Co-Creation

Co-creation is key for sustainability innovations. It is well recognised that multiple stakeholders need to come together to create new transformative solutions. However, this requires new ways of thinking and new ways of working. Our research has explored the challenges and opportunities related to co-creation across disciplines, sectors, cultures and geographies. Our research has identified new roles, skills and methods that can help to improve the quality of collaboration between stakeholders.

Within this research topic we created

countriesthroughout3Articles7PhDs2Master Theses6

PhDs


Highlighted Stories

THE NETWORK STORY
OF THE FORESTRY CASE

  • (1/4) With this example we want to show how innovation happens in collaboration between multiple stakeholders. The network is gradually increased, but it takes time. This case relates to forestry development in Tanzania. The collaboration between Finland and Tanzania goes back 50 years.
    Following several bi-lateral forestry projects, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Resources in Tanzania co-initiated the 16 year Private Forestry Program (PFP) that aims to build the industry based on small-holder forest owners. The first 4 year period of the project is implemented by Indufor, a Finland based consultancy.
  • (2/4) The PFP operations are initiated in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. During the first phase, the focus is on planting trees. Tree Growers Associations are formed locally, and through them the small holders get training on how to manage their forests.
    In addition, PFP initiates relations to a wide range of stakeholders, including private companies, local authorities and NGOs. They establish relationships, but with the longer-term aim that the TGA will eventually manage such relations.
  • (3/4) The PFP operations are initiated in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. During the first phase, the focus is on planting trees. Tree Growers Associations are formed locally, and through them the small holders get training on how to manage their forests.
    In addition, PFP initiates relations to a wide range of stakeholders, including private companies, local authorities and NGOs. They establish relationships, but with the longer-term aim that the TGA will eventually manage such relations.
  • (4/4) New Global entered the picture, when PFP was planning how to engage the international private sector. We initiated a field study to deeply understand the activities of PFP. We also became advisors together with forestry investors, and we supported PFP in organising an international forestry conference in Tanzania that brought all stakeholders together.
    One of the participants of the conference was the Finnish sawmill company Slidetec. From New Global our researcher Tatu Lyytinen also initiated a start-up called Pico-tec.

Highlighted stories

THE NANOMAJI NETWORK STORY

  • (1/3) The purpose of this story is to show that the collaboration between a university and a large company can facilitate innovation processes that aim to address global societal challenges. The initiator of this collaboration was the New Global Research project within the Aalto University. After multiple conversations and meetings with a large Finnish multinational firm Ahlstrom, an understanding of the needs of the company and the mutual aims for the collaboration was found. The company had developed a filtering technology and knew it would have potential to contribute to the global water crisis. However, they had little knowledge on working in the developing country context with low-income populations. For this, Aalto University could provide support.
    The multidisciplinary environment facilitated the collaboration within Aalto University and between the university and the company. Different courses with different priorities could address separate issues - business model development and technological prototyping - of interest to the company. The internal collaboration between the courses also strengthened multidisciplinary education within Aalto University as a consequence of this collaboration. Further, the existing linkages to organisations in Tanzania were a good starting point for organising the field trip of the students to do research and increase their contextual understanding of the low-income environment.
  • (2/3) The academic collaboration between Aalto University and Ahlstrom lasted one academic year. After this, both Aalto University and the company remained within the network of the newly established startup, Nanomaji, but now it was up to the students to initiate meetings and identify future collaborations. Further, the team was accepted to the Climate-KIC accelerator program. It was a unique environment for a startup to start within as many relevant resources were available.
    Aalto University provided a testing environment, practical knowledge on the local reality and access to the field. The company had the technology and provided the team with raw materials for prototyping and testing. The accelerator could provide initial funding which helped the team to visit Tanzania again to test the first prototype.
  • (3/3) The first testing with the prototype was a success for the team. With that increased self-confidence, the Nanomaji team started to grow from a student project stronger to become a startup.
    After the initial support, the team gradually established its own contacts to for example manufacturers and clients.

Highlighted designs

MATERNITY WARD FOR LOW-RESOURCE SETTINGS

India and Tanzania

  • (1/5) Background: Lab.our ward was a cross disciplinary innovation project to design novel maternity ward services, products and spaces that were based on women’s and care providers’ needs. The project was executed by a social impact company, Scope (former M4ID), and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The focus was on low-resource settings.
    Background research and prototyping was done in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Odisha, India and in Uganda. The overall objective of the project was to reduce maternal and infant deaths in low-resource settings through design solutions.
  • (2/5) Challenge: Healthcare facility buildings can be conduits for (or, if designed poorly, obstacles to) appropriate, therapeutic healthcare. Improvement of the quality of care in maternity healthcare facilities guarantees an end to preventable birth-related deaths and disabilities (Maaloe et al., 2016).
    Currently women in low-income countries deliver without deprived of their dignity and with no privacy or consideration of their need for emotional support. Additionally, women are often treated without sensitivity or empathy (Meguid and Mgbako, 2011).
  • (3/5) The plan: Striving to respond to this challenge, M4ID formed three design teams, one on architecture, led by Helena Sandman, another on services, and a third on products. All design teams, within their particular fields, aimed to find solutions that would enable smoother and safer maternal and new-born birth experiences and support the ability of the delivering mothers to be proactive.
    Further aims were to conduct a locally anchored inclusive design process that would result in spatial design enabling empathic encounters and actions.
  • (3/4) The plan: Striving to respond to this challenge, M4ID formed three design teams, one on architecture, led by Helena Sandman, another on services, and a third on products. All design teams, within their particular fields, aimed to find solutions that would enable smoother and safer maternal and new-born birth experiences and support the ability of the delivering mothers to be proactive.
    Further aims were to conduct a locally anchored inclusive design process that would result in spatial design enabling empathic encounters and actions.
  • (4/5) Prototypes: Two prototype facilities were planned during the project phase, one in Kivunge, Zanzibar, Tanzania and another in Basta, Odisha, India. In both Tanzania and India, the interventions were done considering local circumstances and potentials. The situation of the maternal healthcare sector was similar: quality of care could be improved; levels of hygiene were often low; health-care facilities were crowded; and mothers and expectant mothers lacked possibilities to influence.
    However, even if from a clinical point of view, the actual birthing process is the same, there were varying cultural traditions, divergent norms, and dissimilar health-care systems to take into account. The design proposal for Zanzibar has not yet been constructed, while refurbished facility in Basta was taken into use on the 15 December 2018.
  • (5/5) Prototype in Odisha, India.
  • (5/5) Prototype in Odisha, India.
  • (5/5) Prototype in Odisha, India.
  • (5/5) Prototype in Odisha, India.
  • Odisha, India prototype
  • (5/5) Prototype in Odisha, India.

Highlighted designs

AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR NG’AMBO 

Zanzibar, Tanzania

There is an acute need for housing globally. This need is also present in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The development of the center of Zanzibar town will challenge the current situation in the central area of the city, Ng’ambo. This area needs to accommodate more inhabitants, as the city is growing fast, and an expanding urban sprawl is a threat to the already densely populated island. 

There is a risk that the cultural, both tangible and intangible heritage vanishes, if the real estate market alone guides the development. To preserve the intangible heritage, the original inhabitants would preferably remain on site and be involved in the development of the area. The people in Ng’ambo are in a vulnerable situation, many of the inhabitants have lived in the area for generations and have planned to continue to do so.


Publications

Downloadable articles