Lessons learnt from the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.

NGOs and universities on the Sport for Social Cohesion Lab project have established Living Labs in five locations in four European countries, prioritising co-creation and participation to improve social cohesion. The case studies below share background information, methodologies used, successes and challenges. Although the project focuses on social cohesion, lessons learnt are relevant to organisations using participatory approaches to address a wide range of social challenges. 

Banner image: Tim Kramer. Living Lab in Bochum, Germany. 

dublin living labs

Dublin, Ireland

This Living Lab offers sports activities for children in a neighbourhood of Ireland's capital where many face significant economic, social and environmental challenges. It prioritises relationship building over producing results for reporting, an approach that will lead to greater social cohesion.

living labs germany

North Rhine Westphalia, Germany

The Bunter Ball project uses a science-based approach to emotional, social and intercultural competencies. It engages primary school children in an area where residents have a wide range of social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

Olomouc, Czech Republic

Olomouc region, Czech Republic

This Living Lab works with young people from low-income families who live in socially isolated neighbourhoods on the outskirts of cities. Alongside football matches, participants learn to speak up, express opinions, reflect on emotions, give and receive feedback, and solve potential conflicts or tensions

‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands

The SheGotGame programme trains teenage girls to become leaders, coaches and role models. It works in a neighbourhood with low education levels, low female participation in sports, high levels of obesity, and large numbers of people from migrant backgrounds. 

Living Lab in the Hague

The Hague, the Netherlands

This Living Lab engages a wide range of stakeholders and target groups, adjusting the approach based on research and the needs of the community. It operates in a diverse neighbourhood of the Hague where sports opportunities are scarce.