Trento pilot: Participatory methods experience at primary school

The URBAN INNO Trento Pilot deals with the topic “Innovative Government”, and in particular on how engaging citizens in the development of innovative government process/services in the urban area experimenting the adoption of participative methods inside the Trento Urban area, ensuring a direct involvement of the citizens. On this direction, the URBAN INNO Trento pilot is planning to work on different target groups.

Another successful URBAN INNO share of experience about participatory method adoption for stimulate innovative process in urban areas has been made in Trentino. On 3th May, 2019, staff of Trentino Digitale S.p.A, trained by the project, had led a participatory methods workshop with children attending the second and third year of the Montessori course at the and the Garbari Primary School in Pergine, a the 3th largest town in Trentino, about 15 km from Trento.

The workshop involved 19 young students (8-9 years) as participants, 4 facilitators and 1 coordinator. The workshop has been composed by several steps, taking direct inspiration from the Toolbox made available by the project. Two staff from Trentino Digitale has been involved to organize the laboratory: Mirko Pianetti and Daniela Gaviani

The participatory workshop’s scope was about 3 potential improvement target inside the school:

  • improvements to the library room
  • improvements to the linguistic classroom
  • rebuilding of the school canteen

The process was divided into following 5 phases:

  • P1: 30 minutes to explain the process and the few (but important) rules
  • P2: 15 minutes to choose the room and the group’s name
  • P3: 40 minutes to generate ideas
  • P4: 40 minutes to fill out the template
  • P5: 120 minutes to illustrate own project to other groups and to coordinator

The participatory process has respected the 5 stages of the Design Thinking process.

Moreover, 2 groups have chosen to work on improvements of the school library and other 2 groups have chosen to work on the rebuild of the school canteen.

It was a fantastic and very engaging experience, the kids has been successfully engaged to thinks out of the box. The focus of the kids was to be practical, their goal was to improving their feel good and well-being.

The experience remarked that sometimes it would be better to analyze real life problems in “child mode”, anyhow it is as well important to have fun together (children and adults too)

All little boys were enthusiastic about this method, working in a group is very important for the kids because they learn to share their ideas and to improve them.


Workshop participants from Garbari Primary School in Pergine

Workshop participants from Garbari Primary School in Pergine


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