28. March 2022

The European Innovation Lab - A European workshop and contest for the (further) development of digital formal participation approaches in the European Union

The European Innovation Lab is a contest for young professionals from EU member states, to develop participation portals of the future. It is part of the Aarhus strong project, funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection. 

Digital Public Participation is a vital element of modern democracy. Especially when it comes to infrastructural projects such as power plants, factories or railway networks, the whole society is affected. Therefore, EU law provides for a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), where everyone can contribute their needs and expertise.Authorities are therefore obliged to publish the information on the planned projects and offer online EIA portals.

With the ongoing COVID-19-crisis the essential importance of an effective and efficient design of digital processes is more evident than ever. Existing processes need to be rethought and translated into the digital age. Yet the implementation of EIA portals in the EU could not be more fragmented, which often leads to frustration.

As the design of such a digital participation platform requires a more complex and interdisciplinary approach, the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues invites young professionals from member states of the European Union to take part in its European Innovation Lab to design a platform that meets the demands and goals of modern digital public participation.

Participants will be able to broaden their knowledge and networks while presenting ideas for tomorrow’s portals to an audience of renowned experts and decision makers. The best concepts will be awarded: 1st Prize – 1250 €, 2nd Prize – 1000 €, 3rd Prize – 750 €.

Programme

Phase 1: Kick-off-workshop – 20th of May 2022 (online)

The participants will be introduced to digital public participation in the European Union and especially dive into the legal basis and requirements of EIA platforms. The practicability and design of existing websites will be discussed. You will get to know other participants and have the chance to form alliances for the competition.

Phase 2: The Contest Deadline – 31st of August 2022 (online)

After being equipped with the essentials, you now have four months to develop your own concepts for a digital participation platform. The goal is to design a platform that is compatible with the EU guidelines. However, it is up to you to decide on how you would like to create and implement your ideas. Out of all submissions, a jury of internationally known experts will select three finalists.

Phase 3: The Second Workshop – 16th of September 2022 (online)

In the final workshop, all participants come together with an interdisciplinary expert audience to share their experiences and knowledge. Highlight of the event will be the award ceremony. The three finalists have the opportunity to present and discuss their designs before the final winner is announced.

Admission requirements

Participation is open to young professionals (ideally between 25-35 years of age) who are studying or residing in one of the 27 EU member states. Participants are expected to have experience in relevant disciplines such as web design, graphic design, communicative design, sociology, administrative law, environmental planning, urban development or spacial planning. Participants with expertise in related fields who feel motivated to participate are welcome to register as well.

All Participants will be given a confirmation of participation. Registration is possible until 16.05.2022.
Please submit your registration via the formular below.
For questions you can write an email to aarhus-strong-project@ufu.de

European Innovation Lab (PDF)