2nd Co-Creation Camp

On 3 and 4 July 2019, social sciences and humanities students, their academic and industry mentors, and PEOPLE team members from Slovenia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Czechia got together to share experiences and learnings at the PEOPLE project’s 2nd (and final!) Co-Creation Camp. As our 2nd Learning Cycle came to an end, the four teams had been working tirelessly on their industry-relevant 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 Ljubljana – this year’s Co-Creation Camp was hosted and co-organised by the Slovenian PEOPLE project partners: Institute for Innovation and Development of University of Ljubljana (IRI UL), Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), and industry partner Metronik. The intensive two-day programme included presentations, workshops, and co-creation activities aimed at enhancing our learning process in the PEOPLE higher education – industry – students triangle.

This year’s special guest at the event was Prof Dr Sarah Pink, a world leading design anthropologist and a member of the PEOPLE project’s advisory board. In addition, Joanne Mihelcic, Research Fellow at Monash University in Australia and a sociotechnical analyst who applies interdisciplinary expertise to understanding how people experience the technical, social and material world, took part in the Co-Creation Camp as an external discussant and observer.


The first day of the Co-Creation Camp, aimed at the internal group of all PEOPLE participants, started with an inspirational talk by Prof Sarah Pink. Sarah is currently the Director of the Emerging Technologies Lab at Monash University in Melbourne, and has authored a number of key readings in design anthropology, applied anthropology, and futures anthropology, among other topics. Her career is a unique trajectory (in-)between academia, research, design, and industry. In her talk, Sarah explained how the diverse projects that she had undertaken from her PhD onwards (from sustainability and washing machines in Indonesia, to homes and energy, wearables, wellbeing, or the future of mobility), and the partnerships developed with organisations outside of academia, are intertwined and provide a complex understanding of human lives, their relationships with their environments, animals, technologies, and possible futures. Sarah’s talk deepened our understanding of how anthropology and social sciences can engage with non-traditional research topics, methodologies, and in inter- or transdisciplinary research teams, utilise and transform social science skills and methodologies to co-create exciting results.

In continuation, each national team of students presented their case study and their findings and had the chance to discuss their learnings in individual Q&A sessions. After lunch break, participants were divided into four working groups (academia, industry, and two student groups) to discuss the Learning Cycle process. The day ended with a closing panel discussion, in which the four teams shared key insights from the workshop.

Slide through the photos from the 2nd Co-Creation Camp below!

Photo and video by: Tilen Šoštarič


The second day morning was dedicated to the Pyramid principle workshop, delivered by PEOPLE team members Peter Pos (Alliander) and Marrije Prins (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). The Co-Creation Camp participants were first introduced to the tool that is used to process and structure information to convey a story, message or presentation in a clear and compelling way. In small teams, the participants then designed 3-minute presentations, following the Pyramid principles. The morning session concluded with team presentations and discussion.

As the second day was also aimed at a broader audience, all participants then took part in a symposium, organised at ZRC SAZU. The event Forget about users – start thinking about PEOPLE! was also attended by over 40 representatives of Slovenian industry and academia, researchers, general public, and the media. Keynote talks on how social sciences and the industry are co-creating technologies and services for the future were delivered by Prof Dr Sarah Pink (Monash University), Marko Javornik (Voyego, a Comtrade company), Peter Pos (Alliander) and Dr Dan Podjed (ZRC SAZU), who also moderated the event, while the PEOPLE students presented their case studies and experience in the PEOPLE project to a wider audience. A moderated discussion of the key themes that came out of the symposium wrapped up the event, followed by informal networking and celebratory drinks.

Slide through the photos of the Forget about users – start thinking about PEOPLE! symposium below.

Photo: Tilen Šoštarič

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