“Responsible Citizen Innovation”: a multi-stakeholder dialogue event to be held in Milan

May 15th 2018 events

After the “Innovation with and for society” workshop held in Bologna on 20 April, a second multi-stakeholder dialogue will take place in Milan on 21 June. The workshop, organized by Giannino Bassetti Foundation, will try to explore open questions in bringing responsibility to industrial innovation. Participants from different fields will discuss if and how citizens and patient-driven initiatives should be embedded in innovation pathways, with a particular focus on the three SMART-map areas (Precision Medicine, 3DMed , and Synthetic Biology) and how to reward citizens’ effort in such processes.

The event comes from the idea that DIY-experiences (i.e. wetlabs, bio-benches, fablabs and makerspaces) are becoming more and more common, along with co-creation and co-design settings, end-user panels, patient-innovators initiatives and health data-collecting platforms. Grassroots initiatives are often encouraged as a relevant element of Responsible Innovation, but, at the same time, critiques have been raised on the exploitation of this approaches by innovation entrepreneurs described1 as “the public donating its unpaid work and data to privately owned, online entities” and “extension of the sharing economy into the heart of scientific research”. In business and entrepreneurial realms, where the final aim is to reach the market with new products, services and processes for profit, how to ensure that citizens’ contribution can be properly recognized and rewarded? What kind of options and mechanisms can innovation ecosystems adopt to incentivize “Citizen Innovation” but also guarantee a fair and transparent compensation for those who take part in the design or refinements of new marketable products to pursue an actual Responsible Innovation? Participants’ expertise and experiences will contribute to enrich the discussion and to properly address key issues.

SMART-map will organize a third cross-fertilization dialogue, that will be held in July.



1“Against citizen science”, P. Mirowski –Aeon Magazine, Nov 2017. Retrievable here: https://aeon.co/essays/is-grassroots-citizen-science-a-front-for-big-business


Project Coordination
prof. Francesco Lescai,
Aarhus University


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation, under grant agreement no. 710500