"Open creative labs: Platforms of local and global collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship"

Calls for papers
4th Geography of Innovation conference - Jan. 31st - Feb. 2nd, 2018 - Barcelona, Spain

 Deadline for submissions: Sep. 20th, 2017 
 Responses to authors: Oct. 2nd, 2017 
 Registration opens: Oct. 2nd, 2017
 Registration closes: Nov. 24th, 2017

Call for papers »  Selected papers and program »






  • Ignasi CAPDEVILA, PSB / newPIC, email: ic (at) newpic.fr
  • Oliver IBERT, Leibnitz IRS, Germany
  • Suntje SCHDMIT, Leibnitz IRS, Germany
  • Raphael SUIRE, Univ. Nantes, France



    • 10-SEP-2017: Abstract submission
    • 02-OCT-2017: Acceptance confirmation
    • 02-OCT-2017: Registration
    • 24-NOV-2017: End of Registration
    • 31-JAN-2018: Conference


Text of the call

In recent years, we have been witnessing the emergence of 'open creative labs' such as coworking spaces, maker spaces, fab labs, hacker spaces, or living labs. All these spaces share a focus on openness, peer-production, knowledge sharing and collaboration (Schmidt, Brinks, and Brinkhoff 2014). At the local level, they act as 'third places' (Oldenburg 2002) that serve as local anchors for both, local and global, communities (Capdevila 2015). But, if entrepreneurship capabilities are largely based on networks structure (Alvedalen and Boschma 2017), the role of these spaces in knowledge networks remains unclear (Suire 2016).

Some of these spaces contribute, for instance, to the innovative capacity of their environment (Schmidt et al. 2017), because they are either embedded in global networks and participate in non-local innovation processes (e.g. as startup incubators and accelerators) or they are linked to trans-local creativity processes through their users. Some scholars recently claimed that such "agencies" could even be to some extent a key element in the regional diversification dynamics by allowing some niche (Boschma et al. 2017).

This session aims to deepen in the understanding of the innovation and entrepreneurial dynamics that take place in such collaborative spaces and the relationship with their local and global environment. Suggested topics that would be interesting to address may include (but open to further advancements):

  • Which are the dynamics of collective creativity, innovation and collaboration taking place inside these labs?
    How can we conceptualize them?
  • How do open creative labs participate in local innovation dynamics?
  • How do localized communities of innovation emerge?
  • Which are the urban / territorial policy implications of the emergence of open labs?
  • Which role do these spaces play in the urban and rural economic development?
  • How can labs contribute to the resilience, diversification and transition of territories?
  • How do they interact with other similar spaces at the local and global levels?
  • What is the interplay between 'physical' and 'virtual' innovation processes? How do the 'local' and 'global' aspects interact?
  • How do they interplay with networks of knowledge?



Alvedalen, J., and R. Boschma. 2017. "A Critical Review of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Research: Towards a Future Research Agenda." European Planning Studies 25 (6). Taylor & Francis: 887–903.

Boschma, R., L. Coenen, K. Frenken, and B. Truffer. 2017. "Towards a Theory of Regional Diversification: Combining Insights from Evolutionary Economic Geography and Transition Studies." Regional Studies. Taylor & Francis, 1–15.

Capdevila, I. 2015. "Co-Working Spaces and the Localised Dynamics of Innovation in Barcelona." International Journal of Innovation Management 19 (3).

Oldenburg, R. 2002. Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories About the "Great Good Places" at the Heart of Our Communities. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.

Schmidt, S., V. Brinks, and S. Brinkhoff. 2014. "Innovation and Creativity Labs in Berlin Organizing Temporary Spatial Configurations for Innovations." Zeitschrift Für Wirtschaftsgeographie 58 (4): 232–247.

Schmidt, S., F. Müller, O. Ibert, and V. Brinks. 2017. "Open Region: Creating and Exploiting Opportunities for Innovation at the Regional Scale." European Urban and Regional Studies, 96977641770594. doi:10.1177/0969776417705942.

Suire, R. 2016. Places, Platforms and Knowledge Co-Production Dynamics : Evidence from Makers and Fablab. PEEG Working Paper. Utrecht University.


Submission process

We welcome submissions of Full Papers and Extended Abstracts (minimum 3 pages).

Language for the paper/abstract : English

All submissions will be peer-reviewed.
For special sessions, papers and extended abstracts will be reviewed by the Session Manager and the Organizing Committee.

Results will be individually sent to each author by email.

Submissions must be made electronically on this website:

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Program of the session




The organizers of the annual conference will eventually validate the session in the program in considering the quality of the papers submitted. The convenors will keep you posted of this process as soon as information will be available.


To be documented very soon