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How Can City Labs Enhance the Citizens' Motivation in Different Types of Innovation Activities?

Abstract. There is a wide diversity of city labs for collaborative innovation. However, in all cases their success depends on motivating citizens to participate in their activities. This article builds on the literature on innovation dynamics in Living Labs to link them with other kinds of City Labs. The contribution of this article consists on building on the types of innovation mechanisms in Living Lab networks (Leminen, Westerlund, & Nyström, 2012; Leminen, 2013) by relating each type to a different theoretical innovation logic (methods for creativity; social innovation; open innovation; user innovation). Each logic is related to a different type of localized space of collective innovation (Fab Labs, co-creation spaces, Living Labs, coworking spaces and hackerspaces) and participants' motivation to collaborate. The literature review on the main characteristics of each logic provide some guidelines for City Labs practitioners about how to motivate citizens.

Keywords: Motivation to collaborate • Hackerspaces • Coworking spaces • Fab Labs • Open innovation • Social innovation • User innovation • Living Labs • City labs

1 Introduction

There is still a lack of common understanding about how to increase the citizens' involvement, in part due to the heterogeneity of practices and concepts behind City Labs.

The term City Lab can be used as an umbrella term under which a large diversity of projects and activities can be included. Often, definitions of the concept are close to the ones of other kinds of localized spaces of collective innovation (LSCI) like makerspaces, hackerspaces, Living Labs, Fab Labs, co-creation spaces or coworking spaces. Different denominations are related to different types of innovation logics and to different participants' motivations dynamics. Thus, the study of the innovation dynamics of other types of LSCI will contribute to understand the diversity of practices within Living Labs and the most efficient ways to motivate and engage participants. By analyzing the motivation of participants in the innovation dynamics of different LSCI, the article aims to provide some guides to city labs practitioners to increase the engagement of citizens.

2 Different Approaches to City Labs

The typology based on the coordination and participation approaches in Living Lab networks (Leminen et al., 2012; Leminen, 2013) is especially convenient for disentangling the different citizens' motivations in City Labs as it focuses on the stakeholders' role in the innovation processes rather than on the processes, methodologies or systems.

According to this view, four approaches are identified, based on the different roles of Living Labs as providers, users, utilizers, and enablers (Westerlund & Leminen, 2011):

1. Provider-driven mechanism: The innovation activities of the Living lab aim to develop a solution for participants or other stakeholders, or have an educational purpose.

2. Enabler-driven mechanism: Taking a bottom-up approach, the activities focus on fulfilling the needs of a local community or association like improving the local social development where the Living Lab is located.

3. Utilizer-driven mechanism: The participants' activities are designed to develop or improve the product or service of a third-party (the utilizer).

4. User-driven mechanism: The participants collaborate to develop their own personal ideas or projects. Living labs activities focus on fulfilling the needs of individual users or user communities.

 
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