Intangible Presents to all CoSIE Folks


The Co-creation of Service Innovation in Europe (CoSIE) project states that public service innovations can be achieved by creating collaborative partnerships between service providers and service beneficiaries. During the implementation of CoSIE, the collaborative partners test and develop the diverse methods of co-creation in the field of public services. The three-year project is ending in May 2021.

In the final project meeting on May 4th, 2021, I asked the CoSIE folks to give a present to their peers. It could be an awesome experience, useful result, lessons learned or something else from the CoSIE journey. To be honest, the reactions took me by surprise. The emotional atmosphere we were able to reach (despite being in Zoom!) brought tears to my eyes.

Here are some intangible presents CoSIE people wanted to give each other:

  • Courage to discuss safely the topic of citizen involvement and co-creation in public organizations,
  • open forums for discussion,
  • dialogue and knowledge sharing.

Indeed, openness, transparency and safety in public discussion are crucial elements when involving citizens in public service design.   

Also, some capabilities were shared:

  • Team building capability and sessions of facilitated sense making,
  • capability to understand how people from different disciplines and backgrounds can work collectively.

As a result of our Swedish pilot, a MOOC will be launched for public service workers and citizens. During the CoSIE project, we have learned that several skills and capabilities are necessary for co-creation. The whole paradigm of public service production and design needs to be rethought.

There were also more tangible presents given among the CoSIE peers:

  • Hackathon models,
  • ecosystems around co-creation,
  • handbook of co-creation in Polish language,
  • policy round tables
  • and even a communication officer.

Finally, we were offered a present of time. Indeed, this was clever gift. Co-creation needs time for ideation, knowledge sharing, time to build up a transactive memory among the collaborators and time to learn together.

Among the EU countries, we have very different infrastructures, political status quos and maturity to perform participatory democracy. Therefore, the most impressive speech for me came from Hungary:

Never Give Up! Have faith in that things can be changed.

Writer: Heli Aramo-Immonen, Director of the CoSIE Project, Turku University of Applied Sciences