Findings from CCO expert discussion workshops on Key success factors in orchestrating September 2020


On 2 September, Laurea CCO organised an expert discussion workshop 'Key success factors in orchestration' at the Digital Living Lab Days (DLLD), an annual conference organised by European Network of Living Labs ENoLL. The workshop presentations and videos can be seen here.


By the request of ENoLL, on 29 September CCO organised a rerun of the workshop for another expert group. This rerun was based on the results of the previously held workshop. In both workshops, the expert participants discussed orchestration in globally successful large-scale, multifaceted, and inclusive cross-sectoral, cross-organisational, cross-disciplinary multi-stakeholder innovation ecosystems aiming at tackling wicked problems.


Here is the summary of findings from the two expert discussion workshops:

(see further below for more detailed results from each workshop)


Key success factors in orchestrating globally successful large-scale, multifaceted, and inclusive cross-sectoral, cross-organisational, cross-disciplinary multi-stakeholder innovation ecosystems aiming at tackling wicked problems:

  • Using different curation, bridging, and facilitation activities to praise complexity and cover the whole ecosystem and process

  • Revealing hidden needs and hidden agendas

  • Cultivating a shared, common language, a shared narrative, a shared vision, a common goal and a shared value

  • Enabling and fostering trust, openness and transparency

  • Engaging all stakeholders and fostering inclusivity per the needs in different innovation phases

  • Considering the goals and motivations of the different actors while minimising polarisation, and managing serendipity

  • Facilitating the building of capacities and competences to shift between collaboration maturity

  • Taking small steps in building collaboration

  • Geographically focused, globally connected

  • Considering variation between different ecosystems when creating orchestration models

  • Using transition phases and to bridge and go beyond organisational boundaries

  • Integrating competition and collaboration, using conflict as driver for learning and innovation

  • Creating permanent places, spaces, and co-create ecosystems

  • Considering digital accessibility also for visually impaired

  • Widening impact assessment frameworks

  • Participatory, citizen driven RDI and related leadership, governance and orchestration models are developing into right direction – but bold actions missing focus too much on individual projects and operational aspects - progress is too slow

  • Bottom up movement needs strategic legitimation from top-down, i.e. from the managerial bodies of organisations, the local and national governments and the EU, and the funding instruments



More detailed results from the two expert discussion workshops:


1. CCO expert discussion workshop at the Digital Living Lab Days 2 Sept 2020:

Discussion topic: What are the key success factors in orchestrating globally successful large-scale, multifaceted, and inclusive cross-sectoral, cross-organisational, cross-disciplinary multi-stakeholder innovation ecosystems aiming at tackling wicked problems?


Based on the workshop discussions of four expert groups, the following key success factors were identified:


- Enabling and facilitating cultivating a shared, common language, a shared narrative, and a common goal

  • Also with different actors coming up with many different ideas, aiming at facilitating how to go from these to co-innovation

  • At the same time, however, ensuring that space is given to different discourses and the own goals of different actors

- Enabling and fostering trust, openness and transparency arose as another vital success factor in orchestrating complex innovation ecosystems

  • Aiming at enabling and fostering transparency e.g. related to the goals, expertise, and resources of the different parties, but also in financing and funding, as well as in the utilization of ideas and IPRs

  • As building trust takes time, this is also relates to the need for continuous, comprehensive long-term or permanent orchestration activities

- Another identified key success factor in orchestrating was engaging all stakeholders and fostering inclusivity in the innovation ecosystem: ensuring that all necessary, important actors and stakeholders are involved and engaged


- Taking into account the goals and motivations of the different actors and working them into the collaboration while minimising polarisation was seen as another key factor for successful orchestrating

  • And it was pointed out that it is important for the success of the orchestration to consider also the possible change of these goals and motivations over time throughout the whole collaboration or a project, not only at the beginning

  • Still, while the needs and goals of different actors need to be taken into account, ensuring that all egos and hidden agendas will be put aside

  • With regards to different actors’ different resources, if e.g. funding comes from just one source: purposefully ensuring also other actors’ interests are being included

- Besides orchestrator activities being permanent, it was also recommended that the places or spaces for everybody to come up and co-create should be permanent in order for successful orchestration in innovation ecosystems

  • Therefore, aiming at keeping the ecosystem functioning more sustainably than through individual projects alone was considered as important; this was pointed out to affect also the credibility of the ecosystem and its activities, and especially the willingness of the citizens to participate

- Playing an active part in facilitating the building of capacities and competences to shift between collaboration maturity: different capacities are needed at different levels; aiming at assisting with how to make the shift between those levels


- At any level of collaboration maturity, keeping in mind the importance of taking small steps in building collaboration


- Geographically focused


- Highly recommended to consider variation between different ecosystems when creating orchestration models


- In the times of the current crisis, a co-creation challenge has become apparent: digital tools may reduce accessibility, e.g. many tools are purely visual and therefore cannot easily - or at all - be accessible to visually impaired. Considering digital accessibility also for visually impaired


Based on this session, Participatory, citizen driven RDI and related leadership-, governance and orchestration models are developing into right direction, however, the development is far too slow and focusing too much into operational aspects compared to:

  • the nature of global wicked problems to be solved,

  • the transforming potential this approach can offer when renewing societies and economies and their socio-technical systems, and

  • the resources spent to the technology driven infrastructures and solutions

Participatory RDI and collaboration have huge unrevealed potential to solve wicked problems, guarantee democratic development, the vitality of regional ecosystems, societal ecological resilience as well as human driven AI and ICT development.

  • Therefore, the bottom-up movement focusing only on their own activities will NOT be able to revel the above-mentioned potential, but needs stronger support from top-down, i.e. from the managerial bodies of organisations, local and national governments and the EU, and the funding instruments.

  • Therefore, we should dare to recommend them to apply Mission driven strategies, Medium and long-term strategic foresights, as well as tools to measure the expected impacts to legitimate and motivate the bottom-up cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral and cross-border collaboration.



2. CCO expert discussion workshop 29 Sept 2020:

Discussion topic:

Is there still something missing from the orchestrator’s key success factor list* when aiming to solve wicked problems in an innovation ecosystem?


How does the orchestrator make the key success factors happen in practice, and what kind of recommendations she/he has to provide for those responsible for the operative environment to make the ecosystem stronger?


*= the referred list being the results of the first workshop 2 Sept as seen above


  • Using different curation, bridging, and facilitation activities to praise complexity and cover the whole ecosystem and process

  • Engaging all stakeholders and fostering inclusivity per the needs in different innovation phases

  • Managing serendipity

  • Geographically focused, globally connected

  • Using transition phases and to bridge and go beyond organisational boundaries

  • Integrating competition and collaboration, using conflict as driver for learning and innovation

  • Creating permanent places, spaces, and co-create ecosystems

  • Widening impact assessment frameworks

  • Participatory, citizen driven RDI and related leadership, governance and orchestration models are developing into right direction – but bold actions missing; focus too much on individual projects and operational aspects - progress is too slow.

  • Bottom up movement needs strategic legitimation from top-down, i.e. from the managerial bodies of organisations, the local and national governments and the EU, and the funding instruments.

See the expert comments by Bror Salmelin, high-level expert on Living Labs and Open Innovation, here in a short video


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