Recap: Eindhoven Summit on Service Innovation in Cities

On November 24th we held our Eindhoven Summit on Service Innovation in Cities, collaborating with the City of Eindhoven, Brainport Development (the regional development & innovation foundation), and the Smart Homes Foundation. At this Summit, we focused three areas of technology and development in cities that connect the priorities of transformation in Eindhoven with major global technology and societal priorities. Service innovation in cities are enabled not only by the availability of new technologies, but new tendencies in public policy, public private partnerships, and a more participatory understanding of service delivery.

Mary-Ann Schreurs, Eindhoven's Deputy Mayor, highlighted in her welcome address the fundamental transformation taking place. Who is driving our city? It is the citizens. Increasingly empowered, citizens are becoming more and more active stakeholders empowered by technologies and a new service paradigm. This, she said, is not just a political statement, but a fundamental transformation of the way government works.

Following this perspective, Living Labs Global shared how this transformation changes our markets. How come that blind citizens in Minneapolis present the White Cane Award to a more accessible street light when at the same time Boris, a blind citizen of Stockholm, experiences a complete transformation of his live through e-Adept the navigation solution allowing him to move freely and independently through the city. This case reminds us just how intransparent markets remain, not just to public decision-makers, but also citizens who should be demanding best services. Our mission for the coming years, therefore, is to make the central tool to provide this intelligence real-time to connect cities and solution providers.


Following this 16 entrepreneurs presented 1-minute elevator pitches that ranged from Callock's urban system to lock and release shared bicycles and other items in the city, T-Huis design centres that engage teenagers, and the Continua Alliance promoting standards in e-Health. As in our previous Summits, these Elevator Pitches reminded all of the entrepreneurial energy that is readily available to change our cities.

Sensors + LED + Design = Smart Urban Lighting?

Our first Parallel Session, chaired by Elke den Ouden of the Interactive Light Institute and TU/e looked into how available sensor and LED lighting technologies can come together into smart urban lighting systems. Lorna Goulden of Philips Design shared the groundbreaking work under-way in Eindhoven's STRIJP-S district; and Josep Maria Serra of Santa & Cole presenting the Living Labs Global Award 2011 winning integrated solution for urban infrastructures. Ellen de Vries, a globally renowned lighting designer leading Het Lux Lab shared how they overcome barriers in exploiting the full potential of urban lighting and was followed by Jan Reitsma responsible of the Sensor City Assen programme.

e-Health and Smart Living Solutions transforming health systems in cities.

In our second Parallel Session, Peter Portheine the director for health at Brainport Development moderated the discussion of how e-health and smart living solutions can help cities rebuild their social and healthcare services for an ageing, more independent future society. Netown shared their Baby Bot / A+ Healthcare Solution that won the Living Labs Global Award 2011 and turns new homes in Taiwan into connectors to the health care system. Rama Gheerawo shared the work undertaking by the Helen Hamlyn Centre on service design in healthcare, and in particular the experience of the city of pregnant women. Ruud Hoosemans presented the work undertaken at the Jeroen Bosch Hospital where user-needs trigger new development processes.

How do you make the elderly and chronically ill more physically active? This is the mission of the BOZ Foundation and results and new solutions were shared with the delegates. And finally, Thijs Honig shared the impressive work of the Housing First Project which connects the homeless to health and social care to unfold their possibilities.

Social Entrepreneurship, Business Innovation and the prevention of disease and social incidents

In our third parallel session, moderated by Open City Foundation president Motoo Kusakabe, we looked at social entrepreneurship and business innovation as a way to prevent disease and social incidents in cities. In particular the role of methods for identifying challenges and measuring the impact of solutions became a critical focus point of the lively interactions. Unless we can measure problems and impact of solutions, we are unable to invest and deploy wisely and, importantly, maybe also wind down some of the existing services that may no longer deliver value.

The first experience shared in this session was Marjon Meijs of the City of Eindhoven's Social Innovation Living Lab. It raised the rapid changes faced by the city and new approaches that require organisational change to deliver new solutions. Yalp!, the Dutch Lappset subsidiary shared its new playground concepts that incorporate new technologies to reach not just children but teenagers and adults to stimulate physical activity.

Dr Karen K Lee of New York City's Department of Health shared the strategies and design regulations deployed in New York transforming lifestyles. Results were impressive: a 3,000% increase in staircase use just by placing a simple sign saying "Take the stairs, burn calories" but also the emphasis of deploying more drinking water fountains to combat unhealthy soda consumption or supporting neighborhood supermarkets and healthy food options. All this serves as a model for 14 US cities today.

Chloe Feinberg of Ashoka Changemakers provided insights into how social entrepreneurs find alternatives to glovernment financing to scale up their solutions that may transform cities and societies in areas government doesn't or cannot deliver.

10 Visioning Workshops

Following the parallel sessions, 10 Visioning Workshops were held bringing together city and business leaders to invent new solutions. published a wonderful article on their sustainable tourism workshop.

Here the results:

Henk Kok: Development of a Business models for an (e)Bike City Plan and an (e)Bike commute plan

Manel Balcells: The role of cities in promoting health

Josep Maria Vidal-Ribas: Smart Urban Lighting Systems – Who Should Lead the Project?

Molly Webb: Creating a new generation of "Prosumers"

Hans Robertus: How to integrate Design Thinking into the relevant touch points of a city

Martin Dunlea: Smart Grids and real-time urban data transforming city services

Jakob Rasmussen: CityMart

Marcia Caines & Federico De Giuli: Sustainable Tourism

Hans Schneider: Energy Community