3. Participation and co-creation

3.1 Introduction

Missions involve many players with diverse interests. From citizens and companies to governments and domain experts. You want to involve them in the process, for the knowledge and experience they bring in, to enable them to take the initiative, but also to achieve commitment and support and to increase the chance that transitions will actually take place.

Co-creation can be seen as any act of collective creativity (Sanders & Stappers, 2008); as the partnership between different actors to jointly realise value (Osborne et al., 2016; Brandsen et al., 2018). Co-creation requires participation, whereby the form of participation and the role of the participant within the partnership may differ. KEMs in this category help to engage, connect and streamline the process, analyse and understand the context of issues, and develop new propositions. Co-creation can be initiated for various reasons: for example, to ensure that the various requirements and limitations are identified (functionality / interests), because complementary knowledge, resources or competences must be brought together (this is essential given complexity), or because a value chain and good innovation can then be developed (value or innovation-driven) and / or because the stakeholders have the right to be involved (value-driven). The process can be aimed at viewing the current situation or have a focus on the desired (future) situation.

The KEMs in this category answer questions such as: how, when and which stakeholders should be involved in a transition process? How to deal with the diverse interests and insights of citizens, government, industry, experts, etc.? How do we make the pros and cons, and the give and take of the various stakeholders visible? How do we stimulate and support initiatives where co-creating partnerships are initiated bottom-up, for example through citizen initiatives? How do we make them effective? How do we deal with ownership of transition issues? How do we determine that we involve the right set of stakeholders in the right stages? Who has an interest in this social innovation? And who directs and has the authority to do so, and how does this influence the questions that are being worked on? But also, when is participation not a good idea?

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