Civic Innovation Lab


Rosario, Argentina
9 to 21 October 2018

Open call for projects to be developed at the “Sustainable and Inclusive Communities” Civic Innovation Lab, which will be held from 9 to 21 October 2018 in the city of Rosario, Argentina. This laboratory seeks new proposals and possible ground-breaking solutions to achieve more cohesive and sustainable societies. Projects that will be developed collaboratively by multidisciplinary and intercultural teams, in collaboration with local communities. And that can be presented by citizens of all regions of Argentina, and anywhere in the world. 



The Government of the Province of Santa Fe through its SantaLab initiative, and the Civic Innovation Project of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), are launching a call for experimentation and civic innovation proposals for research, development, documentation and/or prototyping at the Civic Innovation Lab – Argentina (#LABICAR), which will be held from 9 to 21 October 2018 in the city of Rosario, Argentina.

The #LABICAR also counts with the technical support of the Ministry of State Modernization through the Undersecretariat of Public Innovation and Open Government, and the collaboration of the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID), the Rosario City’s Government, the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue of Norway, Medialab-Prado, and Instituto Procomum. 

At this laboratory to be held in Rosario, 10 projects will be selected that will be developed by working teams formed of the promoter and 9 collaborators (to be selected in an upcoming open call), with the on-going support of specialised mentors, technical specialists and local mediators.

It is to this end that this call for projects has been launched for anyone interested in submitting proposals for civic innovation projects geared towards the common good.

1.1. Registration and publication of results

Anyone interested in taking part in the #LABICAR must fill out and send the form available below.

Project call launch:         April 13 , 2018
Project call deadline:          May 13, 2018
Publication of selected projects:        May 28, 2018

The results will be published on the Civic Innovation Project webpage.

1.2. Civic innovation and laboratories

We believe that Civic Innovation means any process that settles social problems using ground-breaking open technologies (digital, social, ancestral) and methodologies via the involvement of the affected community itself.
This definition means that citizens cease to be the passive recipients of institutional actions to become the protagonists and drivers of their own alternatives through an empowerment process that is much more democratic (bottom-up solutions), much more resilient, owing to the effect of learning by doing and trial and error, and, above all, much more dynamic and efficient because it has the knowledge of the communities themselves.
Civic innovation laboratories (LABIC) are spaces designed to ensure that this can happen; to systematise and fast-track these spontaneous, citizen-driven innovations in communities, in neighbourhoods, which transform local realities and have the potential to be copied in other cities. Spaces that can be used simultaneously for experimentation, learning and prototyping of ground-breaking proposals.

The LABICs are inspired by Medialab-Prado’s production workshop structure, which has been adapted and new developments added. For at least 10 days, they are the assembly point for a variety of projects that are developed collaboratively by multidisciplinary teams of citizens of different origins, making the laboratory a space for the delivery of specific proposals by citizens for citizens, as well as a space for intercultural interaction.

This will be the fifth edition of a LABIC; the first was held in 2014 in Veracruz, Mexico (#LABICMX), the second in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2015 (#LABiCBR), the third in Cartagena, Colombia in 2016 (#LABICCO), and the last one in Pasto Colombia) as a part of the post-conflict strategy (#LABICXLAPAZ). Each edition of the LABIC is updated in keeping with the best proposals by the participants themselves, the lessons learnt by the organisers, and the characteristics of each context.

In this opportunity, the LABIC will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) from a citizen perspective, promoting social cohesion.

What are the SDGs? On September 25, 2015, world leaders adopted a set of global goals to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda to be fulfilled in the next 15 years. The global objectives proposed by the United Nations are 17 in total, and the interesting thing is that these objectives not only institutions or governments can contribute, but also citizens and their ideas. For this reason, for this Civic Innovation Lab we have selected 5 SDGs that serve as general themes to which projects can be focused to generate very specific proposals:



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2.1. Purpose of the call for projects

The purpose of this call for projects is to select a maximum of ten projects to be developed collaboratively at a ten-day laboratory. Selected projects will be developed with the assistance of mentors, mediators and technical specialists, in addition to a group of 90 collaborators (who will be selected in an upcoming open call).

This call for projects is targeted at any person or group interested in the proposed subjects, above and beyond their level of education, specialisation or experience. For example, artists, engineers, sociologists, architects, town planners, educators, programmers, psychologists, journalists, ecologists, graphic designers, cultural managers, ancestral cultural tradition holders, community leaders or anyone else interested in the proposed subjects. We especially urge groups of young people, indigenous persons or afro-descedants, women, the disabled, teachers, LGTBI social sectors, among others, to submit their proposals

As a matter of obligation, projects to be submitted in this call shall deal with the thematic issues linked to any of the 5 selected sustainable development goals, bearing in mind that work will be done with local communities that expect and need case-specific proposals.

This call for projects also accepts proposals for social transformation, object design, facilities, platforms and methodologies that explore forms of civic and cultural innovation and are sufficiently flexible to adapt their proposal to Rosario and Santa Fe’s context, through joint production work with local communities; initiatives that use both digital and/or social technologies to meet their goals.

