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Posts in category 'Co-creation'

17 July 2011

New RSA Journal out

RSA Journal
The Summer 2011 edition of the RSA Journal explores the relationship between business and social change.

Brand values
As the social, political and commercial spheres become more intertwined, firms are increasingly finding incentives to look beyond the bottom line. Colin Crouch explores the strong moral and commercial case for corporations to contribute to social good.

The cooperative renaissance
Values-based business models offer a viable alternative to the traditional capitalist approach, argues Peter Marks. What can the public and private sectors learn from these business models in today’s post-recession landscape?

Urban ingenuity
Too often accused of being a breeding ground for poverty and inequality, cities are actually a catalyst for innovation, entrepreneurialism and social mobility. It is no coincidence that many of the world’s most successful businesses had their genesis in cities, says Edward Glaeser

The new frontier?
While most social enterprises have yet to become household names, they are well positioned for steady growth, as they have a role to play in public-service provision, believes Geoff Mulgan.

The 21st century prison
Rachel O’Brien outlines the RSA’s plans to build a social enterprise prison that makes it easier for ex-offenders to transition into society and return to work.

The power of proximity
In an age when digital technology connects us on a global scale, entrepreneurial success still depends largely on the networks, resources and demand found in local communities, says Barry Quirk.

Self-made in China
Linda Yueh asks what we can learn from the generation of Chinese entrepreneurs who are driving the country’s rapid economic growth.

Best behaviours
Monique and Sam Sternin discuss how the Positive Deviance approach uses people’s hidden talents to tackle widespread and complex social problems.

David Hume: 300 years on
David Hume is remembered as a thinker who has influenced the way we address social, political and economic challenges. James Harris explains why, three centuries after his birth, David Hume continues to intrigue and inspire his diverse readership.

11 July 2011

Red Hat sees user collaboration as the wave of the future

Red Hat
Jim Whitehurst, chief executive and president of Red Hat Inc., the only publicly traded open-source software company, sees user collaboration as the wave of the future, not only for technology companies but for the business world at large.

Mr. Whitehurst spoke to The Wall Street Journal’s Alexandra Wexler about the challenges of changing China’s computing infrastructure, fostering innovation, and bringing cloud computing to the world.

WSJ: Do you see information sharing and collaboration as the way of the future?

Mr. Whitehurst: This is going to radically change the way institutions are managed. The Facebook generation is used to collaborating, and they’re used to a meritocracy. It will change work structures and the nature of the corporation. Most problems can be solved by massive collaboration.

Read article

7 July 2011

Web 3.0 is all about social personalisation

Social media
Forget Web 2.0. During a panel on social media at the recent Wharton Global Alumni Forum, industry experts argued that we are now in a “third wave” of disruption in the tech sector. While the post-bubble era was about user-generated content, they say the future will be centered on filtering the immense amount of data available on the web and helping users find information from the people they care about most — their friends.

“Web 2.0 was centered on user-generated content, where anyone could be a publisher. We’re now in the third wave — I call it a social wave,” said Travis Katz, [founder and CEO of travel recommendations site Gogobot and] a former MySpace executive who served on a Forum panel titled “New Directions for Social Media.” Also on the panel were Ethan Beard, Facebook’s director of platform partnerships; Wharton Digital Press executive editor Shannon Berning; entrepreneur and Lotus 1-2-3 designer Mitch Kapor; and Bryan Srabian, director of social media for the San Francisco Giants.

The web has grown to the point where “there’s too much information,” according to Katz. “Finding ways to filter out information and find what’s relevant to you is getting harder and harder. The model of Google doesn’t work at scale — especially when it comes to things where taste matters.”

Katz predicted that the future of the Internet “is one where every page is going to be personalized.

Read article

6 July 2011

How computers can cure cultural diabetes

Peter Lunenfeld
Peter Lunenfeld (wikipedia), professor in the Design | Media Arts department at UCLA, argues in a New Scientist op-ed piece for the importance of what he calls “meaningful uploading”, which is still difficult for most people since “for the past half-century, much of the world’s media culture has been defined by a single medium – television – and television is defined by downloading.”

