Societal challenges such as Responsible Innovation involve multiple stakeholders with different interests, responsibilities, and points of view. These differences originate because stakeholders come from diverse contexts: they might be working in the region’s government, they might be working in a specific field, or they might simply be living in the region. Regardless of the context, every stakeholder has a point of view and specific expertise, and they are all equally valuable. However, it is difficult to find common ground and it is essential to find ways to bring perspectives together to deliberate on the future of any given region. We must establish a fruitful and productive conversation enabling all relevant regional stakeholders to engage – we should foster a multistakeholder dialogue.
During the early months of 2022, a series of Multistakeholder Dialogues (MSD) were prepared and organised in each of the pilot regions of the RRI2SCALE project, with the help of their supporting partners, to hold context-specific stakeholder discussions on the techno-moral scenarios that were developed earlier in the project (see relevant section).
During the dialogues, oure team made use of the Scenario Exploration System (SES), which is a multistakeholder decision-guiding tool developed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The SES tool was adapted to the project’s context and localised to accommodate the different geographic, cultural, and socio-economic realities of the four regions. As well as this, the tool was digitalised to allow remote participation due to the COVID-19 pandemic travel and meeting restrictions.
Below are the results from each region.
In Kriti, the participating stakeholders concluded that the desired future includes circularity, nature inclusiveness, (traffic) safety, (digital) inclusion, green and blue growth, and smart and business-friendly – in sum, Crete’s stakeholders wish their region to become more safe, inclusive and sustainable. They also emphasised the importance of information sharing and (the approach to and need for easily accessible) communication, but also the importance of open dialoguing, (citizen) participation, and collaboration was shared. Crete’s SES experiences provided insights into ways to better collaborate, communicate and engage with stakeholders including citizens. As for their do’s, Crete’s stakeholders reflected mostly on the usage of the SES tool, emphasising how this could be jointly prepared, simplified, and made available offline. In addition, they proposed to turn it into a participatory process from the beginning to also include scenario development. As for the don’ts, Crete’s stakeholders indicate not assuming too much, not forgetting to include fresh voices to the table, and not being too formal.
“Ιn sum, Crete’s stakeholders wish their region to become more safe, inclusive and sustainable.”
If you want to participate in the regional activities of our project, get in contact with our Greek pilot authorities here
In Overijssel, the participating stakeholders indicated that they were generally interested to learn more about the SES tool and that they were keen to apply it to multistakeholder dialogues they are holding in smaller communities in the area. Ιn sum, Overijssel stakeholders wish their region to become friendly for knowledge-intensive industries, have room for sports, and focus on wellbeing. Participants also reported across the board that they felt collaboration is key and they agreed that this is reflective of real life and that individual autonomy and listening to people’s needs is a very important value to people in Overijssel. During the dialogues, age was reported as a factor in participation. Especially in harder times where stakeholder attention is focused on survival, older people can start feeling left out of the decision-making process unless attention is paid to them, even though they are people with skills and time to contribute to their communities when appreciated and communicated properly. Citizen participation in co-creating decisions was reported to be lacking, giving participants a cue to discuss parallels to citizen participation in real life. Stakeholders tended to discuss with each other and not converse with the public. Regarding the private sector, the participants concluded that citizens should listen to and know their audience for businesses: giving a voice to the public and showing “what is in it for them” from the beginning is important for businesses and policymakers in the area. Participants discussed playing more focused versions of SES in one of the RRI2SCALE themes to obtain focused solutions.
“Ιn sum, Overijssel stakeholders wish their region to become friendly for knowledge-intensive industries, have room for sports, and focus on wellbeing”
If you want to participate in the regional activities of our project, get in contact with our Dutch pilot authorities here
In Galicia, the aspects of desirable futures the stakeholders added to the Collaboration Board were clustered in four key areas that are crucial for the region’s future: innovation together, energy, sustainable nature, and letting everyone profit from opportunities. The participating stakeholders ideated a future for their region that includes a closer connection between urban and rural, more environmental, social, and heritage awareness (‘roots’), better resource management, and a region with more capabilities being driven by innovation. Migration was also mentioned as a big concern. In sum, Galicia’s stakeholders wish their region to become more aware, inclusive, and sustainable. Stakeholders emphasised the importance of flexibility, collaboration, stakeholder involvement, long-term thinking, and new ways of thinking (out of the box). Galicia’s SES experiences provided insights into ways to better collaborate with stakeholders and embrace new approaches to innovation. The policy stakeholders of the region currently explore ways to have the SES tool integrated into existing processes, e.g., to monitor S3, and would like to have more perspectives and a sufficiently varied representation of stakeholders to have better discussions.
“In sum, Galicia’s stakeholders wish their region to become more aware, inclusive, and sustainable.”
If you want to participate in the regional activities of our project, get in contact with our Spanish pilot authorities here
In Vestland, the aspects of desirable futures were added by the stakeholders to the Collaboration Board and clustered into four key areas that are crucial for Vestland’s future: business & economy, transport, sustainability & the environment, and local inclusiveness. Participants agreed that the desired future includes improved transport (seamless public transport, parking, mountain access), renewables/less oil dependency and circularity including local food, more innovation and internationalisation, and becoming truly sustainable – and less consumable. In sum, Vestland’s stakeholders wish their region to become more circular and sustainable with improved transport. During the dialogue, participants also observed a low level of power for academia, experienced interesting dynamics and emphasised the importance of collaboration. Moreover, participants emphasised the relevance of engaging with everyone, early in the process, considering the balances of power between partners – particular academia -, having clear mandates and communicating clearly and soon about your strategy, and keeping the long-term goal in mind. As for the don’ts, flexibility – to anticipate unexpected scenarios – is mentioned, continuous stakeholder involvement, available resources, decision making without research, and moving to new priorities too quickly.