While cities turn smarter, the questions arise on whether this is good or bad, but also on how digitalization can be developed and implemented responsibly. With this project, we aim to contribute to this discussion.

The phenomenon of the smart or intelligent city is accompanied by a multitude of innovations yet also uncertainties, dilemmas and concerns. The challenge is to develop and implement digital solutions responsibly. New methods are needed to better discuss the impact of emerging technologies in context and to engage citizens, public players with different perspectives.

The Catalyst Project

The Catalyst project was created to positively impact the discussion about responsible digitalization in collaboration with the NEMO Science Museum. The proposed method includes an experimental platform for inclusive deliberation and co-creation to enhance responses from policy-makers and innovators in the digitalization of the future city. Ideally, various city stakeholders should be involved and represented in this process, yet it is unclear how to best and effectively engage them. In addition, citizens are also often absent in this debate about digitalization in cities of the future.

The Catalyst project takes a three-phased emerging design approach to develop and compare different strategies for engagement and dialog. Science museums, such as the NEMO museum, serve as hosts in this project; they are trusted public places and allow for the design of narratives at the intersection of science and society.

The desired result formulates the visions of citizens on how to best and responsibly introduce digitalization in the city of the future. Researchers collect insights into the methods that facilitate these kinds of collective inquiries and into the roles of science museums as innovation ecosystems.

After one year, the projects aims to product journal articles on playful experiences and on museum experiences, conference paper on the needs and design methods, for instance.

Knowledge about the project will be actively and openly distributed in line with the research question. And lastly, the the designed museum experiences will be part of events at the NEMO Science Museum.

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