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5 Conclusion

The article underlines the uniqueness of City Labs as they represent spaces where different types of innovators can interact and thus benefit from synergies, diversity and cross-pollination of ideas. The different approaches are however not mutually incompatible, and might be implemented simultaneously in different collaborative projects in a same City Lab. Nevertheless, in some cases, a conflict between logics might create a cognitive dissonance in the participants and thus inhibit participation. By clarifying the different logics and individuals motivations, the article aims to provide guidelines to City Lab managers and practitioners to maximize the participation and therefore ensure the sustainability of the City Lab activities.

The comparison of types of activities in City Labs, theoretical innovation approaches, and types of LSCI that has been developed in this article presents some limitations. First, in an effort of simplification, LSCI have been only related to one type of innovation. However, reality is more complex and each kind of space might present several types of innovation activities. Second, there is also a great diversity of practices among spaces of a same LSCI type. For instance, some Fab Labs do similar activities as hackeror makerspaces. The differences identified in the analysis have underlined the context of innovation rather than the specific practices. For instance, even if practices between Fab Labs and hackerspaces are comparable, the approach is different: hackers are firstly driven by their hacker ethic, while Fab Labs are ruled by their common charter.

The contribution of this paper is threefold: managerial, conceptual, and theoretical. First, through a literature review on innovation modes and their motivation logic, the article provides some useful perspectives for City Labs managers on how to engage participants. Second, conceptually, the comparison of different LSCI has contributed to understand new phenomena of localized collaboration and innovation, as well as their differences and similarities. Third, the article contributes to the theorization of City Labs by using different innovation theories.


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