“What counts as meaningful uploading? My definition revolves around the concept of “stickiness” – creations and experiences to which others adhere. Tweets about celebrity gaffes are not sticky but rather little Teflon balls of meaninglessness. In contrast, applications like tumblr.com, which allow users to combine pictures, words and other media in creative ways and then share them, have the potential to add stickiness by amusing, entertaining and enlightening others – and engendering more of the same. The explosion of apps for mobile phones and tablets means that even people with limited programming skills can now create sticky things.”

Read article

16 June 2011

Book: What’s Mine is Yours

What's Mine is Yours
What’s Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live
by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers
Collins, 2011
304 pages

In the 20th century humanity consumed products faster than ever, but this way of living is no longer sustainable. This new and important book shows how technological advances are driving forms of ‘collaborative consumption’ which will change forever the ways in which we interact both with businesses and with each other.

The average lawn mower is used for four hours a year. The average power drill is used for only twenty minutes in its entire lifespan. The average car is unused for 22 hours a day, and even when it is being used there are normally three empty seats. Surely there must be a way to get the benefit out of things like mowers, drills and even cars, without having to carry the huge up-front costs of ownership?

There is indeed. Collaborative consumption is not just a buzzword, it is a new win-win way of life. This insightful and thought-provoking new book by Rachel Rogers and Roo Botsman is an important and fast-moving survey of the dramatic changes we are seeing in the way we consume products.

Many of us are familiar with freecycle, eBay, couchsurfing and Zipcar. But these are just the beginning of a new phenomenon. Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers have interviewed business leaders and opinion formers around the world to draw together the many strands of Collaborative Consumption into a coherent and challenging argument to show that the way we did business and consumerism in the 20th century is not the way we will do it in the 21st century.

Related > The end of consumerism? [Article in The Guardian]
Collaborative consumption – the notion that we can now share or swap anything from clothes and parking spaces to free time – is an exciting idea. But is it really the answer to rampant consumerism?

16 June 2011

Shareable: Share or Die [new e-book]

Share or Die
Share or Die is the first collection of writing from Generation Y about post-college work and life in the 21st Century.

“It contains nearly 30 essays, cartoons, instructional how-to’s, and guides from Shareable contributors. In its pages, young people tell the story of a new economy based in collaboration instead of competition, and how they’re making it a reality in their lives. Part post-college guide, part ground-breaking analysis, Share or Die is a great resource for young folks or anyone attempting to understand what it means to live as part of Generation Y.

Using eBook technologies for more than just distribution, Share or Die lets readers explore the collection in their own ways. Articles are arranged into “work” and “life” sections, as well as by tags, which encourages readers to jump around and find what interests them.

16 June 2011

Open Source Architecture (OSArc)

Domus
Domus Magazine has published an op-ed advocating a different approach to designing space – to succeed the single-author model – that includes tools from disparate sources to create new paradigms for thinking and building

The contributors included Paola Antonelli (MoMA), Adam Bly (Seed Media Group), Lucas Dietrich, Joseph Grima (Domus Magazine), Dan Hill (Sitra), John Habraken, Alex Haw (Atmos Studio), John Maeda (RISD), Nicholas Negroponte, Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Gallery), Carlo Ratti (MIT), Casey Reas (UCLA), Marco Santambrogio (MIT), Mark Shepard (Sentient City), Chiara Somajni (Il Sole 24 Ore) and Bruce Sterling.

“Open Source Architecture (OSArc) is an emerging paradigm describing new procedures for the design, construction and operation of buildings, infrastructure and spaces. Drawing from references as diverse as open-source culture, avant-garde architectural theory, science fiction, language theory, and others, it describes an inclusive approach to spatial design, a collaborative use of design software and the transparent operation throughout the course of a building and city’s life cycle.”

