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CIMULACT. Taking science to society

01 December 2016 — 2 minutes read

My name is Anna Meroni. I am an architect with a PhD in Design. I am currently an associate professor at the Design Department of the Politecnico di Milano and coordinate the Master’s Degree course in Product Service System Design. By vocation I have always been concerned with non-conventional research and work themes pertaining to practices or activities with high social and environmental impact. This interest subsequently led me to occupy myself with services product service systems, and around ten years ago to be concerned with social innovation. I form part of the group which founded, together with Ezio Manzini, DESIS-Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability, the international network of universities working in this area, for which I am international coordinator.
I consider myself a lucky person as I dedicate myself precisely to what I enjoy the most.

CIMULACT. Taking science to society

CIMULACT (Citizen and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon 2020) is a project funded by the European Commission (Coordination and Support Action) which sees the collaboration of 29 partners, 10 of them lead partners, and the coordination of the Danish Board of Technology Foundation.

The project is developing consultation with citizens and experts (scientists, companies, civic organisations, third-sector organisations and policy-makers) in thirty countries in order to establish the funding priorities for research and development which the Commission will adopt over the coming years.

Citizens in particular are involved in the creation of visions for a sustainable, desirable future, which will serve to foster dialogue with experts regarding the most important themes upon which the European Union will need to focus its next research programme.

This dialogue will give rise to a series of recommendations for future innovation policies.

CIMULACT, therefore, makes building a shared future more accessible by sharing visions and wishes and understanding how research and innovation can lead us to achieve them.

The project thus springs from the need to make research more consistent with the expectations of citizens regarding their future. Hence society in a broad sense will itself produce indications to guide research. The first beneficiaries are the experts of the European Commission who are responsible for the H2020 research programme.

«The activities are organised as a series of offline and online consultations, in the form of workshops or via digital platforms.»

As a researcher, the main motivation that inspires me is to continue to understand the role of design in society as an agent for transformation of behaviour, towards greater social and environmental sustainability. The view of the designer as a coordinator of processes of creativity and of convergence towards ideas about the future is the essential supposition upon which we model many of our projects and which has enabled us over the years to obtain a lot of positive, encouraging feedback from the communities and institutions with which we have collaborated.

Milan working team: Anna Meroni, Daniela Selloni and Martina Rossi. With the collaboration of Ana Maria Ospina.

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