Co-laboratory for reimagining unity

Date: April 2020 – nowObjetive: A strategy of distributed collaboration among different collectives, activists, citizen laboratories and public institutions to strengthen the ecosystem around citizen innovation.Initiated by:
Colaborabora (Bilbao)
Medialab Prado (Madrid)
Las Naves (Valencia)
Makea Tu Vida (Barcelona)
Hirikilabs (Donostia)
Citilab (Cornellà de Llobregat)General coordination: Ricardo Antón, Laia Sánchez, Javier Ibañez.
Concept and starting group: Laia Sánchez (Citilab); Ricardo Antón (ColaBoraBora / Wikitoki); Javier Ibáñez (Las Naves); Ibai Zabaleta (Hirikilabs / Tabakalera); Alberto Flores (Makea Tu Vida); Adrian De Miguel.y Marcos García (Medialab Prado); Adolfo Chautón, Josian Lorente.
Methodologic design: Ricardo Antón, Laia Sánchez, Adolfo Chautón.
Text from open call: Ricardo Antón, Laia Sánchez.
Design and pad edition: Alberto Flores, Laia Sánchez.
Web design: Ibai Zabaleta, Alberto Flores.
Group moderation: Ricardo Antón, Alberto Flores, Marcos García, Ibai Zabaleta, Javier Ibañez, Tiscar Lara, Josian Lorente, Laia Sánchez, Irene Reig, Claudia Delso.
Strategic comunication: Empar Polo, Laia Sánchez, Ricardo Antón. Comunicación interna: Adrián De Miguel.
Social network communication: Elvira Feliu.
Audiovisual manager: Tirs Abril.Participants:
Aaron Murillo, Adolfo Chautón Pérez, Alberto Bokos Zarraga, Alberto Flores, Alfredo Puente, Almudena Cueto Sánchez, Amaia Gabilondo Jauregi, Amalio Rey, Andrea Apolaro, Ángel Vázquez Fernandez, Ángela Herrera Molina, Ángela Pedraza Munar, Anna Pinotti, Anto Recio, Arantxa Mendiharat, Artur Serra, Aurora Adalid Nuñez, Axel Moreno Gálvez, Benito Burgos, Berta del Río, Carlos Chiclana, Carme Rovira Riera, Carmen Castro García, Carlos Jiménez Martínez, Carlos Torres, Claudia Delso Carreira, Daniel Cruz Rovira, David Alfonsín Lareo, David Aurusa, David Gómez Fontanills, David Pérez, David Ribó, Diego Beltrán, Diego Chueca Gimeno, Diego Gracia Sancho, Diego Jiménez Mirayo, Efraín Foglia, Elisabetta Broglio, Empar Polo Morte, Esteban Romero Frías, Ester Ávila Martorell, Fabiola Ávila López, Félix A. Rivas, Fernando Vilariño, Gustavo Acosta, Ibai Zabaleta, Iñigo Lavin Rumayor, Irene Reig Alberola, Iris Cabrerizo Cebrián, Isabel Buigues, Ismael Peña-López, Iván Cuesta Fernández, Jaime Llorente Sanz, Javier Ibáñez Martínez, Javier Vázquez , Jesús Pérez Gómez, Joaquin García, Jorge Fente Balsa, Jose Antxordoki Ducay, José Carlos Mota, Jose Llopis, José Luis Palacios, Jose Perelló, Josep Gesti, Josianito Lorente, Josune Razkin, Joxean Hernández, Juan Bueno Jiménez, Júlia Gomar, Julia Pineda, Julio Gisbert Quero, Karin Yancen, Laia Sánchez Casals, Lídia Alonso Gulin, Lina Vega, Lucas Barrero, Maje Reig Alberola, Malu Oliveir, Manuela Herrera, Marc Gaixas Masferrer, Marc Payola, Marcela Arreaga, Marcos García, Marta G, Miguel Jaenicke, Natalia Balseiro Rodriguez, Nerea Azkona, Nerea Díaz, Nerea Gálvez, Núria Baldrich Mora, Nuria Portillo Poblador, Olivier Schulbaum, Pablo Aragón, Pablo Muiño Pardo, Pablo Rodríguez Bustamante, Paz Sánchez Zapata, Pedro Garcia Conde, Piter Blanco, Rafael Monterde Díaz, Raquel Prado Pérez, Raúl Oliván Cortés, Rebeca Díez, Ricard Benítez Hernàndez, Ricard Faura, Ricardo Antón Troyas, Roberto M Varela, Rubén Domínguez Santana, Sergi Frías, Sonia Francisco Martín, Sonia Puente Landázuri, Susana Moliner Delgado, Thais Ruiz de Alda, Tina Codina, Tíscar Lara, Valentina Sánchez Ayluardo, Verónica Font Marotte, Vicente Traver, Víctor Jiménez Sánchez, VIoleta Assiego, Virginia Brussa, Wouter Tebbens, Xavi Domínguez, Xavi Puig.