Read article

6 June 2011

The future of money in a webbed-up world

The future of money
Digital cash and online markets have the potential to loosen governments’ grip on the currency that makes the economy go round. In this special report the New Scientist examines how this could change money forever.

Editorial – Back to a networked world
The internet is changing our relationship with money for the better.

Virtual cash – Bitcoin gets real
Digital cash and online markets have the potential to loosen governments’ grip on the currency that makes the economy go round.

Macon Money – A currency that’s building community
A social game that pays people to meet one another could help overcome socioeconomic barriers and strengthen local economies.

Social networks – Crowdsourcing cash
We’re moving into a world where everyone is spending and lending multiple virtual currencies.

Mobile Apps – Commuters will be the bellwether for Google Wallet
An analysis of mobile payment systems in Japan, where the technology has been used for years, shows that commuters are the biggest users.

2 June 2011

Five similarities between collaborative consumption and open-source technology

Rentcycle
Tim Hyer, the founder of Rentcycle (an online rental marketplace for those looking to share access rather than retain ownership), was hugely inspired by his previous experience at Red Hat, the open source technology company, and reflects on the shared principles between open-source technology and the collaborative consumption movement.

In this article he outlines five shared principles.

26 May 2011

City as a platform

PSFK
Two talks from the 2011 PSFK conference caught my attention:

City as a platform (video)
In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, Rachel Sterne is tasked with strengthening the City’s digital media presence and streamlining internal digital communications.
In her talk Sterne demonstrated recent innovations that are shaping the city’s future. Mentioning how city resident participation is crucial with a real-time approach, attendees were shown “The Daily Pothole,” a Tumblr that tracks the D.O.T.’s progress in filling potholes in the five boroughs and its companion app, the roll-out of QR code technology on building permits, the NYC 311 app, as well as fielding service requests via Twitter.

Industrial Design: ID For The City (alternate) (video)
Duncan Jackson and Eoin Billings (interview), are both partners at Billings Jackson, a design firm specializing in public spaces. They spoke about their work, history and how they bridge the gap between architecture and manufacturing. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, they appreciate and embrace the the urban landscape for what it is. Crafting solutions that interpret design vision in city environments is their forté and the duo explained the value in understanding the intricacies of each place, culture, and its residents before beginning a new project. Their approach is exemplified through their architectural work, with city life exuding from each structure rather then being blurred by it.

> Check also the video and PSFK report on the Microsoft Home of the Future.

21 May 2011

Create Your Own 2011

CYO2011
Create Your Own 2011 (CYO2011) is a highly recommended event taking place in Berlin on 30-31 May where participants can explore the reality and future behind individualisation, co-creation, and personalisation — mega trends that are shaping the European consumption landscape. The event is co-organized by a consortium of European companies and research institutes in the field of mass customisation (MC).

UX designer Nadia El-Iman, who is CYO2011′s creative director and project manager, will also be running the MC For Makers 1-day Incubator workshop during the conference.

She has posted a few highly interesting background interviews:

  • Why mass customisation, why now?
    An interview with Prof. Frank Piller (blog), founding faculty member of MIT’s Smart Customisation Lab, and the “go to authority on Mass Customisation”
     
  • Customising China
    An interview wit Oliver Hickfang, partner of Taiwan-based 3digital on his experiences doing mass customisation in China

Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels is planning to attend the conference and workshop.

23 April 2011

Behaviour more significant than opinion when it comes to service design

Changing Behaviours
Behaviour change techniques should be used to develop public services with citizens’ motivations at the heart of their design, says a leading [UK] thinktank.

A report produced by the New Local Government Network argues that using citizen’s to design services using so-called nudge techniques can save councils money and the report sets out tools for councils to better understand what motivates their citizens.

The Changing Behaviours report also emphasises the need for a radical change to [UK] central government thinking in order for the reco/ammendations to achieve maximum effect.

