A core principle of the Leeds Living Lab is openness and accessibility of data, findings and recommendation wherever possible and practicable. This is so that projects contribute to driving sustainability at the University and that others can build on findings – the ‘learning loop’ of the living lab approach.
- Final projects/reports/case studies (along with ideas for further research) should be provided to the Sustainability Service. Where appropriate, data sets should also be shared so that they can feed into future projects and be made available to others.
- Publication and sharing of Living Lab projects in academic papers, at conferences and seminars is actively encouraged. Utilise this opportunity to highlight the living lab approach taken, why it was used and the benefits and challenges of doing so.
- On project completion Living Lab partners are required to produce a concise report on findings and recommendations. This should be in a format suitable for a variety of non-academic readers such as relevant University Services, practitioners involved and local stakeholders.
- The Sustainability Service will always seek to add a case study of a Living Lab project to its website. This allows projects to be more effectively shared and promoted to support learning and further research.
- Seek opportunities to present findings at relevant operational meetings, groups etc. This may also be something that student partners can share with prospective employers to highlight the project they have delivered.
- Living Lab project partners should try to promote the project, research and findings through social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Academic.edu and ResearchGate. Case studies and blogs are excellent additions that can be shared through University websites.
- Living Lab projects provide the opportunity for partners to present experiences of collaborating through this methodology to colleagues, to inform them about the benefits of the approach and encourage others to develop Living Lab projects.
There are a number of opportunities to showcase and gain recognition for Living Lab projects at the University of Leeds:
- The annual University of Leeds Student Sustainability Conference is an opportunity for any student to present their curricular projects or research to a wide audience, and network with like-minded students, staff, and visitors
- The annual Sustainability Awards recognise staff and student sustainability research and activities and the Living Lab is one of the key awards in the Building Knowledge and Capacity category
- Further opportunities exist through Schools, Faculties and Services, or even through relevant research groups across the University.
It is not always possible to fully implement project recommendations as soon as a project is finished e.g. because of the time it can take to approve and embed new ways of working in the University. The Sustainability Service can therefore continue to disseminate findings and recommendations with relevant stakeholders and keep you engaged and informed of progress. Partners in a project should always discuss timescales throughout to ensure expectations are clear and managed.
Before sharing data, ensure that the required consent or, in the case of third-party partners, the necessary agreements, has been given. Ensure that data has been anonymised where appropriate and that access to confidential data has been restricted appropriately.
University operations/professional services staff
Depending on the approval required to implement recommendations, there may be opportunities to present findings and recommendations from the project at team meetings and committees. Communicate with the researchers about the likely timescales of implementing recommendations. If the opportunity arises, presenting your experiences to colleagues formally or informally makes others aware of what has been achieved with the Living Lab and may encourage others to get involved.
(This has been adapted from the University of Edinburgh Living Lab and Edinburgh Living Lab and the toolkit prepared by Liz Cooper, Catherine Magill and Ewan Klein)