Why do we need a Living Lab?

Policy-makers, funders and business support services can't provide what we need if they don't knows what we need.

The problem is that very little is known about what works for neurodivergent entrepreneurs. We are left to work things out for ourselves, often inventing and re-inventing the wheel.

We need to pull together the little that is known and get some serious work done to find out what we need. It's something we need to do for ourselves because we are the ones who know the challenges from the inside. But we also value academic knowledge, so want to work with academic partners.

That's why we need the NeuDICE Living Lab.

The Living Lab approach

We do scruffy research. Scruffy research is a process that allows us to work at speed and get potential new hacks out and being used by the community without the delays that are built into standard academic research. Feedback from the community is used in real time to tweak hacks and improve understanding of how they work, for whom and why.

Living Lab and other people's research

The Living Lab supports academic partners by providing advice and publicising opportunities for members to take part in their research.

Who can be part of the Living Lab?

The Living Lab brings together community members and academics.

All NeuDICE members can get involved, but there is a special discounted Living Lab membership for those who want to commit time each month to working on Living Lab projects.

Academics are welcome to approach us to become partners. We welcome independent and freelance academic researchers as well as university-based researchers. All NeuDICE academic partners believe in valuing everyone's knowledge and experience - in academic language, they believe in epistemic justice. NeuDICE only works with academic partners who believe neurodivergence is a different way of making sense of the world; we do not work with people who think we have medical disorders that need curing.

If you are a potential academic partner or simply want to know more, book a 15 min call by emailing the livinglab@neudice.org

What happens in Living Lab meet-ups?

As a community, we identify challenges we face and share hacks and solutions that work for us.

Within a meet-up, people will talk about challenges. Anyone who has found a personal solution offers their ideas. some challenges remain without any ideas to try. These are collected and ranked for importance and urgency.

After the meet-up

When a meet-up identifies something that works, we share the idea across the Living Lab for others to try that idea. Sometimes we go on to develop it into a new product or services.

There will always be some challenges where we can't find a solution. We take these to academic partners in case they have read anything that might be worth trying.

If that doesn't solve the challenge, we move on to co-designing a research project as a team of NeuDICE community members and academic partners in our Living Lab. We then hunt for research funding.

The Ed Trials

Ed stands for Executive Duck.

Ed is a low tech fun way of improving aspects of executive function, like remembering what we plan to do, staying on task, and problem-solving. 

Ilakkiya Amudhan, an intern with one of our member organisations, PinkGold Ltd, worked on the psychology of why Ed seems to work so well for different people for different aspects of executive function. We'll be working with her in the future to make her work publicly available.

Who gets to try out Ed?

All NeuDICE members receive Ed along with guidance on how other community members have been using Ed to assist with executive function challenges. 

Living Lab members are automatically signed up for The Ed Trials which start in May. Any other NeuDICE members are welcome to join up - just drop us an email. 

What does taking part involve?

You will be given some ideas and invited to try any that you like the sound of. One of the Ed Trials team will check in with you for feedback and you will have opportunities to meet and discuss what you are learning in virtual Living Lab sessions.

And in the future?

Once we are a bit clearer about how and why Ed is making a difference - and whether Ed is of no value to some people - we will start spreading the workd, first across NeuDICE's networks and then to as many people as possible.

Why did you start with The Ed Trials?

Exeuctive function can be such a challenge at home, school and in the workplace, not just for entrepreneurs. The Ed Trials seemed a really useful quick win and a way to support the wider neurodivergent community.

If you are a potential academic partner or simply want to know more, book a 15 min call by emailing the livinglab@neudice.org

Registered Office: 33 Bryn Road, Waunarlwydd, Swansea SA5 4RA
Company number: 14585791

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