EU-MACS Coordinator: Prof. Adriaan Perrels,
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Panel management

- Authors: Ines Vaittinen (ENoLL) and Koen Vervoort (imec)

Quadruple helix stakeholder engagement is a central factor in Living Labs. It brings together stakeholders from public institutions (at the level of cities, regions & local, regional, national & European policy), private organizations (start-ups, SMEs, corporations), as well as academia (researchers, universities, research organizations) and citizens. This leads to the inclusion of representatives from each sector in innovation processes, creating results from which all involved stakeholders can benefit.

Facilitating exchanges and collaborations between such a diverse group of stakeholders, with different backgrounds and knowledge areas, is important for creating holistic solutions that serve all of them, rather than focusing on the few. In Living Labs, stakeholders are sometimes arranged in panels. A well-planned panel management process allows the Living Lab to create meaningful activities and sustainable processes for the involvement of the different stakeholders. In these panels, the final recipients or beneficiaries who will use the solutions created are referred to as users, and the methodology ensures that their role is carefully planned and executed to consider also the wider network and interactions with other stakeholders who need to be involved, how, when, where and their role in the panel. For example, in a health-related Living Lab project focusing on seniors, their caregivers, families and general practitioners should be included as well.

Workshop methodology & results

The approach deployed in the workshop was used to consider the role of the quadruple helix stakeholders in the panel. This focused on the plan of activities for the two cities, Bologna and Helsinki, as well as the wider network of stakeholders for involvement in the development of climate services. The outcomes of the workshop are: 1) an extended stakeholder mapping, 2) a plan of activities where the different stakeholders are mapped according to their involvement in each of the activities, and 3) further understanding of when and how to involve, and why.

The approach used to consider the panel of stakeholders in the context of the EU-MACS project was a panel management workshop. During the workshop ~20 experienced Living Lab practitioners from the ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs) network lent their expertise to consider which stakeholders are involved in climate services and the types of activities in which each of these stakeholders would be involved. The process consisted of two steps: first, the stakeholders were mapped on panel circles, placing the most central role in the center, and discussing the linkages between the different stakeholders as the circle widens. Second, the panel of stakeholders were transferred to the panel matrix, creating an overview of which stakeholders to involve in which activities, while keeping in mind the continuity of these interactions, considering the user point of view as a central factor.

The workshop resulted in panel circles that extended the stakeholder mapping for the project and a sustainable plan for engagement activities.
In order to prepare your participants to understand the context of the workshop exercise, a brief explanation is needed. The EU-MACS flyer explaining the project to the workshop participants can be viewed here.

Read the workshop debrief report here.
The stakeholder analysis resulting from the workshop is presented to indicate the centrality of stakeholders here.

Panel circles

Panel circles are a method of stakeholder mapping where the participants of the workshop are asked to ideate the different types of stakeholders that should be involved in the Living Lab activities. The four groups each created individual panel circles, providing the workshop facilitators information on who in their view is places in the center of the circle. The combined panel circle, representing all stakeholders and configurations by all of the table groups presents the extended network of stakeholders as well as the centrality of their role in the Living Lab activities:


Panel matrix & WORTHCASE

Transferring the panel of stakeholders from the panel circles onto the panel matrix creates a connection to the planned activities. On the panel matrix, in this case, a plan of activities was suggested. The workshop participants then planned the involvement of the panel to consider the types of activities in which each stakeholder is involved, the frequency of interactions, the number of participants to include, etc. to create a sustainable plan for stakeholder engagement. The types of activities suggested in the panel matrix included activities conducted with the urban planners during the EU-MACS project: interviews, survey, mental models, CTA – as well as the workshops conducted for the guidelines for Living Labs in CS: panel management, personas, citizen journeys, lego serious play, mvp prototyping & testing, and the SCRUM-like methodology later defined as the Framework for Agile Living Labs. Beyond these, the plan also suggested further possibilities, such as wireframing, service jams & hackathons, field trials, campaigns etc.



The next step in the panel management methodology is to transfer the “x”s (marking the involvement of the stakeholder in different activities) into numbers. From the number of required or preferred amount of participants, the methodology continues to “WORTHCASE” matrix (who, what/when, organization, recruitment, timing, help & support, communication, attrition, succeed & estimation). Using the WORTHCASE matrix, more precise and budgeted planning takes place, while feeding information to the original panel matrix plan of activities: as these are always subject to adjustments, adapting to the needs of the project.

To include WORTHCASE matrix in your workshop, contact Koen Vervoort from imec Living Lab: