INNOVATION VS LIVING LABS
As living labs, which are different from innovation labs, is a cornerstone of the VITAE concept, the following provide a high-level overview of the differences between living labs and innovation labs, as well as the various models.
As the author and initiator of VITAE, I am well positioned to speak of the benefits of living labs. Since MISSION 2030, a people choice award-winning change management initiative for net-zero construction, renovation, demolition waste by 2030. The concept and program progressed in leaps and bounds greatly thanks to the use of the Climate CoLab – MIT Centre for Collective Intelligence in Cambridge MA. The ongoing use and collaboration received from organizations worldwide received attention that would have never been possible without, and led to the engagement with United Nations Environmental Programs working on the global 2030 sustainable development goals, which were part of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Other living labs invaluable and considered in the creation of the VITAE concept elements include:
- Carleton University’s
- ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs), which boasts more than 160 living labs (80% European and 20% external). Canadian living labs that are ENoLL members are:
- LLio (Living Lab en innovation ouverte), Cégep de Rivière du Loup Québec
- Mandalab, Montreal, focused on community engagement
- Rehabilitation Living Lab in the mall (RehabMaLL) , Montreal, focused on rehabilitation
- Society for Arts and technology (SAT), Montreal
A sampling of other living labs, which VITAE aims to interact with, in additions to cooperatives, academia, social enterprises and/or public and private organizations include:
- Agriculture and Agri-food Canada – Living Laboratories Initiative
- Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program – Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
- Lake Superior Living Lab Network
- Ingenium Canada – University of Ottawa and Canadian Museum of Science and Technology
- Realagriculture – Manitoba
- MacKenzie Health Innovation Unit – Richmond Hill ON
- City Living Labs – Calgary
- Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare Innovation – North York General Hospital
- Entrepreneurial living labs in the US – click here for Inc. Blog
- MITbigdata and MIT Sustainability – MIT
LIVING LAB BUSINESS VALUE
Knowing the stocks and flows of our real economy is important for any business. Unfortunately, in addition to too many not knowing this, not all assets/liabilities, and resources or waste are covered in business value – although they should be. Especially in generative initiatives, and large projects like the redevelopment of an entire campus as proposed with the Alfred College Campus. Because considering the entire or total business value will help apply important strategies such as those proposed by Deloitte for the solution economy: change the lens; target the gaps; rethink constraints; embrace lightweight solutions; buy differently; and measure what matters, or any other strategies aimed at integration, and (re)generation. Moreover, real value is at the heart of the resource revolution.
To achieve a higher total business value, life cycle assessment (LCA), which is different from life cycle costing (LCC), is key. And while LCAs require greater front end (re)development investments, they can also significantly reduce delivery, operational, and maintenance costs, time, and environment impacts, while optimizing various resources, and eliminating waste. The following presents important VITAE tangible and intangible values to be considered.