Opencare is an EU funded program that has come out of a Edgeryders community conversation on the future of care. It is a PLATFORM to share stories, ideas and insights, make new connections, coordinate the work; a diverse COMMUNITY or network of individuals and groups, mainly in Europe but including the whole world, exploring alternative, more long-term sustainable solutions to healthcare; a PROCESS that brings people together to share, inspire, connect and collaborate. OpenCare is the community we are building in symbiosis with the research project, but is distinct from it and is meant to continue long after the research project has ended.
The aim is to bring together people, virtually or physically, to gather and share stories, ideas and insights. Out of this will emerge new ideas, new solutions and new connections that benefit all. Our challenges, projects, and programs are modeled on Edgeryders collective intelligence methodology. This means that we enable our community to develop solutions rooted in people’s everyday realities, needs, and lifestyles.
- Try to support and build on what is already there. We start by sharing experiences and research. We do this to discover what is already out there, what is needed by initiatives and the communities they serve. In doing this collaboratively, we increase collective knowledge. We also encourage peers in the movement to acknowledge one another’s good work and build on it, rather than waste resources on duplicating or competing with initiatives.
- Help one another to improve y(our) ability to analyze and interpret information. We analyse and structure the information shared in our conversations to support community members' desire and ability to constructively engage in society through and about facts, statistics and other pieces of information. In a world of ubiquitous digital connectivity, improving access and use of information helps us navigate meaningfully current ecosystems and societies. Whether it is because you want to solve local problems, keep governments accountable, avoid expensive mistakes or learn new things about the world in which you live, knowledge is power.
- Keep in mind that we are a diverse community. This is critical: almost anything we can achieve rests on that diversity, so the social contract needs to preserve and enhance it. It is essential that we stay wide open to an influx of new people, insights and skills. This means that we can never be a membership-based organization. The minute you draw a line and say “Here, we are on this side, the outside world is on that side”, the community begins to asphyxiate and die. This means we accept and take into account that individuals should be able to choose their own role, as long as it does not limit the autonomy of others.
- Who does the work, calls the shots. The focus of any interaction should be to empower and encourage each one of us to do things. No one gets to sit on the sidelines and tell people not to do things. If you want to make something better, you can add thoughtful suggestions. The suggestions most likely to be implemented are ones which are backed with an offer of hands-on help from the persons making them.
There are two main roles:
- The Opencarers: people who care, and are willing to share their stories about how they care. People like you!
- The core team and experts: these are people who have created and maintain the platform, and curate the content. Principally this is the hosts, Edgeryders (a consultancy that specialises in community-based solutions to complex societal challenges) as well as Ezio Manzini (a leading design strategist for socialecolocial sustainability).
We (the curators) have devised a four stage process, described below. We invite you to engage at all and any stage. Every single contribution is valued, whether it is telling a story, leaving a thoughtful comment, bringing cake to a community gathering or helping to build a prototype.
1. Read, comment and post responses to challenges: We share stories of individuals and groups who are building alternative alternatives to existing health- or social care, as well as of others whose attempts were frustrated. The purpose of this is to build a shared repository of stories, each one embedding strategies for improving health- and social care. Some will resonate more than others with participants, and that will signal to the community that a grain of truth has been found. Collectively, we will build knowledge about new approaches towards health- and social care. ONGOING: PARTICIPATE HERE!
2. Make sense and build new knowledge: Whether it is because you want to solve local problems, keep governments accountable, avoid expensive mistakes or learn new things about the world in which you live, knowledge is power. This phase links OpenCare stories to the social, economic, political and legal context in which they happen: were they enabled by something in particular? Were they hindered by it? What change in could have made the alternative happen, or happen more successfully? By asking and tentatively answering these kinds of question, participants in the process will build shared knowledge and goals. ONGOING: PARTICIPATE HERE!
3. Develop new ecosystems and see how they work in practice: Once the goals of OpenCare participants, a range of possible strategies towards them and the obstacles in the way are reasonably clear, the project enters a new phase of hands-on, intensive peer-to-peer help. We look at each initiative and connect it with the people, knowledge skills, and resources to take it to the next level. ONGOING CALL FOR FELLOWS AS CURATORS.
4. Defining how we take the work forward: It is too early to say exactly how the work will be taken forward. It will depend on the outcomes of the previous stages. What is fixed is a conference in October 2017 that will bring together all the various strands of work, and can also serve as a launchpad for new initiatives. ONGOING CALL FOR REGISTRATION AT OPENVILLAGE.