STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops
The STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops are methods to innovate the processes of creation of values of the IoT European Large-Scale Pilots Projects (LSPs). Engagement of the full range of stakeholders of the LSPs- ranging from the promoter, the European Commission (EC), to end beneficiaries, also including partners of the LSPs, Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs), startups and artists - makes of the Science, Technology and the Arts (STARTS) initiative of the Digital Single Market (DSM) the overarching principle of those methods.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the origin of a new era of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) where consumers are no longer just users. They are key active agents of innovation in the creation of new IoT specific processes, products and services. They are, for sure, assemblers and beta-testers of combinations of of-the-shelf solutions made available by the LSPs, potentially transforming themselves from consumers into producers - prosumers. In this process of transformation, they might even become entrepreneurs and create their own businesses as providers of new services built upon the IoT platforms being implemented by the LSPs.
The notion of co-creation of values is based on the notion of value creation. Creation is, in its original sense, an artistic act. Therefore, values co-creation expands both the concepts of value creation and co-creation towards wider, holistic and more inclusive approaches to social and economical development in the European Union (EU), contributing for the creation of jobs and growth.
The STARTS Co-Creation Method - applied in the STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops - is more than just a managerial tool. Because of its artistic origin, the STARTS Co-Creation Method is an on-the-ground action. It is inspired on the notion of artistic intervention and it goes beyond user engagement as implemented in the U4IoT complimentary project of the IoT European Large-Scale Pilots Programme. Besides the concrete on-the-ground integration of all relevant stakeholders of specific LSPs use-cases, the STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops put forward the plural of value in order to highlight the importance of not (or not yet) capitalized immaterial values. The STARTS IoT Cluster aggregates a group of artists contributing to the STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops. The role of artists is to create artistic contexts stimulating the creative participation of all stakeholders, including themselves, in the processes of creation of values of the LSPs.
The STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops are methods integrating artistic practices in the specific context of the LSPs. The plurality of STARTS IoT Methods derives from several possible combinations of STARTS IoT Modules of Action. They are concrete and to be applied in the specific areas of innovation of the IoT LSPs initiative: food and farming, healthy aging, public mass events, self-driven vehicles and smart cities. Furthermore, the methods aim to, concretely and in practice, promote the cross fertilization between those IoT LSPs fields of action as well as to nurture innovative business driven technical applications that might emerge from specific combinations of those fields.
The STARTS IoT Modules of Action result from the wide experience of the partners of CreateIoT dedicated to develop and implement the STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops. Future Everything, BluSpecs, IDATE and Artshare are the partners in CreateIoT that have been closely collaborating in this field. Synergies with the complimentary project U4IoT also contributed to the development of the methods, specially on what concerns user engagement.
The STARTS IoT Methods are fully adaptable and therefore resulting from specific combinations of STARTS IoT Modules of Action according to the specificities, not only of each one of the LSPs they are tailored for, but of each of the particular LSPs use-cases.
Critical Approach to IoT
To think out-of-the-box is a well-known objective in innovation processes. Artists, however, are more interested in getting rid of the box. It is this disruptive approach that is seen as fundamental to create a critical approach to technological developments. In this context, the integration of artists in technological research processes can be instrumental for the attribution of meaning to new technologies. A solid critical approach is fundamental for competitiveness based in knowledge and creativity.
The critical approach is one of the main differential elements between artists and designers. An artist involved in a technological challenge would go deeper in the analysis of the challenge, with a critical eye. On the other hand, a designer would be driven by finding a solution – problem solving.
An example of artistic critical approach in IoT is the work of artist James Brindle who is trying to build his own self-driving car and published all the code developed in pursuit of the DIY self-driving car via this link. Brindle says:
Self-driving cars bring together a bunch of really interesting technologies—such as machine vision and intelligence—with crucial social issues such as the atomization and changing nature of labour, the shift of power to corporate elites and Silicon Valley, and the quasi-religious faith in computation as the only framework for the production of truth—and hence, ethics and social justice.(..) The attempt to build my own car is a process of understanding how the dominant narratives of these technologies are produced, and could be changed.