Citizen Lab has been created by Birmingham City University working in partnership with Wolverhampton University and the WMCU academic network.
It is an opportunity for collaboration, discovering new ideas and seeing how we can do things differently, improve outcomes in the city and save money. It is also about sustainable ways of taking this forward and re-imagining how services can work to be more effective.
Our work recognises we live in a complex society. Things are interconnected. There is a complex web of interrelated factors governing our health, our environment, our working lives and our general well–being. We live in an interdisciplinary world where no single approach or a single organisation has the solution. This provides us with both challenges and opportunities in how we respond to the needs of citizens in the region. We respond to these needs by building more agile communities with open and fluid thinking, working together with us to drive new products, new services and new solutions.
Context to the Challenge
Since 2013, school exclusions have been rising year-on-year, despite these numbers falling in the previous period between 2006/07 and 2012/13. The data consistently show that pupils from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds are significantly more likely to face school exclusion. In its 2017-18 annual report, Ofsted stated that pupils with SEN support were five times more likely to have a permanent exclusion than pupils without and that 27 per cent of pupils with SEN support had had a fixed term exclusion in the preceding year.
There is an urgent need for broad-based and meaningful collaboration that will develop the right strategies to address this critical challenge.
The Citizen Lab approach
In October, Birmingham City University and the University of Wolverhampton will deliver a Citizen Lab in partnership with Wolverhampton City Council and other stakeholders. The Citizen Lab is based on two aspects: Problem scoping and Solution scoping. These involve understanding the challenge area (in this case school exclusions) from the local stakeholder’s perspective and then working towards possible solutions, drawing on the wide range of expertise and knowledge available. These activities citizen-centric and rely on active knowledge transfer between participants.
The Citizen Lab has 7 core principles:
- Empower communities and champion advocates
- Design for trust, especially around change
- Facilitate personal and community ownership and empowerment through sustained and genuine participation
- Use challenge areas as catalysts for innovation
- Debate and co-create across comfort zones
- Respect the value of the venue
- Provide a clear journey to deliver outcomes
Contact us to find out more about our hack-style events.