Co-Creation Factory

The Co-Creation Factory consisted of 5x4 participatory workshops that aimed to tackle a real-life problem. Using co-creative innovation methodologies, these workshops addressed challenges in different areas like water, waste, change-making, homelessness, agriculture etc. The Co-Creation Factory presented an opportunity to identify partners to take the identified solutions forward.



In stream 1 we addressed challenges of urban space and environment by designing experiential workshops aimed to offer a unique experience to the participants - co-creativity at its best!

What emerged was the need of a bottom-up approach: “on the field” radical collaboration of small groups of people can achieve amazing results and can truly change the world.



The Creating Scale series of workshops  focused mostly on humanitarian and development innovation, but specifically user- centered design. They were curated in order to foster partnerships between projects that have the potential to scale or/and are scaled already and accelerate SDGs through co-creation. More than 100 visitors co-created solutions, prototypes and strategies for acceleration of these projects together with the content providers. The workshops were designed in detail with the content providers, facilitators and the curator in order to capture and rapidly co-create with the audience new disruptive ideas and spark partnerships.

From local to international scale organizations the stream brought together 5 local makers associations and their collective makerspace, the ideasBox and Libraries without Borders, Communitere, the ChangemakersLab incubator from Lesbos, the CHIC project by EPFL and ICRC. The audience was a mosaique of heads of innovation units, FabLab experts, senior and junior professionals from all around the International Geneva as well as social entrepreneurs!

The participants pitched their outcomes which included strategies of engagement with the hosting community and local experts for the Changemakers lab to additions and expansion of the IdeasBox with a makers component. For the CHIC project and ICRC, the Water Watchdog workshop, the participants pointed out the importance of different implementations of the water monitoring sensor in different industries as well as the beneficiary- centered approach of the local population’s involvement in assembling the product on site and using it for self- interest.

The makers collective session Make Geneva Make, after an exciting making start with drilling, robot programming and assembling had as an outcome the multiusage of the makerspace as well as different strategies to engage the locals and make the use of the materials sustainable!


And finally, one of the most disruptive outcomes was a specific gamification strategy in order to incentivize the collection of data by the users in the field to measure the impact of the scaled solutions of Libraries without Borders and Communitere on site!


Sharing knowledge provided a space within the Co-Creation factory to look at challenges and build solutions based on the difficult yet necessary need to criss cross disciplines, seek unfamiliar theoretical and frameworks, and use them as pollination seeds.

Title of Workshop: Account+Ability.  Number of participants: 38

Nicoletta Iacobacci pitched a Brave New Ethics while Jens Bammel proposed to Unf**k Global Governanace. In radically different ways both presenters challenged the audience to see, empathize and reflect on two existing realities. The public debate, which followed, focused on the importance of applying ethical diligence, and taking civil actions in times when science-fiction is becoming science-fact, and facts are becoming alternative facts. Cats, presidents, robots and contemporary Joan of Dark-s were the metaphors of choice in the call to: notice, accept responsibility and dive into action.

Title of Workshop: Crafting the Narrative. Number of Participants: 37

Partnering Organizations: GovFaces, Perception Change Program of United Nation Office of Geneva & Co-Creation Factory @ G3iD

Objective: To craft the link between the classroom at school and the living room at home

Leading Question: How can students bring home the SDGs stories and conversations they heard and had at school?

The group crowd-sourced the following solutions:

  1. Advice teachers to create an experience around the SDG story there are reading to their students. For example go to the water well. The geographical place will serve as a conversation anchor when parents and kids pass by it in the future.
  2. Let go of the need to bring the conversations to the living room, in accordance to the school timetable. Let them take their natural course of happening.
  3. Put the SDG stories in the local context – plan a school trip.
  4. Include in the shipping package very simple worksheets, translated into the local language, color pencils
  5. Support students’ projects around the SDGs, i.e. build alternative pond
  6. Portray mother nature as a living being with emotions and feelings
  7. Explore how to make connections to the inner child residing in the parent of the student. Imagine how would this inner child feel and react when listening to the story. Craft the links between school and home engaging the inner child of the parent


3) Title of Workshop: Just Move It, Move It!  Number of Participants: 24

Partnering Organizations: Bioinspired Platform at EPFL; UNAIDS; Biomimicry Switzerland, Reos Partners & Co-Creation Factory @ G3iD

Objective: To Re-Image Procurement and Supply Chain Management Taking Inspiration from Nature

Leading Question: How can Sheila know if antiretroviral drugs are available at the local hospital today?

