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How to Engage and Co-create With Citizens: Read About It in the PSlifestyle Project’s 3 New Publications

The willingness of citizens to behave sustainably is greater today than ever before. However, although 72% of European consumers say they want to buy more sustainable products, only 17% actually do so*. This shows a clear gap between intention and actual behaviour. Several factors contribute to this, such as the challenge of identifying the actions that will have the greatest impact. In addition, advice on sustainable behaviour is often generic and therefore not well matched to individual needs. Furthermore, citizens often face barriers to sustainable behaviour that relevant actors such as policy makers are not aware of. To overcome these challenges, the PSLifestyle project engages citizens in co-creation processes that enable real change to take place.

The project aims to develop a digital tool (PSL tool) that will support European citizens to identify and track the environmental impact of their current lifestyle. Based on this, the PSL tool will offer personalised suggestions on how to behave more sustainably, focusing on changing high-impact behaviours. The advice will be personalised, feasible, and adapted to the local context.

Citizens are important partners throughout the PSLifestyle project and in the development of the PSL tool. We achieve this by conducting Citizen Science Labs (Living Labs), where citizens provide direct input and suggestions for the development of the PSL tool based on their own experiences. In this way, the final product is tailored to their needs, resulting in economically and socially acceptable solutions.  Such participation creates a sense of psychological ownership and increases self-efficacy, which in turn encourages lasting sustainable behaviour and raises awareness both among lab participants and in their social networks.

Three recent publications of the PSLifestyle Project explain in detail how we are engaging citizens and empowering them to lead positive change:

Although these documents are set in the specific context of the PSLifestyle project, they offer valuable know-how for living labs and citizen engagement generally.

For more information and to explore synergies for collaboration, please contact Arlind Xhelili.

 

*European Commission Barometer 2011