Challenges and solutions for digital inclusion in Living Lab research with elder participants

This workshop to SHARE  and BUILD FUTURES

When: Friday 26th of August from 10h45 to 12h30



  • Map of challenges/opportunities in relation to digital inclusion/exclusion
  • Concepts of solutions to improve digital inclusion making use of the 8 digital profiles
  • Make participants aware of the challenges and possible procedure to find local solutions


Health & Active/Creative Aging; digital inclusion


In this workshop we want to map the challenges/opportunities experienced in other Living Labs when working with this target group to digital include them, as well as co-create possible solutions to improve the digital inclusion in the future practice making use of the 8 digital profiles.

In this workshop we start from the experiences of two Care Living Lab platforms  LiCalab and Online Buurten to spur and focus the discussion.

Draft agenda:

  • short introduction round and capturing expectations (10 min)
  • sensitizing into topics with short presentation + explain approach of session (30 min)
  • map own challenges/opportunities & prioritise; in 5 teams (20 min)
  • for one challenge a concept of a solution is created in each team (30 min)
  • Improve solution with SCAMPERR method (10 min)
  • In-group wrap-up: each team pitches their challenge & solution / discussion (20 min)

Who should attend?

People active in Living labs with digital solutions and elder participants

Max 40 people

Workshop organiser/facilitator:  Prof An Jacobs, Leen Broeckx, Bert Desmet, Ilse Mariën


In Flanders (Belgium) we had the great opportunity to create the Care Living Labs Flanders, where 6 Living Lab platforms on elder care innovation are supported by the Flemish Government. When working with older adults on elder care innovations one extra challenge is the potential digital exclusion of participants. At one hand innovations researched in Living Lab are digital by themselves, so when testing/evaluating solutions the users need to have some digital skills. At the other hand, in today’s Living Lab research digital tools are also used when collecting users’ insights, for example collecting feedback with small questionnaires during an evaluation period. How to take digital exclusion into account when designing your Living Lab research?

Research within iMinds has shown that digital exclusion is not merely created by a lack of digital skills. Contextual factors such as support networks, autonomy of skills development and soft skills also determine to what extent some one is subject to digital exclusion. Also, the influence of these contextual factors has drawn attention to the fact that socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. age, gender, ethnic background…) do not have a decisive influence on who is and who is not able to handle digital innovations. Socio-demographics shape digital choices and thus user practices, but are not a direct cause of digital exclusion. The groups-at-risk of encountering difficulties with digital innovations can be brought back to 8 profiles, defined by 13 indicators: 5 indicators related to social inequalities (income & employment, education level, societal participation, agency, welfare and wellbeing) and 8 indicators related to digital inequalities (access, attitude, digital skills, communication and soft skills, autonomy, user practices, digital character of the environment, support networks). Each profile is defined by a distinct subset and combination of these 13 indicators. Hence, the 8 profiles allow a more contextualised view and understanding of the different issues that older adults might experience when engaging with elder care innovations. Furthermore, knowing the issues at hand, also implies that for each profile, following steps and solutions can be defined and developed to ensure and improve the digital inclusion of older adults in future innovation practices.