What’s the issue?
Over the past five years, many innovation labs have emerged in various organizational forms in the public sector and also at the interface between civil society, academia and business. International developments and increasing pressure to deal with an uncertain future have accelerated the creation of public innovation units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They are not only dedicated to major social issues but are also concerned with the immediate changes in the day-to-day work processes at public institutions. In addition to building skills and addressing diverse technical issues, many focus on shaping digitalization for the common good.
It was against this background that the LabCamp was launched – a networking event for public innovation labs initiated by CityLAB Berlin and Politics for Tomorrow in May 2020. The first LabCamp was launched with the support of the Digital Innovation Team (PG DIT) of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the NExT e.V. network. Since then, regular meetings have been held at which individual public innovation labs get to present their activities or participate as hosts, such as Stadtlabor Soest. Public means supported with public funds and focused on the public sector, i.e. administration, civil society or academia.
The idea of the LabCamp is to enable an open, trusting exchange among practitioners. What projects are out there already? What hurdles do we need to be aware of? It’s not always necessary to reinvent the wheel, and there’s a lot we can learn from each other – this is especially true of public welfare-oriented digitalization processes, participatory approaches, and collaboration across levels and sectors.
Who takes part?
We now welcome a wide range of players to LabCamp. This includes FabLabs – innovation labs in administrations, state governments and public companies – as well as academic partners. The digital events are usually attended by 30-35 people from all over Germany – and occasionally from Austria and Switzerland, too. Looking at the organizational units involved, we’re delighted to see how diverse the innovation landscape in the public sector has now become. LapCamp aims to raise the visibility of these numerous great approaches and create a community of practice.
Where do we go from here?
LabCamp is a nationwide format for regular dialogue on current issues. It usually involves input from the community, expert contributions, and interactive networking opportunities. The meetings are held two to three times a year. You can find out when the next LabCamp is due to come up by consulting our newsletter and our homepage.
Project Manager: Yannick Müller
Anyone interested can hook up via the LabCamp Slack Channel and Twitter account. You will also find us there under the hashtags #LabCamp and #OeffentlichesGestalten. To get in touch with the LabCamp core team (CityLAB Berlin and Politics for Tomorrow), contact .
To the LabCamp progress report
To the LabCamp knowledge repository