Organicity: Lessons from an Experimentation as a Service Model for Digital Civic Innovation

Duncan Wilson, Shane McLoughlin, Martin Brynskov

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In the paradigm of the Smart City, cities are embracing new digital technologies and data innovation to redefine their relationship to citizens and enterprise. Increasingly, cities are developing visions, strategies, and related digital masterplans and action groups with which to coordinate these efforts. The European Horizon 2020 funded OrganiCity project explored a new model for providing access to all citizens to collaboratively develop and test their ideas for managing and improving the urban environment using data. The people centred and data driven approach of the OrganiCity project developed an Experimentation as a Service (EaaS) model across 13 cities and with 43 experiments. In this paper, we describe the 4 key service pillars that emerged through designing a platform to enable experimentation and the associated engagement practices required to facilitate testing in a city. The service pillars are: systematic experimentation, co-creation, federated ethics & privacy, and management of liability & Intellectual Property Rights. The EaaS approach provided a low-risk service blueprint for city authorities to democratically source, test and support scaling-up innovative solutions to their city challenges. Analysis of experimenter’s projects highlighted the importance of shared infrastructure for reducing the barrier to entry for accessing the digital tools, but more importantly highlighted the investment required, and value of, the human resources required to facilitate the process of experimentation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Smart Infrastructure and Construction 2019, ICSIC 2019 : Driving data-informed decision-making
EditorsMJ DeJong, JM Schooling, GMB Viggiani
Number of pages8
PublisherICE Publishing
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978-0-7277-6466-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7277-6467-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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