FreeUp Co-creation

We activate people and organizations for innovative collaboration

Complex problems and challenges often require multiple organizations, companies and stakeholders to work together, each bringing their own specific expertise and knowledge to solution development. When collaborating across organizations it is not easy to find a common approach and to find agreement on the way forward. With our co-creative approach we activate people and organizations for innovative collaboration, allowing space for different points of view, different ways of working and different criteria for decision making.



Changing rules of the game

Politicians getting creative for cooperation

liesbeth with C4We facilitated a creative session with the mayors and  aldermen of 4 municipalities (in Dutch: Colleges B&W). In total, 30 political leaders gathered for half a day. Liesbeth led the session, which had the purpose of coming up with ideas for projects that the municipalities can cooperate on in their region, and to prioritize and select the best proposals.

The session was structured in such a way that politicians were enabled to shift from defending their own positions and portfolios to actually looking at synergies that they could make happen in their region, and identifying the obstacles together.

We worked with a digital tool that was built by TurTur to facilitate the concrete development of the ideas into short proposals for projects. The feedback we received was very positive. The session gave the politicians energy and belief in the benefits of cooperation.

Other examples of workshops with city governments  at the FreeUp Innovation page.

Guiding transition processes towards sustainable solutions

Energy neutral city & sustainable buildings

exploratiedagenWe were involved from April 2013 onwards in the development and execution of an innovative procurement process for sustainable government buildings in the city of Eindhoven *). From doing the first exploratory research into ‘the state of the art’ (see also FreeUp Insight ), we worked with a core-team to attract and engage with market parties to develop innovative plans for the sustainable renovation and management of a set of government buildings.

We (Liesbeth Scholten, Marlies Bielderman and Rikjan Scholten) co-organized and co-hosted a series of events, including the preparation, communication booklets, websites and tools, in cooperation with the city government, web-developer TurTur and multiple other contributors:

  • match making eventTwo Exploration days. More than 350 interested parties were informed about the project, the tender process and how to take part in the project.
  • A Call for outline proposals. Following this web-based call, Eindhoven received nearly 200 innovative ideas and profiles of interested parties.
  • A Process information session, sharing more insights about the procurement process and principles of cooperation. Here’s a link to Liesbeth’s presentation about successful cooperation.
  • A Matchmaking event, on 2 April 2014 in the Evoluon in Eindhoven. This event was set up to actively encourage and facilitate partnerships (consortia) and to enable innovative entrepreneurs to team up with larger companies .

sustainablebuildings_explorationphaseWe were also involved in the selection phase of the tender, as part of the evaluation team for the selection criterium ‘innovative cooperation’. In 2015, we ran a series of interviews to identify main learnings from the exploratory phase in the procurement process. Currently (July 2016), the tender process is in the final stage of negotiation with a consortium.

*) The city of Eindhoven aims to be an energy-neutral city by 2045. In order to achieve this, the municipality’s own buildings have to become more energy-efficient and more sustainable. One of the buildings that will be renovated and made more sustainable in the short term is the Eindhoven Stadhuistoren (‘Town Hall Tower’). The Municipality of Eindhoven saw the renovation of the Stadhuistoren as a unique opportunity to promote sustainable innovation and quality in the long term, supported by the European project SPEA. The scope of the challenge was enlarged to comprise multiple government buildings in the project ‘The smart way towards sustainable buildings’.


Facilitating partnership formation in complex projects

Providing structure and process to capture diversity of value offered and sought

wfc participatiemodellenTo shape and guide the co-creation of the World Food Center, FreeUp got involved in the WFC concept development phase in November 2015. We developed the WFC participation framework, together with a set of possible participation models. These served as the basis for a series of interactive workshops (‘werkateliers’) in the first half of 2016, with several organizations: food companies, agriculture, educational institutes and science.

The ‘werkateliers’ created engagement as well as key insights into the motivations, activities and value of the World Food center. Based on the outcomes, inspirational WFC concepts were developed, which generated enthusiasm and willingness to be involved in the further realization of the World Food Center. read more


Creating inspirational events based on shared aspirations

Bright Now festival 2014

2014september27_bnfMoving the world in a positive direction requires vision, courage and trust. A variety of inspiring initiatives was brought  together at this festival, in the form of inspirational talks, workshops and art performances. Connecting with each other with an open heart and exploring together what it takes to make a good human society. Liesbeth led the core team that organized the festival from scratch through to the actual experience; defining the program, finding partners and contributors, arranging the venue, publicity and ticket sales etc. The festival was run completely on the basis of volunteering and alternative value exchange.  Here is the link to the bright now festival harvest page, where participants commented on the festival experience, and a link to a video impression.