1st Co-Creation Camp

On 4 and 5 July 2018, social sciences and humanities students, their academic and industry mentors, and PEOPLE team members from Slovenia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Czech Republic got together to share experiences and learnings at the PEOPLE project's 1st Co-Creation Camp. As the first Learning Cycle came to an end, the four teams had been working tirelessly on their industry-identified case studies. While the case studies were very diverse, the overarching goal of the Learning Cycle was to apply social sciences and humanities methods and people-centred development approaches to real-life challenges in the energy and sustainability industries.

The members of the PEOPLE project met in Amsterdam at the 1st Co-Creation Camp, hosted by PEOPLE project partner Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in collaboration with PEOPLE industry partner Alliander. The intensive two-day programme included presentations, workshops, dialogue tables and co-creation activities aimed at enhancing our learning process in the PEOPLE higher education – industry – students triangle. The special guest at the event was Anna Kirah, a renowned design anthropologist and psychologist who is also a member of the PEOPLE project’s advisory board.

1st Co-Creation Camp - Day 1

The first day of the Co-Creation Camp, aimed at the internal group of PEOPLE participants, started with an inspiring talk by Anna Kirah. Anna worked at Boeing, Microsoft, for a Norwegian railway company and the Oslo Airport. Currently, she is the Managing Director of Design Without Borders. In her talk, she explored the immense potential of people-centred approaches and on her own path, as shaped by this unique methodology. Following her talk, each national team presented their findings and had the chance to discuss their learnings in individual Q&A sessions. Then Anna Kirah responded to the common threads that ran through the student presentations, addressing the key challenges and insights that come out of their engagement with the methodology. After the lunch break, a “co-creation session” involved the mingling of all participants into groups that discussed the stereotypes surrounding both academia and industry in a structured fashion. The day ended with extensive group discussions within each national team (students, faculty and industrial partners), in which reflections on the collaboration as a whole were shared.

Slide through the photos from the 1st Co-Creation Camp below!

1st Co-Creation Camp, Day 2

The second day morning was reserved for group discussion in an Open Space format. Various topics to be discussed were suggested by the participants and everyone had the opportunity to join (or leave) the discussions. This gave the teams an opportunity for delving deeper into individual issues opened during the first day. As the second day was aimed at a broader audience, the first day’s attendees were then invited to CIRCL, a building illustrating the principles of circular economy within its construction. The event Sustainable Living and Energy: Towards a PEOPLE Perspective was attended by over 30 Dutch energy and sustainability professionals. Keynote talks on the value of social sciences for the energy and sustainability industries were delivered by Anna Kirah and PEOPLE team member Dan Podjed, followed up by another structured co-creation session Dialogue Tables. A moderated discussion of the key themes that came out of the session wrapped up the event, followed by informal networking and celebratory drinks.

The second day discussions were captured by illustrator and animator Renée van den Kerkhof. Take a look at her fabulous drawings below!

In the two videos below, you can see what we did in the 1st Co-Creation Camp and the Sustainable Living and Energy: Towards a PEOPLE Perspective event. Check out what the participants have shared about their experiences.

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