What is? Citizen Science, Urban Living Lab, Go-along interview

Tuesday 27.8.2019

at 14.00 – 15.30

Hall D11 (Main building)


What is? Citizen Science, Urban Living Lab, Go-along interview
Chair: Pirjo Nikander, Doctoral School, Tampere University

Do you wish to broaden your general knowledge on the range of analytic approaches and methodological traditions? What is…? -sessions provide brief thumbnail description and discussion on specific methodological aspects to both qualitative and quantitative data, as well as updates on more generic researcher skills. Each speaker has 20 minutes to outline some of the key methodological points of the approach in question after which there some 5-10 minutes for questions from the audience and discussion. The Methods Festival includes What is -sessions both in English and in Finnish.


Speakers and presentations:

What is Citizen Science with young people?
Päivi Honkatukia, Professor & Tiina Rättilä, Tampere University

In this presentation, we reflect on our research experiences in which we have engaged young people (mostly from marginal backgrounds) to the knowledge production as co-researchers. The presentation is prepared in ALL-YOUTH research project (www.allyouthstn.fi, 2018-2023, funded by SRC) which is a large, multidisciplinary consortium exploring the capacities of 16-25 year old young people, and the obstacles that hamper their engagement with society.

In the project, we have used e.g. art methods in hearing and making visible the refugee youths’ life stories, and done collaborative research with young people who are outside of education and working life. Following the idea of sociological imagination, our mission has been to turn young people’s ‘private troubles’ into ‘public issues’ which deserve wider attention and collective solutions. In the presentation, we do not only reflect our successes and failures, but also relate to them as a means of learning on the realities of marginalised youths’ everyday life and position in the society.


What is a Urban Living Lab?
Pekka Jokinen, Professor, Tampere University

’Living lab’ refers to an arena and an approach catalysing societal changes and transformation by the means of collaborative knowledge production. In general terms, living labs can be considered a part of a shift in governance where innovation and experimentation are mobilised for sustainability goals.
The living lab approach is increasingly popular in universities due to its promise to bring various actors together to knowledge co-production. The distinctive features of the approach comprise a bounded space, intentional experiments, and iterative learning.
This paper clarifies urban living lab thinking by the case of Hiedanranta district in the city of Tampere. Hiedanranta is an old industrial area under brownfield redevelopment where a whole series of experimental sustainability projects by companies, citizen groups, universities, and research institutions are already taking place.


Would you like to go for a walk? What are go-along interviews?
Jarkko Bamberg, Tampere University

A common way to do interviews is to sit down with the participant. In fact, the sedentary format of interviewing is so deeply engrained into the qualitative research practices that it is easy to forget that there are other ways of conducting interviews. You can walk with the participant whilst talking, for example. However, why would you do that, what are the benefits of such go-along interviews? It is much easier to find a cozy chair and chat with someone over a cup of coffee, is not it? Sometimes it is, and apart from (apparent) comfort, there are other reasons to have a seat. Nevertheless, studies in various disciplines suggest that there are advantages in doing interviews on the move. Drawing on this research and my own experiences of go-along interviews, I discuss the methodological implications of these methods. What are the differences between them and the traditional, sedentary interviews? What kind of research go-along interviews support? What are their common use scenarios? What kind of practicalities have to be taken into account whilst conducting them? I suggest that the potential benefits of go-along interviews are their context sensitivity and informal settings of social interaction.