The #CollaboraToscana project

On June 29th 2016 academics, practitioners and active citizens gathered at the Auditorium of Saint Apollonia in via San Gallo 25 in Florence for the opening of #CollaboraToscana, the public policy co-design process led by Tuscany Region, supervised by LabGov and managed by SocioLab.

#CollaboraToscana projected to focus on collaboration and sharing economy aiming to co-create a map of regional public policies – a synergy and a proposal for targets, actions and measures which would be co-designed and deployed at different levels to maximize opportunities and minimize risks for the sharing economy and collaborative development of the region. Therefore, the objective of the conference and workshop series was to introduce diverse, yet interconnected approaches and tools for regional collaborative practices. By emphasizing on sustainability, inclusion and  the themes of presentations varied from start-ups to infrastructure, territorial regeneration and security, and from participatory governance to digital innovation and communication – all being closely tied to collaboration and sharing economy.

1The event was opened by the Deputy President of the Toscana Region Vittorio Bugli who after a warm welcome acknowledged the promising #CollaboraToscana initiative. V. Bugli stressed that in regards to the sharing economy, sustainability and collaborative management of the region the recognition of civic participation is crucial. The Deputy President thus emphasized that it is important to address migration while focusing on collaboration. “In Tuscany we are very attentive to the reception of migrants fleeing from their countries”- said Bugli. “But we have to think of a greater integration, these people can be an important vantage rather than obstacle in terms of collaboration”- after the conference stressed V. Bugli.

2The first keynote Marta Mainieri (Collaboriamo.org), focused on collaboration in terms of innovation and start-ups. M. Mainieri stressed that the new economy model – a collaborative economy – is important first of all because its volumes are rapidly growing. “Gross revenue in the EU from collaborative platform and providers was estimated to be 28 billion in 2015. Growth in recent years has been spectacular with revenues almost doubling from 2014 to 2015”- presented M. Mainieri. Yet, despite of the growing amount of the sharing economy practices, M. Mainieri emphasized the need to recognize the real value of collaboration, which is based on collective knowing, connection, co-planning and communication and therefore is projected to contribute to the construction of open, more inclusive systems that are based on trust and reciprocity, rather than exclusion.

 

3The second speaker, Massimo Alvisi (Alvisi-Kirimoto, Renzo Piano G124) focused on city requalification and regeneration. By illustrating his presentation with the experiences from Viadotto dei Presidenti in Rome, Via Fossata in Torino, and Librino in Catania, M. Alvisi emphasized that in terms of urban regeneration, collaboration has a great potential to contribute to social wellbeing, security as well as revitalization of deteriorated urban areas (more information related projects: http://renzopianog124.com).

 

4This was followed by the engaging Annibale D’Elia’s presentation. While addressing collaboration A. D’Elia, a consultant for innovation policies, touched upon topics of inclusion and citizens’ engagement. He stressed that collaboration in terms of governance is mainly about the unleashing the energy of the people, who should be enabled and facilitated in order to actively participate and collaborate. Furthermore, the last speaker Michele D’Alena, an expert in e-government processes and social innovation, supported Annibale’s comments by adding that digital means – the information communication technologies (ICT), are essential for sharing economy, collaboration as well as active citizens’ engagement.

The presentations were followed by Silvia Givone who represents Sociolab and works with #CollaboraToscana project. After thanking to all presenters S. Givone introduced the road map and the critical phases of #CollaboraToscana (more about #CollaboraToscana: http://open.toscana.it/).

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The first part of the conference was followed by the debate between Antonella Galdi, the vice secretary of the National League of Italian Cities, Stefano Bartolini, a professor of political economy at the University Siena, Ernesto Belisario, an expert in law of technology and innovation in public administrations, and Marta Leonori, representing the department of Civil Service.

 

 

Lastly, the conference was finalized by the series of workshops on co-planning to co-create concepts of collaboration and sharing economy by mapping (meaning, opportunities and problems) activities. Participants were divided into 4 groups (representing public and private sectors, knowledge institutions, civic social organizations) and were asked to further reflect on prevalent issues (infrastructure, services, goods and governance) and to design possible tools for a regional policies on the economy of sharing and collaboration.

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The event was moderated by Christian Iaione, LabGov co-director, who outlined the prevailing currents of collaboration and sharing economy and supported the presentations as well as panel debates by insightful comments.