The Waag team has been working on a co-creation toolkit for the last few months and a first version of the toolkit is available, now aptly labelled as co-creation navigator. During a management seminar in April, organised by the Danish Ministry of Culture, Waag presented the concept of the navigator to an audience of Danish cultural organisations.
Co-creation is grounded in a practical approach: working with (real) people to get to a shared solution for the issue you have put forward. To be able to do this you do need some theory, context and explanation, which can quickly become quite abstract.
To help ground these abstractions, we started mapping the process of co-creation as a whole. This overview of the process has resulted in an interactive platform, or application, that we have called the co-creation navigator.
The navigator will guide professionals who want to engage in co-creation through the different stages of the process, from preparation to execution. The application is a 'self-help' tool that offers:
- a repository of (existing) co-creation methods and tools, offering a vast and growing repertoire of activities;
- a learning-by-doing approach, in which users explore and reflect on different elements before they execute them;
- (scripted) personal coaching, guiding users through the process, offering expected and unexpected messages and exercises relevant for the stage which they are in.
The application is based on Waag's longstanding experience with co-creation and the work done in BigPicnic's Train-the-trainer sessions and with the individual gardens. The navigator uses the metaphor of a subway map to guide you on your journey through a co-creative process. The first beta version is already available online, and it is being evaluated with and by BigPicnic Partners (https://ccn.waag.org).
The application and its intention was well received within the context of the seminar in Denmark. It focused on managing co-creative processes and the idea of ‘losing control’ during that process. Some 50 representatives of Danish cultural organisations were there to learn about the power of co-creation.
Questions underlying the sessions were:
- how do new technologies create value for the public?
- how do we ensure relevant content that attracts a new and younger generation?
- how do we use the public's knowledge and skills in the development of new activities?
- how can you be a (state funded) cultural institution but still have a sharp team spirit?
We have invited the attendees to check out the navigator themselves and to contribute to the next stages of development by giving feedback or contribute methods. Currently there are about 70 tools and methods available in the first beta version of the navigator, but this will grow as we develop further within BigPicnic and through two completely different co-creation contexts offered by the Cities4People and MUV projects.