The thinktank urges [local and regional] councils to allocate more resources towards improved engagement and communications methods with its citizens in order to understand their needs.

Read article

18 April 2011

Tech mogul? Nope. Any old hack will do.

Maker
The Washington Post describes the world and the impact of everyday hackers who use social networks, do-it-yourself-then-show-it-off Web sites, cheap parts from China, and blissfully simple microprocessors to modify or invent new electronic products for their houses, cars, offices and back yards.

“Recent studies show consumers now spend more money tweaking and inventing stuff than consumer product firms spend on research and development. It’s more than $3.75 billion a year in Britain, and U.S. studies under way now show similiar patterns. Makers are even morphing into entrepreneurs, with some of the best projects, including Kleinman’s, raising money for commercial development of self-funding Web sites such as Kickstarter, where anyone with a credit card can chip in to back cool ideas.

Major companies such as Ford are, after years of resisting inventor gadflies, inviting makers to submit product tweaks. “This is the democratization of technology,” said K. Venkatesh Prasad, a senior engineering executive at Ford.

“Policymakers and economists always assumed that consumers just consumed and that they don’t innovate,” said Eric von Hippel, who studies technological innovation and makers at MIT’s business school. “What’s clearly happening now is that all of a sudden it’s easier for us to make exactly what we want.””

Read article

14 April 2011

Co-creation research journal

CADI
L’École de design in Nantes, France, has just launched the second issue of their research journal CADI, which focuses on co-creation, cross-disciplining and knowledge transfer. The three core feature articles are:

From art history to industrial design history
Jocelyne Le Boeuf, design historian and director of studies at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique
Jocelyne sheds light on her specialty by referring the major thought movements of which hers has become part over history. She also addresses the current multidisciplinary research trends, and delves deeper into the role that design history plays not only in understanding our material environment, but also in designer practices.

Towards a design driven by modesty and sharing
Gilles Rougon, design manager at Électricité de France (EDF)
Based on ten years in design management at the heart of EDF’s Research and Development division, the article elaborates upon design transversality within a company where the primary product is immaterial.

Sociologists and designers are the geologists of social issues and development
Éloi Le Mouël, sociologist within the design department of RATP, the Paris City Transit Authority
Éloi underlines during an interview the similarities and differences between an anthropological approach with regard to “mobility flows” and the design practice from his standpoint as a researcher in the field of social science.

Download journal (Scribd)

25 March 2011

Design!publiC: design for governance in India

Design!publiC
LiveMint.com, the Indian online partner publication of the Wall Street Journal, reports on India’s first Design!publiC conclave “on design thinking and the challenge of government innovation,” which took place in New Delhi on 18 March.

The event — which was organised by the Center for Knowledge Societies, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and with support from, amongst others, the Centre for Internet and Society — brought together influential thinkers in Indian government, including Arun Maira of the National Planning Commission, R. Gopalakrishnan of the National Innovation Council and Ram Sewak Sharma of the UIDAI, as well as members of leading corporate and development sector agencies.

In the lengthy article Aparna Piramal Raje, director of BP Ergo, describes the approach advocated at the conclave:

“Design thinking denotes an approach to problem-solving, with three distinct aspects. First, users are studiously followed and analysed employing ethnographic tools. Human needs, attitudes, preferences, challenges, their context and the immediate environment are documented using multimedia technology.

These in-depth observations generate insights into the heart of a given problem. Based on these, design thinkers collaborate and brainstorm to conceive a set of possible solutions. Prototypes of these solutions are created, tested and validated to arrive at a final solution. [...]

Design thinking’s biggest strength—the last mile, or the citizen-government interface—is the biggest pain point for government service providers. User-centricity forms the foundation for all design thinking; they are typically the weakest link in any government programme. Greater sensitivity to everyday interactions between citizens and government services can result in enhanced standards of living through better housing, transportation, health, education, among other necessities of daily life, the panellists said.”

Make sure to watch the video that is embedded in the article.

