To be expected: Catalyst


The rise of the smart city comes with a seemingly endless array of possibilities, but is at the same time accompanied by uncertainties, dilemmas and concerns. The question should not be whether smart cities are good or bad, but how digitalisation can be developed and implemented responsibly. It is clear that all parties should be involved, but there are still many questions on how to engage (all of) them effectively. There is a need for new methods to discuss the impacts of emerging technologies in a contextualized way, engaging a variety of publics and perspectives.

In this project, we aim to contribute to this by experimenting with the role of NEMO Science Museum as a platform for inclusive deliberation and cocreation to enhance responsiveness of policy-makers and innovators in the digitalization of the city of the future. Science museums could be ideal hosts for such processes, for they are trusted places by the public and are capable of designing narratives on the intersection of science and society. We adopt a three phased, emerging design approach to develop and test different engagement and dialogue strategies.

As a result, we articulate the visions of citizens on the responsible introduction of digitalization in the city of the future. In terms of process, we collect insights into the methods and techniques that facilitate these kinds of collective inquiries. In terms of organization, we collect insights in the roles of science museum and science centres in innovation ecosystems.