In February next year Living Lab Fabriken opens up its doors at Stapelbäddsparken in Västra hamnen, Malmö. Fabriken is a physical lab space offering actors (e.g. citizens, companies, public institutions, NGO’s, researchers) access to technical equipment, knowledge, and skills in order to experiment, prototype, and test new ideas, products and services. In return the actors provide input to the lab by sharing their knowledge, experiences and skills.
A sustainable mindset?
In November three workshops were organized aiming at developing the framework of Fabriken. The two first workshops dealt with the themes of sustainability, and open source. A crucial question discussed was what a sustainable mindset actually could constitute, and how such an approach could be established in a Fabriken context? It was suggested that instead of defining an overall framework of rules that actors have to consider before entering the space, a sustainable culture and mind set will be created from the “inside” through the experience of DOing things. That is, learning by doing and experimenting. A culture of giving-and-taking, sharing-and-caring will be fostered and established along the way. The Fabriken staff on site will play an important role in this process.
An open source approach
The second workshop focused on the issue of open source. What does such an approach towards content, resources, and processes imply, and how could it be established at Fabriken? Again it was emphasized that Fabriken is a place for DOing things – and will so be done according to an open source approach. One proposal presented is the principle of share-or-pay, implying that if actors are not willing to share their material, and/or resources they instead pay a fee (in SEK) for using the lab facilities. Basically, actors that give something get something, actors that give access get access. Tools that make it “easy” to share material, and/or resources will be provided. Fabriken will also assist actors in finding licenses appropriate to the material, and content they produce (e.g. CC, GPL, BSD ).
An internal currency system
The final workshop treated issues regarding the internal currency system that eventually will be implemented within the lab space. Implementing such a system would support and foster exchange between the actors, and also be used to measure the value of these exchanges. An issue to further discuss and try out is how the actors in fact can spend the currency they have earned? How to keep a balance, and a flow within the system? Another important issue to discuss is how to measure the inputs in the system? That is, what specific inputs are counted, and how should they be valued? Three units were given as examples: money (real money); time (services); stuff (materials, gadgets etc.)
These are just some of the themes that were brought up during the three workshops. The next step is to formulate an action plan based on the outcome of the workshops, listing topics that will be develop during the up-coming months. If you are interested in reading the full transcripts, and more detailed notes from the workshops, please contact Elisabet M. Nilsson.
We would like to direct special thanks to all of the workshop participants for contributing, and sharing their insights and expertise. Many thanks to: Helen Hasslöf, School of Education, Malmö university; Torvald Jakobsson, International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund university; Alex Veitch, RÅFILM; Ulrika Forsman Högren, Artcom; Måns Adler, Bambuser; David Sjunnesson, 1Scale1; Tony Olsson, 1Scale1; Mie Nørgaard, ITU; Caroline Lundholm, STPLN; Oyuki Matsumoto, STPLN; Anders Emilson, MEDEA; Anna Seravalli, MEDEA; Arlene Birt, MEDEA; David Cuartielles, MEDEA/1Scale1; Elisabet M. Nilsson, MEDEA; Pelle Ehn, MEDEA; Pernilla Severson, MEDEA; and Richard Toopgard, MEDEA .
Anna Seravalli taking notes on workshop II.