The group crowd-sourced the following solutions:

  1. Automated SMS
  2. Coded SMS, for example: “hey, we have oranges” only the hiv+ person understands
  3. Bus driver wears a (different) hat when drugs are available
  4. Flag signals on hospital roof tops + replicated by the bus drivers + replicated by vehicles – snowball effect  
  5. Flag signals carried by vehicles
  6. Drone delivery
  7. Home pigeon delivery
  8. Lorry drives around and sends drones to unreachable short-distance places. Drones are recharged while lorry moves around.
  9. Local deposit of medicine as a new service in the corner shop
  10. Light codes sent out by the hospital
  11. Light signal using a system already in place
  12. Bus driver brings objects for the kids in the village to play with (toys) so that the mothers know that drugs are available


  1. A stick in a certain possible at the bus station, so that people do not have to continue the journey if the stick has not been moved
  2. Patients’ cooperatives


One of the five streams of the co-creation factory, resource mobilisation, brought together nine content providers in four workshops, welcoming 100 participants throughout the afternoon. The participants included students, civil society, International NGOs staff members and entrepreneurs. The content providers, mostly entrepreneurs, desired to inspire participants to reflect on their own potential to produce a positive social impact as employees, students, or from their own positions in society.

The workshops followed the innovation flow and were co-designed by the content providers specially for creating a dynamic exchange amongst the participants. The first workshop proposed crazy pitches and was lead by Codethic BLabs and UXcities. A brain squeeze follow to propose participants to think through ways different sectors can work together for achieving a higher social impact, this workshop was co-organized by the Ground-Up Project and Share a Dream.

After this, a prototyping workshop called "imagine the worst and make it survive" presented the guests with a fictive scenario, a Tsunami close to hit Geneva, inviting them to imagine what could go wrong with a needs matching platform, and the different ways to improve it to increase the community resilience after a disaster. The co-creators of this workshop were Embrace and Needslist.

Last but not least, three content providers got together to explore how can we create a community of changemakers through a World Café workshop. Cause Direct, Aguialabs and Euforia, took participants through an imagination journey through analogies and recipes, in order to create a dish that would represent the path to create their ideal world.  You would be able to see the recipes created during this workshop and other outcomes in the solutions hub of  G3iD



The fifth Co-creation Factory workshop stream focused on our collective need to recognize the value of failures - a necessary ingredient of innovation - and one that does not yet gets its deserved space in Geneva-based international organisations (incl. the UN!). Welcome the Embracing Failure track!

The level of attendance of this track, on the 8th and last floor of the Pont Rouge tower, was far from a failure itself. The first session adopted the format of the now well-known Fuck-Up Nights, hosted by the Swiss chapter of this very movement, and a full room of G3iD visitors listened to two entrepreneurs who happened to learn - and share - great lessons, which roots grew from what we can call... professional failures.

The second workshop took the audience along a co-creation journey, under the guidance of a professional facilitator, and focused on supporting a permaculture association refine it's business model, using the Business Model Crash Test (brought in by a Pangloss Labs co-founder). The group took this mission very seriously and brought a totally unexpected set of solutions, enriching the association in the process. It uses these solutions today.

"Failing with class", in today's occidental world, requires a fair level of strength and maturity. This is why our prototyping session and its animators offered a unique opportunity to do some introspection and reflection on our personal path, including what we consider - for good or bad reasons - our failures.  Taking the group through a meditation mood was risky but mandatory(!) and, as any usual prototype, sent a few sparks in the air.

Another Pangloss Labs co-founder guided the last group through a hands-on workshop exploring how we get solutions to scale from a single project to achieve global impact. The Creative Commons were an important element of this workshop. It was quite surprising - and humbling - to discover that we have all we need to actually remove frictions, encourage experimentation, and scale up innovative solutions that work to meet the SDGs.


Co-Creation Factory sessions included co-creators from these organisations