Trento PILOT: Participatory innovation exploit with provincial service provider in-house companies

The URBAN INNO Trento Pilot deals with the topic ‘Innovative Government’, and in particular on how engaging citizens and civil society in the development of innovative government services. This has been implemented experimenting directly the adoption of participative methods, ensuring a direct involvement of the participants. Based on this direction, the URBAN INNO Trento pilot has made several participatory activities with different target groups.

The experience learned by Informatica Trentina, URBAN INNO Italian partner, has been extended directly to a recent cross-provincial collaboration project started by the Informatica Trentina new presidency, with the aim to setup an ‘innovation dialogue’ with a target group composed by the other ‘sister’ provincial ‘in-house’ companies and their employees in order to develop simple and ground-up innovation pilot projects, easy to implement without huge budgets and in short time scale.  The overall process has been inspired by the participatory toolbox made available by URBAN INNO project.

The initiative, prepared by an Informatica Trentina team, has been started with a first participatory workshop in Trento, with selected participants, the 21 July 2018, and will be continued with a 2nd participatory event in November 2018 with an aim to continue with other similar activities in 2019.

The 1st participatory workshop has involved several participants (2-3 invited persons from each company) coming from the following other in-house companies:

  • Cassa del Trentino: the company of the Autonomous Province of Trento which carries out activities for the collection of financial resources for public investments in favour of the territory and provides technical support activities in the coordination and implementation of the strategies of the provincial government
  • Patrimonio del Trentino: the company of Autonomous Province of Trento in charge of the acquisition, redevelopment, enhancement, preservation, management, maintenance, disposal and development of assets, as well as of their rights, of the Autonomous Province of Trento and of the functional bodies of the Autonomous Province of Trento and of the local authorities,
  • Trentino Marketing: the company of the Autonomous Province of Trento with the purpose of conception, implementation and promotion of initiatives and projects oriented to the development of tourism in Trentino. In this context, it takes on the delicate role of a control and mediation booth with the aim of channelling the many energies and resources that operate on the territory, making their action more incisive.
  • Trentino Sviluppo: the company of the Autonomous Province of Trento in charge of the Regional Sustainable development of the Trentino system. It promotes actions and services aimed at supporting the growth of entrepreneurship and the ability to innovate, supporting collaboration between companies and the development of supply chains and strategic clusters for the territory
  • Trentino Riscossioni: the company of the Autonomous Province of Trento with the goal of being a reference point for citizens and public bodies in Trentino, in the matter of collection of tax revenues and assets
  • Trentino School of Management: is a School established by the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Autonomous Region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and the University of Trento which intends to contribute to social and economic development through education in planning and enrichment of skills, creating a growth environment, meeting and training.

The workshop has been organized around 4 sessions, alternating short presentations and interaction moments, starting with a collective reflection about innovation meaning and participants’ expectation. The workshop involved about 20 participants.

The 4 sessions, each one presented by 1 different Informatica Trentina technical expert, has been:

  • Design Thinking basics and URBAN INNO experience
  • Agile methodology in development of ICT system
  • Data Analytics in a box, the experience with the Provincial Work Agency
  • Interacting with chatbots.

Conclusion and next Steps

Several elements has been collected during the workshop, on the canvas and then in digital form (Google doc shared with participants). The discussion was very open e genuine, and every participants was willing to share real problems and real challenges.

Just after the 1st workshop a Slack collaborative workspace has been established between participants extending the discussion beyond the physical meeting. Presentations and elements collected has been shared and some other questions where addressed.

Moreover, an innovation proposal template has been shared and several ideas has been already designed and refined in the days after with some specific ‘idea meeting’ between Informatica Trentina staff and participants.

Between all this ideas collected, 15 in total, 6 ideas has been refined very well with an estimation of effort required to be implemented between August and September 2019.

A 2nd workshop is under planning for November 2018, to involve other not yet involved in-house companies, and to show up the already obtained results.

Mirko Pianetti (Informatica Trentina) during the workshop

Mirko Pianetti (Informatica Trentina) during the workshop