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Co-creation Workshops for Future Leaders Fellows

Collaborating creatively:
The Why and the How of methods of co-production and co-creation

About the workshops

Funded by the Future Leaders Fellows Development Network Plus Funds.


The idea of co-creation, as a concept, method and policy tool, has increased in popularity in recent years yet remains under-utilised. As a methodology it has great potential to address inequalities in research relationships and processes, and to produce innovative, community-identified responses and solutions. The objective was to deliver three training and learning workshops for current UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders cohorts to explore the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of participatory methods, with a particular focus on co-creation.

What do we mean by co-creation?

Co-creation has been described as a form of ‘collaborative creativity’ (Greenhalgh, et al. 2016), that enables innovation with rather than for involved stakeholders. The workshops are built with this participatory ethos in mind. Co-creation brings different parties together to jointly produce mutually valued and innovative outcomes for the purposes of social change and justice. The workshops brought multiple stakeholder groups together to explore the potential and challenges of co-creation at all stages of the research process, to consider its flexibility and possibility, as well as the potential for uncertainty and risk.

The Workshops

As research leaders in training, Future Leaders Fellows are well placed to drive creative and innovative research and transformation. However, there are few opportunities or spaces to explore how they might do that creativity and inclusively and in collaboration with the communities with whom they research to produce impact. 

The workshops introduced co-creation, explored the added value of participatory methods for world leading and global research, and aimed to embed understanding of how they might be applied. Held online, on 28th April, 24th May and 7th June 2022, they also showcased cutting edge examples of good practice. Workshops 1 and 2 were captured by live event illustrator Katie Chappell. 

The Organisers 

These workshops were organised by Dr Anna Tarrant (University of Lincoln, Round 2 Future Leaders Fellow) and Dr Tatiana Salisbury (King's College London, Round 3 Future Leaders Fellow), and expertly facilitated by The Collective. The workshop delivery was supported by Katie Atmore (King's College London) and Mostafa Arafa (Univeristy of Lincoln).

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Wokshop 1

Workshop 1:

The why of co-creation and co-production: showcasing participatory methods


Directly addressing the FLF Networks signature themes, this workshop aimed to “transform thinking” by showcasing participatory methods, exploring the question of why relationships and collaborative practices should be facilitated across diverse stakeholder groups including industry, government, civil society and academia.


Key objectives included:

  • Understanding the diversity of participatory methods and methods and exploring how different researchers view co-production as different processes with diverse outcomes and aspirations,

  • Interactively exploring the opportunities engendered by creative and inclusive research collaborations,

  • Hearing from diverse public and marginalised communities and user groups who share their views about why it is essential to be responsive to lived experience and promote inclusive research cultures. 

Contributor Videos

Dr Enric Senabre Hidalgo- Transdisciplinary co-creation researcher

Dr Helen McCabe- Rights Lab, University of Nottingham

Dr Flavio Mandlate- INSPIRE & Catalyst Projects, Mozambique

Dr Áine Aventin- If I Were Thabo Project, Queen's University Belfast

Dr Jenevieve Mannell- The EVE project, University College London

Sarah Kinja, Mellan Lilumbi, Mark Nyalumbe- INSPIRE Project fieldworkers, Aga Khan University, Kilifi Kenya

Atanasio Bene Magestade, Matilde Bessitala, Fernando Chissale- INSPIRE Project fieldworkers, ICRH, Tete Mozambique

Workshop Illustration 

The Why.JPG

Workshop 2:

The how of co-creation and co-production: impact through research processes 

Having established the transdisciplinary value of “collaborating creatively” and inclusively, workshop 2 explored how methods of co-creation have been successfully developed and employed, what they mean in different disciplines and what opportunities exist to harness research ideas across and/or at disciplinary boundaries. To generate more creative research ideas with the capacity to be transformative and enabling, there is a need to increase capacity through training that makes accessible an understanding of what methods of coproduction and co-creation entail and what they mean for different audiences and disciplines.


Key objectives included:

  • Reaching an understanding of how different stakeholders might ‘do’ co-creation and apply it in their own research,

  • Creating space to network and learn about, and from, national and international examples of cocreation.

Contributor Videos

Dr Rosie Hornbuckle- University of the Arts London

Sarah Kinja, Mellan Lilumbi, Mark Nyalumbe- INSPIRE Project fieldworkers, Aga Khan University, Kilifi Kenya

Dr Flavio Mandlate- INSPIRE & Catalyst Projects, Mozambique

Workshop Illustration

The How.jpg

Workshop 3:

Liberating structures activities and networking​

This final workshop was an opportunity to consolidate and corroborate learning.

Presentations were delivered by Anna and Tatiana about their own co-creation projects as stimulus for final reflection and discussion:



Catalyst Project 


INSPIRE Project 


Following Young Fathers Project 

Tatiana Salisbury- INSPIRE Project presentation

Anna Tarrant- Following Young Fathers presentation

Ken Carswell- Technical Officer, World Health Organisation, Department of Mental Health and Substance Use

Cocreation Workshops Final Report-  For more information on the workshops click on the PDF icon to view the full written report.

Additional Resources

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