Excerpt from the Design!publiC vision text

“The problem of governance is perhaps as old as society, as old as the rule of law. But it is only more recently — perhaps the last five hundred years of modernity — that human societies have been able to conceive of different models of government, different modalities of public administration, all having different effects on the configuration of society. The problem of governments, of governmentality, and of governance is always also the problem of how to change the very processes and procedures of government, so as to enhance the ends of the state and to promote the collective good.

Since the establishment of India’s republic, many kinds of changes have been made to the policies and practices of its state. We may think of, for instance, successive stages of land reforms, the privatization of large-scale and extractive industries, the subsequent abolition of the License Raj and so and so forth. We may also consider the computerization of state documents beginning in the 1980s, and more recently, the Right To Information Act (RTI). More recently there have been activist campaigns to reduce the discretionary powers of government and to thereby reduce the scope of corruption in public life.

While all these cases represent the continuous process of modification, reform, and change to government policy and even to its modes of functioning, this is not what we have in mind when we speak of ‘governance innovation.’ Rather, intend a specific process of ethnographic inquiry into the real needs of citizens, followed by an inclusive approach to reorganizing and representing that information in such a way that it may promote collaborative problem-solving and solutioneering through the application of design thinking.

The concept of design thinking has emerged only recently, and it has been used to describe approaches to problem solving that include: (i) redefining the fundamental challenges at hand, (ii) evaluating multiple possible options and solutions in parallel, and (iii) prioritizing and selecting those which are likely to achieve the greatest benefits for further consideration. This approach may also be iterative, allowing decisions to be made in general and specific ways as an organization gets closer and closer to the solution. Design thinking turns out to be not an individual but collective and social process, requiring small and large groups to be able to work together in relation to the available information about the task or challenge at hand. Design thinking can lead to innovative ideas, to new insights, and to new actionable directions for organizations.

This general approach to innovation — and the central role of design thinking — has emerged from the private sector over the last quarter century, and has enjoyed particular success in regards to the development of new technology products, services and experience. The question we would like to address in this conference is whether and how this approach can be employed for the transformation public and governmental systems. [...]

[More in particular,] in this conclave, our interest is to explore how design thinking and user-centered innovation might help [governmental and quasi-governmental] organizations better accomplish their mission and better serve their beneficiaries. We also seek to explore and establish particular modalities through which governance innovation can be achieved, as well as to identify key stakeholders and personalities gripped of the challenge of governance innovation. Our larger goal is to craft a path forward for integrating design thinking and innovation methodologies in the further re-envisioning, refashioning and improvement of public services in India and elsewhere in the world.”

The conclave seems to have been extremely well prepared, given the wealth of supporting materials that are available online:

Design!publiC blog

Press release
CKS organizes “Design Public” conclave – lays foundation for creating a national framework for governance innovation. High-level officials from Government of India work together with design and Innovation Experts at “Design Public” conclave

Conclave Note
Concise document that covers vision, case studies, programme and attendees

Case studies of governance innovation
Mainly European examples (unfortunately) from Denmark, UK and Norway

Glossary on design, innovation and governance
Glossary of terms that are often used by designers and innovation specialists. Also includes key terms related to governance and state-craft.

Bibliography on governance innovation
[Pleasantly surprised to find my own name there, as well as the one of Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels]

Design!publiC Book
A combination of all the above, including a detailed introduction to the design innovation ideas that were explored at the Design Public Conclave, the complete Design Public bibliography, the glossary of design terms, case studies of design innovation being applied to government, and bios for the guests that attended the conference.

10 February 2011

Research on the importance of collaborative user innovation

Book scanner
New research suggests the traditional division of labor between innovators and customers is breaking down as more individual consumers invent and improve products on their own. Patricia Cohen reports in The New York Times:

“Tinkering is challenging a deeply entrenched tenet of economic theory: that producers, not consumers, are the ones who innovate. [...]

