The notion of the commons is no longer considered tragic. A new book from onthecommons.org asks why we should care about the commons in our modern world, and answers: “It matters more than ever in the age of the Internet and a global economy”, and continues:
“The natural commons makes life itself possible thanks to air, water, biodiversity and DNA. The cultural commons makes human civilization possible through the sharing of knowledge, language, inventions, stories and art. The social commons makes our modern way of life possible through educational institutions, medical expertise, engineering knowhow and communications tools.”
Download the book for free at http://onthecommons.org/sites/default/files/celebrating-the-commons.pdf
Hat tip Anders Emilson
This issue of The Journal of Peer Production invites contributions on the themes of value and currency as they relate to peer production. Relevant topics include Currency and design, Currencies and the commons, What does/should peer production value? etc.
Abstracts due Jan 28, 2013
Participatory Innovation combines theories and methods across academic fields that describe how people outside an organisation can contribute to its innovation. Join this conference to help identify ways for industry, the public sector, and communities to expand innovation through the participation of users, employees, suppliers, citizens, members, etc. – on a strategic level, in concrete methods, and in day-to-day interactions.
Abstracts due December 3, 2012.
Details: Conference is on June 18-20, 2013, in Lahti Finland.
TRACKS – This year you can submit to any of these five paper tracks:
This report tries to answer the question What is Urban Cultures? and subsequently outlines what a research field called “Urban Cultures” should consist of. By focusing on Urban Cultures, both as a theoretical concept and as a more practical standpoint, this report aims to uncover tools and knowledge that might be used both within urban planning/development and scientific work aiming to influence urban life.
Authors: Daniel Gillberg (ed), Ylva Berglund, Göteborg City Museum; Helene Brembeck, Centre for Consumer Science, University of Gothenburg, Olle Stenbäck, Dept of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg.
Published by Mistra Urban Futures.
EXCERPT - During the last ten years, urban culture studies have evolved as an interdisciplinary research field within urban research. This focuses on the intersection of daily life with the surrounding material, discursive, and social landscapes – the reciprocal relationship of how urban life is shaped by and, in turn, shapes the urban environment. This includes cultural practices but also spatial embodiment, i.e., the shaping of the material landscape, structures, and physical space in which urban life unfolds. Do-it-yourself (DIY) urban design and urban sports are examples of common themes. Culture is here understood in terms of possibilities. Topological approaches provide a set of tools to analyze how different kinds of change can be stimulated with network-building, spontaneity, and self-organization being considered primary engines for change. Humans are conceived of as constant “becomings,” with the potential for lifelong growth and development. Society is seen as rhizomatic, organic, and constantly unfolding. […]
This conference will explore the link between governance and innovation by bringing together academic scholars, experienced practitioners and interested students.
Abstracts due Sep 15, 2012.
Where and when: RUC Sunrise Conference - Transforming Governance, Enhancing Innovation. Roskilde University. October 29-31, 2012. http://ruconf.ruc.dk/index.php/sun12/sun12
ABOUT - Rising demands, fiscal constraints and a growing number of wicked problems have generated an increasing demand for innovation of public policy, public services and public regulation. Public innovation is rapidly moving to the top of the agenda at all levels of government. It is increasingly recognized as the intelligent alternative to across the board budget cuts and as a promising way of improving services, user satisfaction and the motivation of public employees.
At the same time, there is a growing frustration with traditional forms of bureaucratic governance as well as with the recent New Public Management reforms that both tend to stifle rather than enhance public innovation. Hence in order to turn public innovation into a permanent, pervasive and systematic activity in the public sector we need to transform the current system of public governance. We need to reform public organisations and the predominant accountability and value-for-money systems, drill holes in the silos, mobilise an engage private actors, create new collaborative arenas, and develop new forms of innovation management. In short, we need to transform governance in order to enhance public innovation.
Read more: http://ruconf.ruc.dk/index.php/sun12/sun12
This paper focuses in particular on the usefulness of the concept of social innovation for the purposes of policy development. The goal is not to find the “true” definition of social innovation but to search for a useful framework on which to build sound policies that could tackle the complex social issues that have caused scholars and practitioners to pay attention to social innovation in the first place.
Authors: Carlo Borzaga (Prof. Economic Politics), Riccardo Bodini (Euricse).
