Living Labs involve conducting research activities in a real-life environment. They provide interaction spaces where participants collaborate on new technologies, services, products, or systems. Living Labs are becoming a popular way to address societal challenges and have been used in various domains such as urban development, mobility, education, and sustainability. The format Living Labs take is widely interpreted: some are heavily co-creative, whereas others focus on testing research-led approaches or moving innovations beyond laboratories and academia.

  • Real-Life Issues: Tackles complex real-life issues, using data from a real application context.

  • Market Opportunity Discovery: May identify unexpected market opportunities and ways to tailor products/services to specific needs.

  • Promotion of Sustainability: Can promote sustainable practices and technologies by involving final users in innovation creation and testing processes.

  • Versatile Community Empowerment: Versatile tool to empower communities, help refine new policies and support evidence-based decision-making whilst providing a learning environment for diverse stakeholders.

  • Resource-Intensive Testing: Resource intensive to ensure full consideration of factors within the real-life environment context, and the technologies or solutions being tested may, of course, fail.

  • Generalization Challenges: Limitations in generalizing the findings from one (localized) Lab.

  • Potential Selection Bias: Possible selection bias towards certain stakeholder groups.

  • Ethical Considerations: Ethical concerns related to privacy, data protection, and conflicts of interest need to be considered from the outset.


WRI: The World Resources Institute (WRI) Living Lab for Equitable Climate Action is supporting justice-centred behavioural policies and practices, and quantifying population-level behaviour change impacts in transport, energy, and food choices in Mexico, India and the US.


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