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Student living labs as innovation arenas for sustainable tourism

Journal article
Authors Eva Maria Jernsand
Published in Tourism Recreation Research
Volume 44
Issue 3
Pages 337-347
ISSN 0250-8281
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Business Administration
Centre for Tourism
Mistra Urban Futures
Pages 337-347
Language en
Keywords Co-creation, living labs, innovation labs, sustainable tourism, student education, experiential learning, education, design, university, industry, science, dunga, logic, needs, Social Sciences - Other Topics, T Media Lab, 2017, phee c, 2016, technol innov manag, v6, p3
Subject categories Business Administration


This paper aims to explore sustainable tourism in relation to the concept of student living labs, defined as spaces for open innovation, co-creation and experimentation in real-life settings with students. Although these features are vital for the tourism industry, living labs are seldom discussed nor used in tourism research, education and practice. To illustrate living labs' organisation, facilitation and impediments, the author uses an ethnographic description and analysis of five different experiences that have the characteristics of living labs. The findings show that tourism living labs offer students opportunities for hands-on engagement in the co-creation and testing of frontier solutions with private, public and civil society sector partners. They also enhance social inclusion, environmental responsibility and life-long learning. For the tourism industry, labs can offer new knowledge; more, extended and deepened relationships; and opportunities to find an educated workforce. The challenges include project timeframes; documentation and information; equality among participants: the size of student groups; and the resources of the university. The article stresses the importance of recognising and handling the challenges that come with the introduction of living labs in a tourism context.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2019-10-18