“Hamburg Innovators Unite: Development of a Hamburg Living Lab for Social Innovation” 


In a dynamic gathering on November 3rd, visionaries and stakeholders converged at Hamburg, Germany, to envision the blueprint for a groundbreaking initiative: the Hamburg Living Lab for Social Innovation. Under the aegis of Behoerde Fuer Arbeit, Gesundheit, Soziales, Familie Und Integration Hamburg, this momentous collaboration unfolded in alignment with the vision of the INTEGER project—a beacon in the realm of healthy living promotion, steering the evolution of resilient, inclusive, and integrated EU innovation ecosystems. 

Under the banner of fostering innovation and community synergy, participants engaged in a crafted agenda that spanned a multitude of perspectives and experiences. The itinerary, finely tuned to maximize discussions and ideation, developed an array of presentations, workshops, and group dialogues. 

The event kicked off with a warm welcome and INTEGER project presentation, setting the stage for an exploration of federal and state initiatives by esteemed figures such as Ms. Stobbe from the Ministry for Economy and Innovation and Mr. Unterberg from IFB Investment and Development Bank Hamburg. 

A series of best-practice case studies from Living Labs in Bremen, Siegen, and Barcelona, led by experts in their domains, provided invaluable insights into successful models, sparking discussions on adaptability and scalability. 

The crux of the day emerged during the workshop sessions, where participants delved into the essence of a Hamburg Living Lab. Divided into groups representing the four helixes, they dissected key questions—unearthing the value propositions, organizational frameworks, and requisite resources essential for the envisioned Living Lab. 

Diverse perspectives coalesced into concrete propositions, delineating the added value a Living Lab could bring to individuals and organizations. The discussions revolved around low-threshold community engagement, problem-oriented projects, and the potential of the Lab as a platform for discourse and innovation. 

Two working groups emerged with distinct yet complementary perspectives. While one emphasized specificity and locality, aligning with existing structures, the other stressed the importance of networking, sustainable structures, and funding avenues, advocating for a cautious yet expansive approach. 

Amidst animated discussions, participants highlighted the Poliklinik Veddel’s strides in setting up a district laboratory and deliberated on potential collaborations with local health centers. They underscored the significance of strategic partnerships, cautious expansion, and the need for an exploratory phase financed by foundations or private investors. 

The roadmap ahead crystallized through delineated next steps: digital and in-person meetings, defining short and medium-term goals, and crafting a collective roadmap for future rendezvous, slated for the second half of January. As a recommendation for continued collaboration, stakeholders were encouraged to subscribe to the project platform “The Glocal Network.” 

This gathering, a confluence of minds, has set the wheels in motion for a transformative venture. The envisioned Hamburg Living Lab for Social Innovation emerges not merely as a concept but as an imminent reality—forging a path toward societal change and community empowerment. 

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