#CollaboraToscana is a process activated by the Presidency Department of Tuscany (which holds the mandate to innovation and participation) with the aim of creating a green book outlining a regional policy on sharing and collaborative economy.  The process has the scientific support of the international research project “Co-Città e Co-Territory”, developed by Labgov, and is curated in his methodological component by Sociolab, with the support of Collaboriamo.

The green book on sharing and collaborative economy will contain a map of the regional public policies that need to be put into synergy and a proposition of goals, actions and measures, identified through the co-design process, that will have to be applied on different levels to maximize the opportunities while limiting the risks involved in the new practices that will develop in this field.

#CollaboraToscana represents a first experience at regional, national and international level in the co-creation of a public policy on sharing economy through the involvement of local actors. The process is inspired by the principles and methods used in 2011-2014 for the development of the Bologna Regulation and by the experience with the drafting process of the Opinion on the local and regional dimension of the Sharing Economy produced by the Committee of the Regions of the European Union. #CollaboraToscana builds on the knowledge acquired through these previous experiences but also develops its peculiar features. First, it is important to notice the choice of declining its reflection around the four pillars of the local public economy: local infrastructures, common goods, collaborative services and local public governance. Particularly innovative is the governance aspect, as it implies the willingness to question and to rethink the role of the public sector. Another element of innovation lies in the choice of the green book as the outcome of the process. Such choice reflects an experimentalist and European approach, as the green book is an instrument that belongs to the European legislative practice and is not common in the Italian one.

Furthermore, #CollaboraToscana recognizes the nature of the sharing economy, a phenomenon in continuous evolution that presents a set of hybrid features and a high degree of innovation. Being aware of this makes it possible to understand the importance of developing a process of cultural change within the society and within the administration itself that will allow to design public policies able to adapt to the transformations of the sharing economy phenomenon. Such process will have to pay particular attention to the conceptually significant (but often ignored) distinction between sharing and pooling economy. The two involve different ways of acting in the economic sphere: while the sharing economy sees the “homo oeconomicus” acting as a classic consumer that simply renounces to own the objects and the services he uses, in the pooling economy the “mulier activa” choses to take care, manage and generate the common resources that she uses. This distinction allows us to draw a matrix that can be useful in classifying the different manifestation of this complex phenomenon.

The Process

 Phase one –  The process of #CollaboraToscana opened with a first phase envisaging a series of thematic workshops and co-design sessions that took place between June and November 2016. These workshops saw the involvement of different components of the regional structure and of stakeholders coming from multiple realities (enterprises, start-ups, third sector, active citizenship).The process aimed at building a complete understanding of the concept of collaboration (meaning, opportunities and risks), at deepening the reflection on the themes around which the discourse on collaboration can be articulated (infrastructures, services, goods and governance) and at developing instruments (digital, political, regulative, etc) that could possibly build a policy on sharing and collaboration.

 Infrastructures: The first workshop took place on the 13th of July and was dedicated to the theme of infrastructures. The discussion was organized around two tables, which focused respectively on transport and mobility and network and utilities. Around 40 people between local administrators, researchers, entrepreneurs, members of associations and active citizens participated in the activities. At the two tables different project were discussed, their critical aspects were analyzed and several solutions were proposed.

Goods: The second workshop took place on the 14th of July and focused on the theme of common goods in the context of sharing and pooling economy. The participants took place at one of three tables to discuss different aspects of the main theme, namely urban spaces, cultural goods and natural spaces and agricultural land. Once again the discussion highlighted weaknesses and risks of different projects and went on to propose new solutions.

Services: The third workshop, which took place on the 14th of September, analyzed the theme of services (to people and to consumers). The main theme was declined into four macro-areas analyzed at different tables: welfare and housing, collaborative enterprises, promotion of the territory and migrants’ integration. The participants discussed on relevant topics such as how to renovate housing policies through the introduction of shared spaces and sources, how to produce a paradigm change leading to a more inclusive form of welfare, how to introduce collaborative practices into local enterprises and how to integrate migrants by paying attention to their real needs.

Governance: The last workshop took place on the 23 of September and focused on the theme of governance. The three tables were dedicated to the analysis of the administrative instruments the organizational instruments and the measures needed to stimulate and facilitate a collaborative approach. The discussion touched different questions, such as the degree of transformation possible in public policy, the roles and responsibility of the public and of the private, the paths that could possibly lead to the creation of new instruments of collaboration, the need to have space for experimentation, the importance of locating obstacles and barriers to the diffusion of collaborative practices.

Drawing from the values, ideas and suggestions emerged from the workshops the co-design community of #CollaboraToscana will proceed to define, together with members of the regional administration, the principles and the administrative, regulatory and public policy instrument needed to enable collective action and to improve local collective democracy. Through the process of #CollaboraToscana it will be possible to produce a green book on sharing and pooling economy that will present a map of regional public policies together with a proposal of objectives and measures to apply at different levels in order to maximize the opportunities of the newly emerging sharing and pooling practices.