10. January 2024

Dina von Heimburg

Dina von Heimburg

Mattering in co-creating inclusive communities: promoting well-being in kindergartens and communities through place-based and future-forming practices and policies.


Placing citizens and their assets as key actors in public value co-creation, has been a rocky journey in practice and in policymaking. A particular challenge is how to include marginalized citizens and users to progress the mission of achieving wellbeing for all. In this talk I address the need for democratic innovation within a comprehensive framework of “wellbeing interventions”. The talk is based on the premise that all people need to matter – that is, to be valued and add value in their own life, in the life of others, in work and in the wider society (Prilleltensky, 2020). Drawing on recent action research projects, I present future forming steppingstones to reframing kindergartens and schools as place-based and rights-based anchor institutions, with great potentials for promoting equitable participation and community wellbeing. The presented studies suggest how a “parent-powered” approach renders promising results by supporting inclusive relational coordination and capacity building for co-creation in the settings of everyday life. I also suggest how kindergartens (and schools) can be used as socially inclusive platforms for co-created and mission-oriented policymaking, by placing wellbeing for all at the heart of public values.

About Dina von Heimburg

Dina von Heimburg is Associate Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, where she also is the co-leader of WellFare: Nordic Research Center for Wellbeing and Social Sustainability. Dina is passionate about the interdependency between wellness and fairness for making people and future generations matter, both in processes and outcomes. Currently, she is working with several transdisciplinary research projects focusing on co-creation, relational welfare and the role of trust for empowering processes, joint actions, and transformative results. Dina has over a decade of practice working as a public health coordinator, policy entrepreneur and community developer in local governments, and has been involved in WHO's Norwegian network of Healthy Cities for many years. She is now a member of the WHO/EURO Universal Well-being Economy working group - the New Economics Expert Group (NEEG) and is also a part of the WHO Venice Office’s “deep dive team” working to explore and document wellbeing economies in Europe.