Download the report: http://euricse.eu/sites/euricse.eu/files/db_uploads/documents/1338304696_n2082.pdf
MORE - Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest on the part of the scientific community (and, more recently, of policy makers) in the concept of social innovation. The notion of social innovation is particularly appealing in light of the difficulties facing traditional welfare systems and, more broadly, a development model essentially based on only two actors (the market and the state) that is finding it increasingly difficult to meet the growing and diversified needs of society. However, the uses and definitions of the concept are so disparate that it is becoming increasingly difficult to assess whether social innovation is in fact a helpful construct or just another fad that will soon be forgotten. This paper focuses in particular on the usefulness of the concept of social innovation for the purposes of policy development. Therefore, the goal is not to find the “true” definition of social innovation. Rather, it is to search for a useful framework on which to build sound policies that could tackle the complex social issues that have caused scholars and practitioners to pay attention to social innovation in the first place.
Building on a review of the literature, and in particular on a paper by Eduardo Pol and Simon Ville, we propose an approach that recognizes a degree of overlap between social innovation and business innovation, and argue that social innovation policy should focus on the subset of social innovation that does not overlap with business innovation. This is due to the fact that social innovations that overlap with business innovations tend to be profitable, and as such the market is amply equipped to supply them, perhaps with the support of existing business innovation policies. “Pure” social innovations, on the other hand, are not driven by a profit motive, and thus need either to be subsidized or to be developed by enterprise types that are not motivated by profit maximization. Indeed, by focusing on the characteristics of different enterprise types we find that not-for-profit enterprises with an explicit social mission are ideally suited to develop pure social innovation, even in the absence of public sector intervention. The paper then concludes that targeted policies should be more mindful of the role of different types of enterprise in generating social innovation, and, more broadly, that the debate on social innovation should be more closely aligned with the debate on the pluralism of enterprise forms.
This is a conference that brings together the international academic community focusing on social entrepreneurship, enterprise and innovation.
4th International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC), 12-14 September 2012, Hosted by the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham.
Read more and sign up: http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/NewsandEvents/ISIRC/tabid/875/Default.aspx
This report focuses on basic neighborhood improvement strategies and lays out strategies for neighborhood revitalization focusing on strengthening community-level and city-wide institutions to support and reinforce success, and regional strategies for equitable housing and community development.
Authors: Peter A. Tatian, G. Thomas Kingsley, Joseph Parilla, Rolf Pendall, the Urban Institute, US.
Download the report here http://www.urban.org/publications/412557.html
MORE - Increasingly, researchers and practitioners recognize the need for neighborhood revitalization policies that improve conditions in neighborhoods where low-income and minority households are concentrated. Although there is a rich literature describing past efforts to revitalize distressed neighborhoods, this literature provides little concrete guidance for today’s policymakers. This What Works framing paper focuses on basic neighborhood improvement strategies and the specific mechanisms at work that provide “levers” for revitalization. The paper lays out strategies for neighborhood revitalization focusing on strengthening community-level and city-wide institutions to support and reinforce success, and regional strategies for equitable housing and community development. This framing paper is part of a series of field-building research agendas produced under the What Works Collaborative.
This report explains how impact investing is constrained by the tough realities of inclusive business, and introduces the phenomenon of the pioneer gap, and it describes the emerging practice of enterprise philanthropy, and how it is the key to establishing the inclusive business models into which capital can then be deployed.
Authors: Harvey Koh, Ashish Karamchandani, Robert Katz (Monitor Group and Acumen Fund)
Download a summary or the full report.
MORE - Our research paints a clear picture: impact capital alone will not unlock the potential of impact investing for the global poor. Because of the extreme challenges facing those who are pioneering new models for inclusive business, truly realizing the impact in impact investing will require more, not less, philanthropy, and will need that philanthropic support to be delivered in
This paper reflects on two years of research of joint work with the local players in Milan, Italy, with whom designers working on Feeding Milan have started to build a significant network of multifunctional and collaborative services.
Authors: Daria Cantù, Marta Corubolo, Giulia Simeone, Politecnico di Milano
ABSTRACT - This paper presents an ongoing applied research case of Design for “place” development (Meroni, 2011): Feeding Milan, energies for change. The project aims at restoring the sustainable food chain and the relationship between the city of Milan and its productive countryside, by activating new de-mediated services for food provision and local tourism. It advances the hypotheses by centring the design process on the communities of shareholders and potential users it is possible to design a high-quality service and, by activating local synergies, it is feasible to get high performance and well-optimised distributed system to support service delivery. The argumentation shows how such these hypotheses have been verified by the design practice during the activation of the pilot projects on the local scale. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the project improvements and to reflect on two years of research of joint work with the local players with whom designers working on Feeding Milan have started to build a significant network of multifunctional and collaborative services.
RELATED - Lecture: A Human Centered Approach for Design for Services, by Anna Meroni.