The future center as an urban innovation engine

Ron Dvir, Yael Shwartzberg, Haya Avni, Carol Webb, Fiona Lettice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this article is to describe a future center as an urban innovation engine for the knowledge city, to understand the success factors of a future center and how this success can be replicated systematically in the implementation and development of future centers in the future.

Design/methodology/approach – Nine future centers were visited and a longitudinal action research‐based case study was conducted at the regional Be'er Sheva PISGA Future Center in Israel, within the educational domain.

Findings – There are 13 conceptual building‐blocks for a future center and the unifying principle is conversations. The PISGA future center put the concept of a future center into action and was guided by six operating principles: values, experiment and learning, organizational structure, partnerships, physical space, and virtual space. They were able to initiate ten new educational projects within the first two years of operation. A conceptual model of a regional future center was developed and tested on the PISGA case, defining the five key ingredients as community conversations, future images, an innovation lab, a knowledge and intelligence center and implementation projects.

Research limitations/implications – After two years of testing the findings, only intermediate results are available. Further research is needed to develop and test the concepts and model further.

Practical implications – This paper provides building‐blocks and a generic model that can be used by the creators of next generation future centers.

Originality/value – This paper provides the first generic building‐blocks and the first generic implementation and operational model for a future center.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-123
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Education
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge management
  • Cities

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