A. Democratising the development of technology 

Development and implementation of technology cannot be left to engineers and managers. Technological innovation induces changes in the workplace, or in the relationship between healthcare workers and care recipients. People's roles change. This is why all stakeholders – from employees, to clients, to local residents – must be involved in the design process. Their knowledge and experience is indispensable if we want technology to take their values into account and to meet their needs.

The Dutch city of The Hague has set up a living lab for the development of technology that helps aging citizens live on their own longer and more comfortably. A group of 150 elderly people is involved in selecting and improving technological solutions. The needs of the elderly determine which technology developers may take part in the lab. Together, using a ‘try-out home’, the elderly and the developers find out which solutions meet the needs of elderly people with disabilities or constraints. If necessary, the technology is improved.[1]

Technological innovation should be aimed at supporting employees, not at replacing them. What do employees need to do their jobs better? How can their work be made more satisfying? Innovation requires that employees have a say.[2] Arrangements for co-creation the development of technology together with employees and other stake­holders can be made within the municipal organisation, as well as in contracts with organisations and companies to which the municipality outsources tasks.


Further viewing

Video: Scalings, co-creation with local residents in Ulm Afspelen op YouTube


This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of Wetenschappelijk Bureau GroenLinks (NL), Green Economics Institute (UK), Institute for Active Citizenship (CZ), Etopia (BE), Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation.

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