Financed by the British government, Eric A. von Hippel [a professor of technological innovation at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management] and his colleagues last year completed the first representative large-scale survey of consumer innovation ever conducted.

What the team discovered, described in a paper that is under review for publication, was that the amount of money individual consumers spent making and improving products was more than twice as large as the amount spent by all British firms combined on product research and development over a three-year period.”

Read story

10 January 2011

Arduino The Documentary. How open source hardware became cheap and fun

Arduino
When I was working at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, I met Massimo Banzi who embarked on an open source hardware initiative which eventually became the very successful Arduino project.

Now, writes the Arduino blog, Rodrigo Calvo, Raúl Díez Alaejos, Gustavo Valera, and the people at Laboral Centro de Arte in Gijon, Spain, have created a video documentary, entitled Arduino The Documentary, that you can view on Vimeo in English and Spanish.

Here is some background by Matthew Humphries published on geek.com:

Open source software has had a major impact on the applications and platforms we all use today. Linux is now a very viable alternative to Windows and Mac OS even for beginner PC users. The Android operating system looks set to dominate on mobile hardware, and more and more software applications are being released for free as open source projects by anyone who can learn to program.

Now the same looks set to happen for hardware. With the development of cheap, easy to use electronics components as part of the Arduino computing platform, it’s becoming much easier to create your own hardware solutions without spending a lot of money.

No longer do we have to leave hardware creation to the large corporations with access to manufacturing plants and skilled workers. Instead, we can spend a few dollars buying an Arduino board, a bunch of components, and start experimenting with the support of a growing online community.

The video above gives you an introduction to what Arduino is and how it has developed since its inception. You come away thinking anything is possible with a bit of learning and a 3D printer, and why not? If software can be free to use, why can’t hardware be free to create and distribute?

The clear message Arduino The Documentary gives out is that we are about to see an explosion of hardware devices that come from bedroom tinkerers and student projects. Not only that, but they have the potential to turn into commercial products that businesses form around and investors flock to. We also have an opportunity to get electronics taught to our kids in schools for very little cost and hopefully start producing the next generation of talented engineers.

26 November 2010

The public square goes mobile

The public square goes mobile
Allison Arieff writes in the New York Times Opinionator blog extensively on how citizens harness technology to offer up solutions to problems in their communities.

“What if there were a way to transform complaints into something positive and productive? What if we reframed the exchange to be less about adversity and more about cooperation and action? What if citizens were encouraged to offer their thoughts on how things from transit systems to city parks might be improved — as opposed to simply airing their grievances about all that was wrong with them?”

The article highlights the Give a Minute! initiative, created by Jake Barton’s media design firm Local Projects and launched recently in Chicago. Interestingly, it is quite different from conventional crowdsourcing:

At first glance, the endeavor does feel like just another version of the often-overrated concept of crowd-sourcing, which aspires to gather together the collective brilliance of those most qualified to solve complex problems but rarely does. Give a Minute did spring from an open exploration into existing open-source and crowd-sourcing platforms, but realized the general emphasis on finding the most revolutionary idea amidst the multitudes wasn’t quite right. Says Barton, “At meetings, Carol would say, ‘What are the experts not figuring out? What are these new silver bullets that trained professionals aren’t coming up with?’ It’s not about inventing new ideas but having those ideas phrased and framed by the public so it doesn’t feel like [the solution] is being dropped down from above.”

“It’s about people in a specific neighborhood saying let’s put in a garden here,” Barton continues. “I’d say it’s a more nuanced approach to crowd-sourcing, less the winner-takes-all model but rather getting a group to rally around something specific. The entire process is designed for maximum participation to some kind of constructive end. The basic idea was to reinvent public participation for the 21st century.”

Read article

7 November 2010

The enabling city

The enabling city
Italian social researcher Chiara Camponeschi has written a fascinating Creative-Commons licensed publication, The Enabling City: Place-Based Creative Problem-Solving and the Power of the Everyday (pdf), an innovative toolkit – also featured on a website – that showcases pioneering initiatives in urban sustainability and open governance.

