The social lab as a method for experimental engagement in participatory research

ilse Marschalek, Vincent Blok, Michael Bernstein, Robert Braun, Joshua Cohen, Margit Hofer, Lisa M. Seebacher, Elisabeth Unterfrauner, Stephanie Daimer, Mika Nieminen, Malene Vinther Christensen, Raj Kumar Thapa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


How does the Social Lab methodology support participatory research? This paper provides an evidence-based analysis of experiences of 19 implemented Social Labs applying experiential learning cycles on the question of how to induce Responsible Research and Innovation in the Horizon2020 research funding scheme of the European Commission and beyond. It looks at the potentials of Social Labs to allow participation in research and innovation addressing societal challenges and contrasts empirical results with the theoretical conceptualisation of a scientific Social Lab methodology. It discusses drivers and barriers of engagement, and provides evidence for the impacts of experimental engagement on participation in the context of the labs, substantiated by concrete examples from some of these labs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-442
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Responsible Innovation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • RRI
  • Social Labs
  • participatory research
  • public engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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