Projects that present definite proposals for specific challenges on, for example,

  • Proposals for generating more humane and sustainable cities.
  • Improvements in social integration and coexistence through new methodologies, devices and technologies.
  • Proposals for strengthening territorial social networks, promoting forums, coexistence and collaborative practices in public spaces.
  • New proposals for improving citizen safety and reducing violence in any of its forms.
  • Fomenting access by all individuals to suitable, safe, affordable housing and basic services.
  • New formulas for generating sustainable economies in vulnerable communities.
  • Original proposals for showcasing and reducing gender gaps.
  • Promoting women’s empowerment through technology use.
  • Improved access to safe, affordable, accessible, sustainable transport systems and methods for everyone.
  • Inclusive and accessible physical and virtual spaces for people with disabilities or functional diversity.
  • Solutions to prevent the effects generated by climate change.
  • Reducing adverse environmental impacts, paying special attention to air and soil quality through better waste and recycling strategy management.
  • Open infrastructures for sustainable mobility, energy management and consumption, civic telecommunications networks and alternative information, etc.
  • Improving transparency, participation, inclusion and/or representative decision-making in 21st-century, democratic institutions.
  • Improvements in access mechanisms to public information and its subsequent sharing with citizens.
  • The generation and use of open data to find innovative solutions to public problems.
  • The inclusive design of urban environments. The city as a space open to the engagement of all its residents, who make it a “venue” for their everyday practices.
  • Innovative solutions to social challenges and problems, based on technologies and/or ancestral or traditional techniques.
  • Original proposals to stimulate the farming and consumption of agroecological foods.
  • …and any proposals that occur to you based on your experience or creativity!

Special attention will be paid to any projects that seek to generate greater social cohesion; in other words, societies united around a common project for promoting wellbeing based on equal opportunities, social equality, a sense of belonging and solidarity in order to bridge the gap between individuals, groups and territories, to protect vulnerable populations and to drive strong, democratic, citizen-centric institutions.

Projects may be submitted on an individual or collective basis. Each participant or team may submit as many projects as they wish.

Selected projects shall be open to the participation of other interested collaborators who may contribute to their development during the course of the lab.

2.2. General aspects of the lab

The aim of this lab is to be a collective learning, research, production and prototyping space that gives utmost support to the development of the selected projects. Proposals will be worked on in multidisciplinary working groups formed of: 1 project promoter and 9 interested collaborators (to be selected in an upcoming call), with the conceptual and technical guidance of mentors, mediators and technical specialists.

Throughout the #LABICAR, different activities will be scheduled, such as talks, presentations, seminars and mini specific workshops.

Working days will be morning and afternoon and will be adapted to the projects’ specific requirements and according to the activities and schedules of the facility where the laboratory will be staged. The working language of the laboratory will be Spanish, without simultaneous translation.

Participants will be urged to prepare adequate documentation on the projects developed, both during the course of the laboratory as well as following its conclusion. The use of free software and hardware tools will also be encouraged. Results publication shall be under free licences and in open repositories that allow access to and dissemination of the knowledge produced during the laboratory.

Material resources and technical requirements:

The organisation will provide basic resources and means for the production of selected project prototypes always upon prior request of the proposal promoters (up to a maximum of 350 dollars per project).

The selection committee will study the technical viability of implementing the projects in depth. For this reason, projects whose technical and spatial requirements are clearly specified will be valued positively.

Access to and use of the technical means provided by the organisation will be coordinated and supervised by the lab supervisors.

The project team shall meet any material or technical equipment costs not requested or approved previously.

Should the selection committee have any queries regarding a technical requirement, it will get in touch with the proposal author(s).

2.3. Accommodation, travel and meals

The organisation will cover the travel, accommodation and meal expenses of one promoter per project. Should authorship be collective, the expenses of one person per project will be covered.

Accommodation will be in shared rooms (up to three people) with full board for non-Rosario residents. Rosario residents will be offered lunch everyday.

Selected promoters residing outside Argentina should take out travel health insurance on their own account. They should also find out the requirements for obtaining a visa for Argentina for their nationality where appropriate (check here).



3.1. Selection committee

The selection committee will be formed of the SEGIB Civic Innovation Project, and the SantaLab team of the Government of Santa Fe, with the counseling of the Ministry of State Modernization, and mentors.

3.2. Project assessment

In selecting projects, the committee will rate:

  • Adaptation to general objectives and to the subject proposed in this call for projects.
  • Clear, precise objectives and willingness to change.
  • The proposal’s quality, originality and degree of innovation.
  • Technical viability.
  • Specification of project beneficiaries.
  • Openness to collaboration.
  • Use of open-source tools and licensing that facilitate free access to processes and results.
  • Resource optimisation.
  • Diversity in approaches and sources will be valued and their incorporation into all of the proposals to be selected.

