3.2 State of the art

Participation and co-creation processes are characterised by the collaboration of a range of stakeholders / actors from various disciplines, sectors, with various roles, including other aspects such as geographic and cultural backgrounds, social vision, paradigm and various perspectives (e.g. technical, economic , socio-cultural, institutional) play an important role. These diverse stakeholders benefit from a systemic approach, based on the values ​​and motivations of the actors, thereby doing justice to the complexity of the whole. Co-creation can help them act strategically in developing interventions, model the system to understand the dynamics, facilitate and stimulate reflexivity and reflection during the process, and many other things. The complexity and plurality makes the need for supporting methods great. The wide range of such methods seems to be divided into six headings, two of which are based on defining and connecting the various stakeholders, two on collecting perspectives and giving meaning to them, one heading on developing new propositions, and one section on the self-managing process of a multitude of stakeholders.

1) Determining the stakeholder landscape These methods focus on exploring, determining and mapping stakeholders, their skills and expertise, their area of ​​influence, and how they relate to each other in a partnership. This may include all parties directly involved and beneficiaries of the project, but also indirectly involved, disadvantaged parties or potential stakeholders who are unable or unwilling to participate. Examples of these methods are:

  • Actor Analysis and Multi-actor Perspective enable the exploration of the actor field, interests, roles, the field of influence, and demands placed on the process by actors.

    (Hermans & Thissen, 2009; Avelino & Wittmayer, 2016).

  • Value Flow Model supports the identification, linking and balancing of relevant stakeholders and the values ​​that are important to each of them, in a complete system (den Ouden & Brankaert, 2013).

  • Strategic Navigation Methodology supports strategic dialogue and decision making for business and market development related to complex projects that require multi-stakeholder collaboration (Brand et al., 2020).

2) Realisation and strengthening involvement and connection These methods are aimed at realising cohesion and involvement, among other things, by involving stakeholders, strengthening joint responsibility, being able to contribute personal values, and giving room to personal motivation. Therefore it is important to experience together what the different motivations are to participate, what binds and separates everyone, and how people actually experience the feeling of belonging and connection. Examples of such methods are:

  • Engaging Catalysers are specific tools that introduce stakeholders through their skills, in order to increase empathy, respect and mutual connection (Trotto & Hummels, 2013).

  • Empathic co-design is a specific form of co-design aimed at strengthening empathy, for example when vulnerable groups are difficult to involve (Smeenk et al., 2018).

  • Participatory Video allows stakeholders to interview and film each other in order to create a people-oriented collective partnership (Nemes et al., 2007).

3) Collection and exchange of different stakeholder perspectives These methods focus on the collection and exchange of personal perspectives, experience, knowledge and skills in order to obtain a multiform collection of perspectives on the complex challenge. This ranges from the micro level of individual experience to the macro level with questions such as ‘what do we as a society think is justice, democracy and desirable?’ Examples of such methods are:

  • Context mapping facilitates people in a creative and collaborative way to collect insights about needs, wishes, (im) possibilities, motivations and experiences of ordinary people, to use them in designing (Sleeswijk Visser et al., 2005).

  • Participatory / Embodied Sensemaking is about collaborating with stakeholders to create new, shared meaning, with an eye for the embodied / situated setting for meaning making (Jaasma, 2018; Hummels & van Dijk, 2015)

  • Constructive Conflict Methodology is aimed at clarifying and learning about the diversity of perspectives on unstructured (policy) issues, in which there is disagreement or uncertainty about the facts and values ​​(Cuppen, 2012).

4) Joint meaning making and decision-making through analysis and modeling These methods focus on generating overview, insight and joint agreement and decisions through the analysis, mapping and modeling of the collected data. Examples of these methods are:

  • Group Model Building supports stakeholders in jointly unraveling problem-cause relationships and building a picture of ‘the system’ (Vennix, 2001).

  • Participatory Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) / deliberative decision analysis supports stakeholders in weighing various options against a diverse set of criteria in order to arrive at a weighted decision (Salo & Hämäläinen, 2010).

  • Participatory Multi-Modeling supports decision-making on complex issues with great uncertainties, in which input is collected for the multi-model and the unlocking of system knowledge, followed by design, programming and proof of concept simulation (Wurth et al., 2019).

5) Co-design of scenarios, propositions and innovations These methods focus on jointly exploring and developing new value propositions, innovations, future scenarios in response to the societal challenge. There are several methods, such as:

  • Participatory design and co-design have developed a foundation of methods for several decades. Participatory and co-design focus on the participation of a multitude of actors and stakeholders in design processes (Schuler & Namioka, 2017; Brandt et al., 2012; Sanders & Stappers, 2008).

  • Multiple Scenario Development, Scenario-based Design and Futuring focus on the development of various scenarios and shared fictional expectations, aimed at and based on uncertain future developments (Schoemaker, 1993; Anggreeni & van der Voort, 2009; Hajer, 2017)

  • Value Sensitive Design aims to systematically involve humanitarian values of all stakeholders in the development process. The conceptual phase explores which values exist, to whom they apply and to which extent they are inconflict.

6) Progress of the collaborative process These methods focus on the progress and organisation of the entire process. How is the entire process organised? Who are the driving forces? Who takes responsibility for what? What decision-making power do the various stakeholders receive and take? Is transparency essential and how is this arranged? How are more people slowly being involved in the process of systematically changing regular policy and processes? Methods for this are for example:

  • Transition arena is a setting in which initially a select group of participants and later coalitions of stakeholders develop alternative visions and solutions through a systems approach in the lee of regular policy.

  • Multi Gains Approach is about exchanging interests and finding a win-win solution. It supports the design of an appropriate process with associated rules based on intended goals. In combination with process monitoring, interim process adjustments can be made (Susskind & Field, 1996).

  • Transdisciplinary research focuses on transcending one discipline-specific approach by integrating a diversity of approaches to create new conceptual, theoretical, methodological and translational innovations (Hirsch Hadorn et al., 2008).

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