Open Innovations and Living Labs: Promises or Challenges to Regional Renewal
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The paper brings to the foreground modes and strategies of organising purposeful action that may be conductive to local and regional actors’ successful coping in the more and more competitive environment. The paper is pragmatist by its approach in a sense that it emphasises preconditions and possibilities for making ideas work. However, to do this is a difficult task. In the maze of multifaceted information flows and revolutionary technologies for reaching them enterprises and public actors need to find and construct better structured information that really helps them to operate. The paper introduces two sets of case activities that build on open innovation and living lab approaches in their attempts to make the boundaries between organisations and their environment more permeable. Its findings support the structuralist idea that spatial attributes matter more than as a mere venue, platform, or even container of social action. The venues studied in the paper are unique: one of the oldest still remaining factory buildings in the innermost core of the city of Tampere and a re-used loghouse in a peri-urban landscape outside the city. They both serve now as true exploratory spaces with no functional or institutional lock-ins stemming from them to bond their present-day users.