Learning and innovation have become key concepts in charting a path to success. Innovations are often created in multi-actor networks, on the borders between different kinds of organisations. Learning network is a new model for co-operation between workplaces and R&D organizations, based on open innovation approach. The network is built around some common interest, and it aims at learning and joint innovation processes at various dialogic forums.
Finnish Workplace Development Programme TYKES funded learning networks as a new experimental project activity in 2004-10. Learning networks proved to be an excellent environment to make research and innovations, and to disseminate them simultaneously. The co-operation in learning networks also strengthened the development infrastructure.
The experiences of the learning networks have been collected into a book, Linking Theory and Practice – Learning Networks at the Service of Workplace Innovation. This book introduces the learning network activity theoretically as well as gives concrete examples, focusing on interactive forums enabling co-creation, structuring of innovative networks and the general results and conclusions of the network projects.