Designing Open Innovation Ecosystems for Small and Medium Enterprises

Format: Papers, RSD11, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Economics & Organisations, Topic: Sociotechnical Systems

Silvia Barbero and Amina Pereno

Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino

Europe’s transition to a circular economy is as much an environmental, economic and social necessity as it is an opportunity for European companies and citizens. Despite encouraging promises, many barriers hinder the circular transition of European companies, especially small and medium enterprises, which represent the bulk of Europe’s industrial fabric. The presentation shows the case study of the ‘DigiCirc’ project (call H2020-INNOSUP) that creates and coordinates innovation ecosystems involving a broad range of stakeholders to foster connections and collaborations supported by digital tools. The role of systemic designers in the project mainly focused on stakeholder selection and engagement and the training of participants on circular economy knowledge and systemic approach methods. The authors offer some reflections starting from the project’s experience to understand how design, in particular systemic design, can contribute to creating digital innovation ecosystems and how it can help enterprises overcome the barriers identified in the literature and past experiences. The aim is to open the debate on sustainability transitions and practical co-design experiences with stakeholders to foster those transitions. Authors are addressing design scholars and practitioners dealing with innovation and transition of socio-technical systems within industrial and cross-disciplinary environments.

KEYWORDS: systemic design, circular economy, innovation ecosystems, open innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs

SDA author profiles: Silvia BarberoAmina Pereno

Citation Data

Author(s): Silvia Barbero and Amina Pereno
Year: 2022
Title: Designing Open Innovation Ecosystems for Small and Medium Enterprises
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 112
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 23 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested citation format (APA)

Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

Publishing with RSD

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

Papers and presentations are entered into a single-blind peer-review process, meaning reviewers see the authors’ names but not vice versa. Reviewers consider the quality of the proposed contribution and whether it addresses topics of interest or raises relevant issues in systemic design. The review process provides feedback and possible suggestions for modifications.

The Organising Committee reviews and assesses workshops and systems maps & exhibits with input from reviewers and the Programme Committee.

Editor: Cheryl May
Peter Jones
Ben Sweeting

The Scholars Spiral

In 2022, the Systemic Design Association adopted the scholars spiral—a cyclic non-hierarchical approach to advance scholarship—and in 2023, launched Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal. Together, the RSD symposia and Contexts support the vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars and practitioners to publish work in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design.

The Systemic Design Association's membership ethos is to co-create the socialization and support for all members to contribute their work, find feedback and collaboration where needed, and pursue their pathways toward research and practice outcomes that naturally build a vital design field for the future.


Verified by MonsterInsights