What is a social innovation laboratory

Above all, social innovation means finding new ways in which an urban society can develop in order to improve people's quality of life. This can result in communal or social projects, but also new business models for companies or startups. The new communal laboratory for social innovation "KoSI-Lab" will be a place where these current urban society issues are dealt with. Partners in this innovative project are the Dortmund Social Research Center (sfs) of the TU Dortmund, the Dortmund Economic Development Agency, the Institute for State and Urban Development Research and the twin city of Wuppertal with the Wuppertal Institute.

Thomas Westphal, Managing Director of the Dortmund Economic Development Agency, sees the innovative project as a great opportunity to promote social innovation for Dortmund: "This is where citizens, administration, business, politics and science come together on an equal footing. The KoSI-Lab does not do theoretical research, but rather A wide variety of actors are brought together in order to work on issues such as demographic change, sustainable urban development or the creation of new employment opportunities in a very concrete and practical manner. Social innovation made in Dortmund means developing and implementing good ideas. "

In Dortmund, the latter subject area in particular is dealt with: How can schools and training companies cooperate better with one another? What new qualification requirements are needed? How can more and, above all, simple jobs be created in the city? The twin city of Wuppertal is further developing approaches that are intended to strengthen civic engagement and voluntary work.

"Together with our project partners, we will observe the extent to which the laboratories help citizens to develop new strategies for the future together with the city administration, politics, business and science," explained joint coordinator J├╝rgen Schultze from the sfs at TU Dortmund.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the project under the "Innovative municipalities" project line with 1 million euros. This supports municipalities that research and apply sustainable strategies for local development, infrastructure and public services in conjunction with science. This laboratory lives from participation. The municipal association in Dortmund and Wuppertal is invited to take part in the development of the KoSI labs.

Further information on the project can be found at: www.kosi-lab.net