Citizen initiatives have proven key in crisis situations, emergencies, situations of system overload and uncertainty, such as we are experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic. But how do we jump-start initiative, maintain it and ensure that it is sustainable beyond moments of acute emergency? How do we create the conditions for citizen action to become a key element of our society?Searching for answers to these questions while under quarantine, a variety of actors (laboratories, mediators, activists, researchers, etc.) gathered to think about how the ecosystem of citizen innovation could be organised in a lasting and sustainable way.The Co-laboratory meeting held from 27–30 April 2020, as part of Frena La Curva (Flatten the Curve) was organised around five key issues:

  • Shared framework;
  • Relationships among stakeholders;
  • Resources, infrastructures and tools;
  • Lines of work and projects;
  • Dialogue and impact.

As Makea Tu Vida, we form part of the group ‘Colaboratorio para pensarnos juntas‘ (Co-laboratory for Reimagining Unity), an initiative of collective reflection on how to organise ecosystems of citizen innovation in order to respond to social challenges caused by the COVID-19 health crisis.

This initiative arose as part of, a citizen platform launched in March 2020 that has given visibility to over 900 solidarity-based initiatives around cooperation and citizen resilience, brought to life during the pandemic by volunteers, entrepreneurs, activists, social organisations, makers and laboratories of public and open innovation.

The Co-laboratory for Reimagining Unity was launched in April thanks to the motivation of a very driven group made up of Colaborabora (Bilbao), Medialab Prado (Madrid), Las Naves (Valencia), Makeatuvida (Barcelona), Hirikilabs (Donostia) and Citilab (Cornellà de Llobregat) and in light of a shared need: to jumpstart a collective conversation about how the ecosystem of citizen innovation could be organised in a more lasting and sustainable way.
Therefore, the main objective of the Co-laboratory was, from the very beginning, to unite those active in this ecosystem of social innovation (both nationally and internationally) and invite them to collaboratively share their thoughts with the aim of joining forces, sharing knowledge and resources, creating and connecting communities, developing infrastructures and shared projects, streamlining processes and evaluating the results.

For this to happen, the core group designed a virtual process divided into six stages and named after six key concepts: proposing, sharing, summarising, progressing, concluding and presenting.

To begin, all of the participants interested in collaborating in this collective reflection sent brief texts summing up their thoughts, ideas and personal proposals. The second stage, closely tied to the first stage, consisted of pooling all of these individual ideas, publishing them on the Co-laboratory’s website and encouraging people to read them and exchange initial reactions.

After these first two reflective stages, the Co-laboratory group held the first online meeting, where they shared their impressions after reading more than 53 texts, agreed on what main topics to structure the conversations around and finally set up the work groups.

Over the course of two days, more than 150 stakeholders associated with the ecosystem of social innovation logged in from different locations around the world to connect with each other and address different topics within these work groups: the digital divide, open data, education, work, active aging, public space, skills training, gender, the maker world, the environment, mobility, participation, poverty, working from home and the reorganisation it entails and many more.

The conclusions drawn from these online discussions were shared at a final online gathering, streamed for public viewing. This “conclusion”, however, did not mark the end of the initiative – quite the opposite, in fact. It was a jumping off point after collaboratively defining the needs and challenges of organising these innovative ecosystems.

After a period of analysis and collaboration, we published ¿Y si nos enredamos? Colaboratorio para pensarnos juntas (What if we do it together? Co-laboratory for Reimagining Unity). This publication, which resulted from the work carried out between April and September 2020, is a collective story. It was edited mainly by the core group, bearing witness to this collaborative work done online during the lockdown period, dealing with the organisation of ecosystems of citizen innovation.

This document compiles all of the work carried out in the Co-laboratory around its various working themes. It is our source code and roadmap for continuing the organisational process for the Ecosystem of Citizen Innovation.

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