Title: The impact of fab labs implementation on local economy and innovation dynamics in developing countries
Language: English
Authors: Boskovic, Bojan 
Qualification level: Diploma
Advisor: Lüthje, Christian 
Issue Date: 2019
Number of Pages: 54
Qualification level: Diploma
The focus of this thesis is to explore various impacts fab labs (and different social lab spaces in general) may have on the host city in terms of local economy development. This thesis has an ambition to become a manual on how to analyse and understand the context of the location in order to design and implement a Social Lab space so that the impact and benefit for local community is on the maximum. Results outline a number of different parameters for various aspects studied. Development aid and industry, which emerged around it, appeared in the postcolonial context of the World in the second half of 20th century. However, in spite of huge ambitions supported by theoretical frameworks of the time and fuelled by grants, loans and investments, the results 70 years later are slim. Perhaps well intentioned, the main products of aid were embezzlement, growing instability and lower GDP per capita. Income inequality is still growing. The abundance of research data shows there is a fundamental flaw in the top bottom methodology applied by various development institutions, namely World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Regional Development Banks and UN agencies. There are many other flaws. As a result, the hardship of life in the developing world continues to be a source of constant new problems and destabilization in the First World (Developed World). To offset the wrong approach and failure of developmental grand designs and their top bottom approaches, Social Labs appear to offer an alternative methodology. These platforms address complex social challenges in different manners through a more generic bottom up way via iterative processes. Theoretical framework used in the thesis borrows from several studies, namely Theory of Urban development, by Canadian theorist and lecturer prof. Richard Florida, Theory of Change (ToC), developed by Aspen Institute, Subcultural Theory developed by Chicago School and Frankfurt School, and Urban Tribes theory by French sociologist Michael Maffesoli. The hypothesis is that setting up a social lab, fab lab or community lab, is beneficial for improvement of the innovation dynamics, cross-fertilization of ideas, skill development, knowledge appropriation, jobs generation and self-employment as well as galvanization of entrepreneurial spirit on the local level. The results derived from case studies showed unambiguously that well-functioning social labs might exhibit positive effect on the local economy of municipality. Further, this boost in creative industry has a domino effect on other spheres of life. They spark a positive chain reaction and stimulate the need and the production of different local content and initiatives (not just in entrepreneurship) by different communities in the city (art and cultural community, non-governmental sector, various educational platforms, service industry, tourism, etc.). Final effect is a radiation of new optimism visible in brainpower that starts gravitating towards these spaces. The implications of this study can be huge. If funds go into the right hands, development can become a reality. World can become a more equal and automatically more stable place. World Bank, for example, currently oversees several educational projects installing Fab Labs across the countries in the Third world. This work offers further arguments to back this reasoning and adds force to the impetus created.
Keywords: fab lab; social lab; community lab; innovation; economic development; local communities; Theory of Change
fab lab; social lab; community lab; innovation; economic development; local communities; Theory of Change
URI: https://resolver.obvsg.at/urn:nbn:at:at-ubtuw:1-128700
Library ID: AC15464058
Organisation: E017 - Continuing Education Center 
Publication Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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