Story 1Genovate Toolkit

Story 1

Creating Value to Generate Gender-Awareness

This story illustrates one way of implementing a promoting sustainable change approach with support of some of the toolkit’s methods.


Integrating gender equality and diversity dimensions in a research and development project in the area of district heating and cooling.


A male-dominated project consortium with partners from diverse academic disciplines and companies in Germany, Greece, India, Spain, and Sweden.


Gender app, Gender observations, Value exercises, Personas


The project contributed to next generation of district heating and cooling systems and aspires to create business benefit for the industry. The aim is to ensure optimal end-consumer satisfaction with a user-centered design process.

Initiated by the coordinator, the project consortium decided to strengthen the project and create competitive advantage through a gender equality and diversity perspective. When writing the funding application, the following areas are suitable for gender mainstreaming: decision-making, communication, user participation, consumer interaction, and dissemination in order to achieve more sustainable results.

The project is approved funding from the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission. Gender is included as an agenda item in the project management meetings from the very start of the project. The consortium not only strives for inclusive communication and gender-balance in user participation, but also starts to integrate the gender and diversity perspective in the content of research and innovation. By the first milestone, the project has embedded this perspective in most of the project deliverables submitted to the European Commission. At the time of this writing, the project has passed the first milestone and the next step is to ensure the quality of the gender-mainstreaming process by developing a follow-up system together with project partners. The aim is also to promote joint learning and ownership of the process with the intent to create a sustainable change process.


  1. Gender process facilitator included in the project management team
  2. Gender facilitator building relationships with involved actors to better understand their needs and drivers
  3. Gender training with support from gender researchers and experts
  4. Added value through embedding the gender and diversity perspective in core project activities


  • A more competitive project funding application
  • Gender and diversity dimension as a driver of creativeness and innovation
  • Enhanced understanding of the benefits of the genderbalanced project consortium, inclusive communication, and inclusive user participation
  • Enhanced gender-awareness of project consortium members
  • Enhanced demand of tailored gender tasks and activities among colleagues of the project members
  • Outreach to a wider audience through inclusive communication
  • External attention from universities and companies in local, national, and European level that strengthens the change process

Other Stories

Story 1

Creating Value to Generate Gender-Awareness

This story illustrates one way of implementing a promoting sustainable change approach with support of some of the toolkit’s methods.


Story 2

Implementing a Gender-Aware Recruitment and Promotion Process

This story is about a project that involved enhancing the sustainability aspect of gender-aware recruitment and promotion processes in academia.


Story 3

Designing sustainable change through participation of underrepresented groups

This story is about a project that challenges the imbalance between women and men in certain work sectors and why so few young people are attracted by certain work. In short, there was a need to re-think underlying causes and origins and a need to develop actions for change.