A successful co-creation workshop for LANVA

Invited by CEFRIO and the Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS), both project initiators of LANVA, sixty actors from various backgrounds gathered at CenTech (the former planetarium) to reflect on issues experienced by seniors, as well as on their causes and impacts. The goal was to bring together a wide range of expertise around issues specific to seniors in order to guide subsequent phases of the project to generate ideas for products and services with high impact potential to help aging populations remain autonomous and active in the public space. 

The meeting of expertise and experience

Representatives from the industrial and technological sectors, community groups working with seniors, non-profit organizations, and also seniors and public service representatives working in urban planning, social development and public transit offered their knowledge and experience to collectively identify potential for linkages between the needs of this target clientele and new digital solutions to explore to meet these needs.

“We are delighted to have been able to rely on the generosity and commitment of so many participants in this co-creation workshop, an exercise that can be quite demanding! The wealth of ideas that emerges from this meeting of the knowledge, expertise and experience of all these actors is precisely the foundation of an approach specific to the generation of social innovations. This collecting of information and ideas will help to highlight not only the main issues on which LANVA’s work is based, but also the potential for social impact inherent in future technological solutions,” said Patrick Dubé, co-director of the MIS.

Jean-Pierre Rivard, a computer trainer and a senior, felt out of place at first when he arrived for the day devoted to the co-creation workshop.

“This young, dynamic world seemed filled with great ideas – I asked myself what I was doing there!” he said, laughing. “But when I found myself at a work table, I quickly understood the relevance of my role. A young creative can’t really understand the reasons behind a senior’s fears and concerns about technology. They can’t even imagine that we used to use shared phone lines with three short rings and a long ring to identify who the call was for! So, I was happy to be able to contribute to this reflection, to explain the other side of the coin and to share the concrete and real experience of an elderly person. You know, to move forward, you have to take a step backward to give yourself some momentum. So I guess I represented that step back!”

Everyday situations experienced by seniors

So what issues did participants work on? From security and prevention, to housing, living environments and transportation; from communication with caregivers to social inclusion; from the well-being that comes from sport and leisure activities to the tasks of everyday life, a host of issues emerged around these themes.

For example, during a discussion about the management of household waste, a team explored the complexity of the task with regard to the many rules than need to be respected: instructions, schedules, types of equipment used for various collections, depending on whether it’s for the collection of recyclable materials, food waste, green waste, hazardous household waste or garbage. They highlighted certain obvious obstacles for seniors such as the fear of being fined or being judged by their fellow citizens. Could we consider a digital solution that takes into account all the components of this problem?

What’s next for LANVA

This is the next step for LANVA. The CEFRIO and MIS teams are analyzing the information collected from this workshop in order to identify the priority issues to focus on to build on this wealth of information collected, based on the partners who have come forward to devote time and resources in the coming months. A summary report of this workshop will be disseminated and a first innovation unit will be launched.

“This co-creation workshop was a milestone for LANVA and we are very satisfied with the information gathered that will facilitate the beginning of the innovation generation process. The potential of digital technology to help aging people stay independent is huge! We hope that the innovations that will be generated from the working units in the coming months can be developed with different partners and that, eventually, a transfer of knowledge and practices can be made in order to integrate them into different aspects of seniors’ lives,” said Josée Beaudoin, vice-president, innovation and transfer at CEFRIO.

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LANVA collaborators

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