Original Research

Applying a Living Lab methodology to support innovation in education at a university in South Africa

Ronel Callaghan, Marlien Herselman
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 11, No 1 | a30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v11i1.30 | © 2015 Ronel Callaghan, Marlien Herselman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2016 | Published: 30 July 2015

About the author(s)

Ronel Callaghan, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Marlien Herselman, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Full Text:



The Living Lab paradigm creates open and inter-disciplinary environments where participants can interrogate challenges and co-create solutions. A successful Living Lab context incorporates a clear focus/vision, strong leadership, self-sustainability, a strong sense of community-owned challenges and the potential for sustainable community development. This paper discusses and outlines the elements of Living Labs, and how these have played a role in the establishment of a new Education Living Lab at a University in South Africa. Core values, stakeholders and key success factors of Living Labs are discussed. This is followed by the description of a case study of the establishment process of a Living Lab. The newly established Living Lab already shows success with collaborations and innovation between communities, industry, academia, learners and schools. This is illustrated in an application of the discussions on the Mobile Learning focus area - the first active sub-focus area within the Education Living Lab.


Co-creation; community empowerment; interdisciplinary research; Living Labs; open innovation; social innovation


Total abstract views: 2911
Total article views: 1180


Crossref Citations

1. Smart Village Development Principles and Driving Forces: The Case of Lithuania
Vilma Atkočiūnienė, Gintarė Vaznonienė
European Countryside  vol: 11  issue: 4  first page: 497  year: 2019  
doi: 10.2478/euco-2019-0028