Awsomeness of co-creation

Co-creation is an act of creating something together in order to jointly produce a mutually valued outcome. As part of CONNEXT, in Karlstad we have recently been co-creating together with migrants to develop a Swedish version of the #WORK game. The co-creation process was conducted according to the S_U+G® methodology consisting of three consecutive workshops called ‘Labs’:

  • LearningLab: gain insight into the specific serious theme.
  • GameLab: co-creation of stories and game mechanics.
  • TestLab: play and evaluate the game in development.
A group of people testing #WORK Sweden.
Testing #WORK ™ Sweden!

In May 2019, the CONNEXT partners Bram and Marie from [ew32] came all the way from Flanders to guide us through this process and it was truly a great experience! The Swedish Core trainers did a brilliant job in guiding over 25 migrants in these labs (with good support from [ew32]!). The atmosphere was great with buzzing energy, vivid conversations and many laughs.

With help of the structure of the labs, together with the experience, knowledge and wisdom among the participants, we got a lot of valuable input and ideas to put into the creation process of #WORK ™ Sweden. In the LearningLab we gained new insights to the theme of the game and in the GameLab and TestLab’s we got feedback on how different missions work, the level of difficulty, practical issues, ideas on how to make the missions work better, topics that were missing and topics that were the most valuable.

Selfie of the game participants. Three ladies and a man smiling.
Every game session starts with taking selfies!

We also got feedback showing us that empowerment through game-based learning is indeed possible! Although we were “only” in a co-creation process, the participants told us stories about the experience that almost put tears in our eyes. Statements like “doing it this way, I am never going to forget what I learned today, “this is the first time that I have spoken to Swedish people that I don’t know” and “now I’m no longer afraid to approach people I don’t know” really moved us. The missions that the participants appreciated the most were missions involving interactions with “strangers”. This made us realise that the S_U+G® methodology could help migrants overcoming thresholds when it comes to interacting with other people.

Co-creation is becoming more and more common as many companies and organizations have discovered the benefits of involving their customers, clients and consumers in developing ideas, products and services. We can now see why. Thanks to the feedback from the participants in the Labs, we have been able to make a lot of adjustments and improvements to #WORK ™ and are now proud to declare that we are #WORK ™-Sweden-good-to-go!


Psst! Check out Design kit tools, which can be used to support co-creation and other project activities.



Text: Marie Andersson, Municipality of Karlstad

Pictures: Marie Andersson, Maria Svärdsén and participants in the labs of CONNEXT Sweden