Table 2. Some attributes of complex systems in terms of adaptive solutions.

Living Lab SoP SAM
Attribute of complex system:
Multiple valid perspectives All actors in the innovative process have equal participation opportunity, including academia, government, industry, communities, and users.
Various stakeholders are involved from different disciplines and sectors (public, private, and academic).
Decisions and actions are based on developing a shared rationality between and acknowledgment of multiple stakeholders as part of the decision making context.
Emergence Continuous interaction between various stakeholders and inherent feedback opportunities allow unpredicted elements or opportunities to emerge, despite not being planned.
One aim of SoP is to develop evidence-based knowledge. Ideas that were not known before the evidence was gathered have the possibility to emerge without prior knowledge.
The adaptive planning process encourages and seeks to facilitate the emergence of novel and innovative ideas from the interactions of stakeholders.
Sensitivity to initial conditions (the holistic context of the system at initiation) Living Labs attempt to capture inter-relations between different contexts in real-life. Initial and continuous engagement with stakeholders enables interweaving of initial conditions from the start of the project.
SoP is focused on strengthening contextual lived-in conditions and experiences of places through development. Rather than force alien development concepts onto a location, it uses in situ place experiences to form a unique development concept.
SAM embraces the idea of exploring the initial conditions before conceiving any management interventions to produce contextually grounded management solutions.
Feedback loops Living Labs provide continuous feedback throughout the research process between end-users and researchers. Infrastructures and methodologies for evaluation are used by all actors.
Interactions between various stakeholders are continuous and create checks and balances between the goals and expectations of stakeholders, acting as feedback loops.
SAM creates desirable feedbacks in the management process at a number of levels over a number of time scales (adaptive decision making and action – operational level feedbacks; monitoring of outputs and outcomes of actions – operational/strategic level feedbacks; review of vision and values, and deep loop learning – paradigmatic feedbacks).
Change and uncertainty are inherent; complex systems are ultimately not predictable Living labs specifically focus on creating solutions for real life contexts. Such real life contexts are inherently unpredictable and subject to change. Living Labs therefore acknowledge the existence of change and uncertainty in research. SoP acknowledges that each development project and each site to be developed is unique. A certain degree of uncertainty exist because of this uniqueness and because the range of stakeholders differ in each case. SAM is future-focused. It is about being adaptable, including monitoring outputs and outcomes of decisions and actions; reviewing outputs/outcomes against what was expected, what actions were actually implemented, how unforeseen events affected what happened, and how the outputs/outcomes sit with perceived vision and values.
ICTD = Information and Communication Technology for Development
TP = Town Planning
NRM = Natural Resource Management
Sop = Sense of Place research
SAM = Strategic Adaptive Management