“I am a firm believer in the power of communities to solve their own needs and contribute to larger processes of change”, says Camponeschi in an article published in The Mobile City.

“The recent graduate of York University based The Enabling City on international research she conducted as part of her Master in Environmental Studies in Toronto, Canada.

“I believe that there are vast amounts of untapped knowledge and creativity out there that we need to unleash to make our cities more open and sustainable”, she continues. The Enabling City exists to document and celebrate the power of inter-actor collaboration and of our everyday experiences in enhancing problem-solving and social innovation worldwide.

The toolkit showcases a total of forty innovative initiatives across six categories: place-making; eating and growing; resource-sharing; learning and socializing; steering and organizing; and financing. Through what she refers to as ‘place-based creative problem-solving’, Camponeschi sketches out an approach to participation that leverages the imagination and inventiveness of citizens, experts, and activists in collaborative efforts that make cities more inclusive, innovative, and interactive.

Through their involvement, creative citizens worldwide demonstrate that citizenship is so much more than duties and taxes it’s about outcome ownership, enablement, and the celebration of the myriad connections that make up the collective landscape of the place(s) we call home. The Enabling City, then, is here to invite us to unleash the power of our creative thinking and to rediscover ‘the power of the everyday.’”

Publication abstract

At its simplest, The Enabling City is a new way of thinking about communities and change.

Guided by principles such as collaboration, innovation and participation, the pioneering initiatives featured in The Enabling City attest to the power of community in stimulating the kind of innovative thinking needed to tackle complex issues ranging from participatory citizenship to urban livability.

We know that markets are no longer the only sources of innovation, and that citizens are capable of more than just voting during election time. We have entered an era where interactive technologies and a renewed idea of citizenship are enabling us to experiment with alternative notions of sustainability and to share knowledge in increasingly dynamic ways. We now see artists working alongside policy makers, policy makers collaborating with citizens, and citizens helping cities diagnose their problems more accurately.

What emerges, then, is a community where the local and global are balanced and mediated by the city at large, and where local resources and know-how are given wider legitimacy as meaningful problem-solving tools in the quest for urban and cultural sustainability.

Here, innovation is intended as a catalyst for social change — a collaborative process through which citizens can be directly involved in shaping the way a project, policy, or service is created and delivered. A shift from control to enablement turns cities into platforms for community empowerment — holistic, living spaces where people make their voices heard and draw from their everyday experiences to affect change.

So be surprised by how walks have the power to make neighbourhoods more vibrant, and how art can be used to convert dull city intersections into safe community spaces. Learn how creative interventions can unleash spaces for reflection and participation, and witness how online resources can lead to offline collaboration and resource-sharing. See how the values of Web 2.0 translate into the birth of the open government and open data movement, and what a holistic approach to financing can bring to local communities and cities alike.

This is what place-based creative problem-solving looks like in action. This is the power of the everyday.

Chiara Camponeschi works at the intersection of interdisciplinary research, social innovation and urban sustainability. She is passionate about the ‘creative citizen’ movement, and is committed to strengthening and supporting networks of grassroots social innovation. Originally from Rome, Italy Chiara has been involved with creative communities in Europe and Canada for over six years. Chiara holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science & Communications Studies, and a Master in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto, Canada.

6 October 2010

Is social media catalyzing an offline sharing economy?

Sharing Economy
The results of Latitude Research and Shareable Magazine‘s The New Sharing Economy study released today indicate that online sharing does indeed seem to encourage people to share offline resources such as cars and bikes, largely because they are learning to trust each other online. And they’re not just sharing to save money – an equal number of people say they share to make the world a better place.

The research was prompted by a recent surge in sharing startups driven by social technology, a generational shift, and new consumption patterns brought on by economic and environmental crisis.

Read article

UPDATE: New related articles
- Study reveals big opportunities in the sharing economy
- Has the business of sharing finally reached the tipping point?