Collaborative services with Anna Meroni
Anna Meroni, Ph.D. and full professor in Design at the School of Design of Politecnico di Milano, held today a great class about sharing and collaborative services. They are a specific family of services that, despite the diversity of typologies and purposes, share the common trait of being the result of co-creation and/or co-production with the beneficiaries (being them users, clients, or stakeholders) and, often, they aim at achieving a positive social impact, that is producing an outcome good for the user and also for the society as a whole. As such, they are forms of social innovation and tightly connected to the idea of “community”. Moreover, sharing services are today intrinsically connected to the concept of ‘platform’, the organizing principle that, by making new purposeful connections possible, enables forms of collaboration and exchange between the parties. Finally, co-creation and co-production are becoming keywords of a new generation of public and/or welfare services focused on collaboration and are setting the conditions for new places, circumstances, and policies where and through which service design is practiced.
In such a framework and after more than a decade of experimentation and diffusion, sharing and collaborative services are changing and evolving toward more mature forms and activity models, having them started to show the pros e cons of the original narrative. The course explores the concept of sharing and collaborative services through the lenses of social innovation and considering the landscape of the platform economy. It reflects on the concepts and cases that populate the galaxy of these innovative services and focuses on their distinctive features and mechanisms. After a theoretical excursus on the key concepts and cases in the private and public sector, in the afternoon students had a hands-on activity of designing sharing and collaborative services. The common goal is to create together an inclusive design culture to design services that are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible, and that have the smallest impact on the planet ecosystem as possible.