JPI Urban Europe and SIAC tried to find out

JPI Urban Europe, together with the Social Innovation Acceleration in Cities network, hosted an interactive session at the final TRANSIT conference in Rotterdam on 15 September 2017. In a role play participants experienced the role brokerage of knowledge in social innovative initiatives could play. The event was an organised workshop in the scope of the Agora – JPI Urban Europe Stakeholder Involvement Platform.

Transformative social innovation
The conference venue, the Blu City Rotterdam, a former indoor swimming pool which is used as an urban laboratory for circular economy initiatives could not have been a better place for the final TRANSIT conference. TRANSIT is a FP7 project aiming to develop a theory of transformative social innovation which is about empowerment and change in society. The conference brought together researchers, social innovators, social entrepreneurs and other actors to jointly discuss social innovation, frameworks and dynamics.

Role play
JPI Urban Europe and Erna Bosschart from the Social Innovation Acceleration in Cities network hosted the session “Are we all Ali Baba’s? If opportunity knocks.. build a door!”. In a role play the participants took on different identities (researcher, social innovator, politician, owner of the building, professional for-profit organisation, etc.) as their day-to-day professional jobs. In the role play, one real particular case of a social innovative project providing elderly care was discussed and different standpoints exchanged. The role-play showed that knowledge know-how ‘availability’ among the actors is uneven and in many cases focuses on one very specific area only.

The importance of specific knowledge
The participants in the role play highlighted that although all ‘actors’ have different interests and capacities, research is an important element to bring in specific knowledge about other cases, how questions in likewise situations were answered. It also showed the scope in which different actors are free to act. Another added value was that by acting out different roles, awareness for perspectives of other stakeholders in the project created a more open and positive attitude towards each other’s position and an understanding of what the added value of the social innovative project might be once a consensus among the participants is achieved.

Participate in events
For the JPI Urban Europe it is very important to facilitate sessions, workshops and events to discuss and test new methods with a wide range of actors in the innovation ecosystem. The Transit conference has been a perfect place for this as it brought together international participants from research, social innovation, entrepreneurs, etc. We will continue strategic and thematic dialogues in the scope of the Agora – JPI Urban Europe Stakeholder Involvement Platform.
If you would like to be informed about the next events, please send an e-mail to Johannes Riegler




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