Co-creation – where citizens and public organizations work together to deal with societal issues – is increasingly considered as a fertile solution for various public service delivery problems. During co-creation, citizens are not mere consumers, but are actively engaged in building resilient societies. In this study, we analyze if and how state and governance traditions influence learning and policy change within a context of co-creation. We combine insights from the co-creation and learning literature. The empirical strategy is a comparative case study of co-creation examples within the welfare domain in childcare (Estonia), education (Germany) and community work (the Netherlands). We show that state and governance traditions may form an explanation for whether co-creation, learning and policy change occurs. Our paper suggests that this seems to be related to whether there is a tradition of working together with citizens and a focus on rule following or not.