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Living Lab workshops

Drew Mackie and David Wilcox

We believe Londoners will benefit from development of networks and strong relationships at personal, local and London levels, as illustrated in the poster below. Living Lab workshops allow people to play through what that means in practice.


We use a fictitious but realistic place - the London Borough of Slipham - as a Living Lab to explore how to improve the ways in which people connect with local services, organisations, and opportunities in their community.

We can also work together in the Lab to find out what support organisations need, and what is involved in putting ideas into practice.

To do that we have a background map of existing connections, some characters and organisations, and some challenges to meet. The Lab can then be developed - subject to funding - as a “for real” co-design toolkit for local people and organisations.

Game for London

Our Way Ahead and Connecting Londoners ran a workshop with about 50 people on November 16 2017 at London Metropolitan University to play through how to develop networked support systems for civil society.

During an hour and a half session we heard about current plans for support systems focussed on a Hub; adopted roles from concerned citizen to network leader and council officer; reviewed challenges and ideas from a consultant’s report; developed further ideas, and then chose methods and actions to carry them out.

We negotiated how we could support each other with funding, endorsement, and sharing. And we decided who could deliver on the ideas. We then captured our reports of the project ideas on video - and discussed what we had learned from the session.

Using fictitious personas for group discussion

Not everyone is comfortable with role playing games, and one alternative is to invite groups to develop fictitious personas as the basis for further discussion about communication methods or other solutions to challenges raised in development of the persona.

Living Well in the Digital Age

From 2012 to 2016 Drew Mackie and David Wilcox worked with others on an exploration into Living Well in the Digital Age. Our clients and partners included the Nominet Trust, Age Action Alliance and Centre for Ageing Better.

In 2015 we ran a workshop at the Department for Communities and Local Government, with the Age Action Alliance Digital Inclusion Group. Report here

In May 2016 we designed and ran a workshop game with the Centre for Ageing Better that explored how to use digital method to enable better connections for older people, their friends, families and neighbourhood interests and support. Workshop report.

Digital technology for consultants and trainers

We developed a game with the Management Development Network to explore how their members could best use computers, tablets and smartphones. Workshop report.


In January 2010 RSA Fellows and members of the Chelmsford Society met to discuss how they could work together on issues around the town centre. As part of that we ran a version of the SocialbySocial game to explore how social media might play a part in any plans. Video reports

The Commons

We are developing a Living Lab workshop game and online app. More here

Age of No Retirement prototype

livinglab.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/10 09:13 by davidwilcox