MIND Milan poster

MIND Milano Innovation District is a pioneering urban innovation district, it places an emphasis on sustainability, wellbeing, nature integration and functionality. The T-Factor pilot at MIND addressed three ‘meanwhile missions’ encompassing a proactive approach to knowledge dissemination, sustainable urban lifestyle promotion, and enhanced territorial integration.

/meanwhile missions

Open, Vibrant and Collaborative R&I Ecosystem

Developing a well-informed community cognisant of MIND’s ongoing research and possible impacts on society, and building connections with stakeholders, fostering collaborations and benefits from the research conducted at MIND.

Active, Healthy and Sustainable Lifestyles

Supporting well-being by launching educational and cultural initiatives that highlight the importance of nature, biodiversity, and green practices in urban settings.

Accessibility & Identity

Building stronger connections with municipalities and communities to create a unified urban ecosystem, and focusing on the seamless integration of the MIND district into the broader cityscape of Milan, promoting a harmonious city-district relationship.


/Pilot emerging themes

Community Engagement and Diversity

The challenge faced by the pilot in engaging with a diverse range of municipalities due to the lack of a well-defined local community. This situation presented unique complexities and opportunities in reaching out to and involving various distinct groups. The narrative underscored the importance of embracing this diversity to create inclusive and effective community engagement strategies, thereby highlighting the critical role of diversity in fostering broader community involvement and cooperation in the pilot.

Community Mapping and Realities

Highlighting the challenges in identifying and engaging relevant organisations within and outside MIND, this process involves understanding the diverse stakeholders’ interests and their relevance to the project and takes into account the complexities of building a cohesive community network. The narrative underscored the importance of accurately mapping these dynamics to ensure effective engagement and collaboration, crucial for success in a diverse and multifaceted environment.

Balancing Goals and Co-Creation

Emphasising the iterative development of the missions, the narrative highlights the evolution from initial concepts to their current forms, demonstrating a focus on adaptability and collaborative creation. This approach reflects the pilot’s commitment to balancing its core objectives while actively involving various stakeholders in the co-creation process, ensuring that the project remains dynamic, responsive to community needs, and aligned with its foundational goals.

Dual approach and local dynamics

This reflects the pilot strategy of balancing concrete goals with broader aspirations in the context of the Science Park. This approach was rooted in the project’s three core missions, which highlight commitment to elevating the value of wild areas while actively enhancing cultivated ones through ecological practices. The goal was to create an urban ecology hub, using missions as practical tools to guide activities and address the dynamic needs of the Science Park.

Challenges in Establishing Prototypes

Focusing on the difficulties encountered in setting up physical spaces, the narrative highlights the complexities of Italian legislation related to temporary use and the transition of activities to more stable formats. This underscores the practical challenges faced in bringing innovative concepts to fruition, emphasising the importance of navigating legal and logistical obstacles to create effective, tangible prototypes.

Insights from Guided Tours and Events

Reflecting on the learning experiences and opportunities for improvement identified through these activities, the tours and events have been instrumental in gaining practical insights, enhancing community engagement, and assessing the project’s impact. The narrative highlights their success in connecting with the community while also acknowledging areas where further enhancements could be made, illustrating the importance of on-the-ground interactions in evaluating and refining activities.

Challenges in Leadership and Funding

Focusing on the difficulty in transitioning leadership to local organisations and securing external funding, the narrative emphasized the critical need for sustainable leadership structures and financial resources to ensure the long-term viability and success of the activities. It underscores the complexities and importance of establishing strong leadership and consistent funding sources, which are essential for maintaining momentum and achieving the project’s ambitious goals.

Strategic Adjustments and Collaboration

The necessity for the pilot to adapt its strategies in response to initial challenges. This involved refining target audiences and enhancing collaboration with established entities within MIND. The narrative highlights the importance of flexibility and the ability to modify approaches, illustrating how strategic adjustments and collaborative efforts are crucial for the project’s continued success and relevance in a dynamic environment.

Trust and Engagement in Partnerships

Underscores the importance of building trust for effective collaborations. The narrative highlights the complexities involved in establishing genuine engagement with potential partners. This aspect is crucial for forming strong, productive partnerships that can significantly contribute to the success of the MIND project. Trust and authentic engagement were foundational in fostering meaningful and lasting relationships with various stakeholders.