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Welcome to the Living Labs Community of Practice

A university or college Living Lab is where real-world institutional problems are addressed in new dynamic partnerships between all the institution's stakeholder groups. A Living Lab facilitates a bridge of collaboration which liberates intellectual potential to address its own practical challenges. Surprisingly, a Lab does not necessarily demand a significant amount of additional resource; it simply helps identify existing resources and redirects them to the right problems.
The potential is transformational. Living Labs promise the opportunity of applied learning and employability skills for students, problem-solving for campus managers, a rich and real-world learning experience for academics and a redefined student experience and new levels of student retention and satisfaction for managers.
Recognising this, the EAUC has invested into in-depth, world-leading research which we publish today. Living Labs are at the heart of the new EAUC 2021 strategy and provide the practical means to make sustainability not only ‘good business’ but the new norm in how we all work.


Thom Cooper has been leading on the development and implementation of the University of Leeds Living Lab Programme since January 2017.  His focus is on collaborative interdisciplinary projects in partnership between academics, students and operational staff, trialling and piloting sustainable solutions using the University as a test-bed, and co-creating innovative teaching spaces to embed sustainability into the curriculum.
Prior to joining the University of Leeds Thom worked in a variety environmental business advisory roles, most recently as Lead Sustainability Advisor for Yorkshire Water. Thom is an alumnus of the University of Leeds where he studied for his BSc(Hons) Environmental Biogeoscience (2004) and MA Sustainable Development (2006). He is a Chartered Environmentalist and a Member of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.

Paul Warwick is an Associate Professor and the Centre for Sustainable Futures Lead at the University of Plymouth. He is responsible for supporting curriculum development, pedagogic change and participatory research in sustainability education within Higher Education. A key area of this work is exploring how both the campus and city can be used as a living lab through approaches such as service learning and place-based education.
Paul has worked for fourteen years within Higher Education taking a leading role in developing a variety of educational innovation and reform initiatives primarily concerned with Citizenship Education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
Previously he has founded a masters level course geared towards teacher education in ESD and as director of an MA International Education programme created a pathway specifically tailored towards innovation and reform in education. Outside of academia, Paul has worked on a variety of educational development initiatives within schools and youth services aimed at supporting young people in care and students with enhancing their learning through personalised learning and community engagement.

Alun Morgan taught Geography and Integrated Science in Secondary schools in England and Wales for ten years from 1988 before becoming Education Director for the Cardiff Environment Centre on a year’s secondment.  He then took up the newly created position of Education for Sustainable Development Officer for Worcestershire County Council, an innovative teacher advisory and outreach role.  From 2002 he worked as Lecturer in Geography Education in the Institute of Education, London, followed by Senior Lecturer at London South Bank University in January 2009 where he was co-Director of the Education for Sustainability Program.  In 2010 he moved to the University of Exeter to take up the posts of Research Fellow and Lecturer where he was involved in Teacher Training and Research in Science Education.  In 2014 he moved Plymouth University, lecturing in Science Education, Outdoor Learning, and Environmental and Sustainability Education.  His work focuses on the interface between geography and science education, environmental education and education for sustainability and global citizenship.  He is particularly interested in working across the formal-informal learning sectors, outdoor education and in the sphere of community outreach and citizen science. 


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How to search for previous discussions

This CoP is open to all EAUC Members and other invited parties to learn and share experiences on living labs. It is not a forum for commercial gain.

We know that there are many topics that come up regularly on the discussion networks so here is a quick and easy guide on how to search for previous discussions:

  1. Go to and click on ‘Subscribers Corner’
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  3. The three ‘Latest messages’ are shown in a box near the top of the page. Click the message to read the entire post.
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