3.3. Project dissemination and continuity

The works developed will be presented publicly by the promoters and collaborators on the final day of the laboratory.

Furthermore, participants authorise projects and/or their documentation to be published on the organisers’ webpages.

At a later date, the Organization will conduct a study on the future viability of the projects so that they can be implemented in other contexts.

3.4. Obligations of selected persons or groups

  • Selected persons or groups undertake to attend the laboratory every day from 9 to 21 October 2018, inclusive. They shall also complete, as far as possible, proposed projects and their documentation
  • Selected individuals or bodies corporate may use equipment or materials that have been previously requested and awarded. Project authors shall pay any expense that is unforeseen or not approved in material or equipment rental.
  • Developed projects shall be under free licenses with author attribution and enforcement of the “share alike” clause is recommended (in a Creative Commons license it would be BY-SA). In turn, whenever these projects are shown at festivals and/or exhibitions and whenever their pictures are reproduced in catalogues and/or webpages, their connection with the Civic Innovation Laboratory – Argentina (#LABICAR) shall be mentioned. Furthermore, the names of the people who collaborated in developing the projects shall always be stated.

3.5. Limitation of Liability

The organisers are not liable for any data or contents that participants may use. Neither is it liable for any royalties or rights applicable to third parties pursuant to respective laws.

The #LABICAR is an event lasting several days; hence, we trust in the responsibility of each participant over this period. The organisation shall not be held liable for any theft or loss of personal belongings or for physical injury to persons.

The LABIC does not pay any economic remuneration to its participants on the understanding that it is a space for collaboration and contribution by everyone for the benefit of the community.

3.6. Interpretation and amendment of the terms of this call for projects

Committee members may make any clarifications, amendments or interpretations they deem fit.
Any circumstances not foreseen in this call for projects will be solved by the Committee.
Decisions, grading and results shall be final.

3.7. LABIC code of ethics and coexistence

  1. We focus on collaboration and not on competition.
  2. Ideas have value in themselves and not because of the person proposing them. We drive the common good, not gurus.
  3. We defend the right to information, knowledge and participation. Dialogue and free interchange guide our activities.
  4. At the LABIC, we encourage free licenses and open repositories as a way of ensuring transparent knowledge and its dissemination.
  5. Expressions of hate or intolerance in matters of gender, race, ethnic group, social position, sexual or religious orientation or origin are unacceptable.

Participation in this call for projects means acceptance of all of its requirements and contents.

4. FAQ (es)

¿Los proyectos sólo pueden ser aplicables a la zona geográfica donde se desarrolla el laboratorio? 
No necesariamente, uno de los principales objetivos de los proyectos es que sean aplicables en diferentes contextos y para diferentes comunidades a lo largo del territorio nacional, y otros contextos.

• ¿Los proyectos sólo se trabajarán dentro del espacio físico del laboratorio?
No necesariamente. Podrán serán trabajados en el espacio físico del laboratorio, y también fuera de él al momento de trabajar en conjunto con las comunidades locales.

¿Como se contacta con las comunidades que trabajarán con el proyecto?
La organización contará con mediadores locales que acompañarán el contacto con las comunidades locales. Aunque también los participantes del proyecto podrán establecer contacto por su cuenta con comunidades locales (o de otros territorios) que consideren y que sean pertinentes para el proyecto.

¿Los proyectos pueden ser propuestos por organizaciones o colectivos?
Sí, es entendible que los proyectos pueden surgir de alguna colectividad. En caso del proyecto ser seleccionado, el colectivo u organización debe definir un representante (promotor) quien asistirá al laboratorio. La organización (LABIC) cubrirá los gastos de sólo uno de los promotores. Los otros miembros pueden postularse para participar en el laboratorio como colaboradores.

¿El resultado del proyecto (prototipo, metodología, etc.) contará con protección de derechos de autor?
Se busca que las licencias de los productos resultantes del LABIC sean libres y bajo repositorios abiertos. La organización podrá compartir los resultados en otros escenarios, así como quien esté interesado. Sin embargo, siempre se deberá reconocer la autoría de quienes lo elaboraron.

¿Qué pasará con los proyectos una vez finalizados los Laboratorios?
Habrá un proceso de seguimiento por parte de la Organización, para su posible implementación a mayor escala o en otros escenarios

¿Qué tipo de recursos y materiales pueden ser proporcionados por la organización para el desarrollo de los proyectos?
En el formulario de inscripción de proyectos se expresan unos topes financieros de 350 dólares para los requerimientos de los proyectos, de acuerdo con su viabilidad y aprobación, estos pueden ser solicitados a la organización, quien se encargará de proporcionarlos.

¿Puede una organización o entidad financiar mi traslado al Laboratorio?
Sí, la organización proveerá una certificación de participación en el LABIC de ser requerida por la entidad correspondiente. Se permitirá la inclusión de logotipo de la entidad en la documentación y piezas gráficas del evento




>> Download Call for Projects – pdf




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