The citizen panel meetings had the aim to promote inclusiveness in the debate on sustainable innovation by consulting citizens.
The CASI project was funded by the 7th Framework Programme and lasted for 42 months (January 2014 - June 2017). Its main aim was to investigate the scope of sustainable innovation as a societal phenomenon and develop an assessment framework of sustainable innovation practices, whose application can be integrated into public policy developments.
Within the project, CUE Ltd organised two citizen panel meetings to promote inclusiveness in the debate on sustainable innovation. During the first one, citizens worked out their visions for the sustainable future state of the environment by incorporating their concerns and hopes. Topics discussed included participation in the development of innovation, inclusiveness, ethics, gender and open access.
These visions (together with the visions from other citizens’ panels organised by other partners) were translated into 27 research priorities on sustainable innovation, by environmental, innovation research and policy research experts.
In the second meeting, the same citizens validated the research priorities identified by the experts. They also produced a Top-10 of the entire list of the 27 research priorities, based on citizens’ individual votes. The national Top-10s were later merged with the top-10 lists from other panels organised by other partners to create a transnational Top-10 list of research priorities for a more sustainable future.
The methodology was first developed and used in the FP7 Blue Sky research project, CIVISTI.
The cost was about £2400 (the first meeting lasted one day and involved 19 citizens; the second one lasted half day and 11 citizens attended). The staff cost was about £11000. This includes 3 people who organised and run the meetings and prepared the reports after the events, plus a facilitator.
Evidence of success
The first Meetings produced 50 visions for a more sustainable future, 4 of these produced in UK. The experts translated these 50 visions into research priorities and chose 27 for further elaboration.
In the second Meetings, the citizens validated the research priorities and produced a Top-10 list. The national Top-10s were later merged with the Top-10s from other panels organised by other partners to create a transnational Top-10 list of research priorities for a more sustainable future.
The biggest challenge was the recruitment of the citizens in terms of
promotion of the events to be able to reach the right audience, but also selection of a panel that was representative of the population.
Potential for learning or transfer
This is a practice that could be transferred to other regions and type of projects were a view/opinion from citizens is needed.
In fact, the methodology was first developed and used in the FP7 Blue Sky research project, CIVISTI. After being used in the CASI project, it was transferred to the Citizen Panels organised within the Interreg Europe Pe4Trans project.