We will imagine and enact the future of care together.
What is it: A 3-day conference and expo on the topic of health and social innovations by communities. The event showcases their ingenious solutions to real-world problems through a process that encourages and highlights collaboration and sharing.
Why: Resilient solutions are key to fixing access, support, investment and acknowledgement in the domain(s) of care. This event is dedicated to showcasing what is in place and modelling an encompassing ecosystem of care - via exhibitions, discussions and workshops.
Who is it for: Project protagonists, Caregivers & recipients, entrepreneurs, public administrations, funders & investors.
What is in it for partner organisations: Derive new insights, new opportunities and deep understanding. Discover a new field gathering exciting actors at the intersections of civic innovation, healthcare and open science & technologies.
What’s in it for participants: Creating tangible activities and products to help your project make an impact. New contacts, opportunities and deep understanding. Access to the OpenCare Fellowship Program.
For most of humanity’s history, care services – which today we call health and social care – were provided by communities: family members, friends and neighbours would check on each other to make sure everyone was fine, keep an eye on each other’s children or elderly parents, even administer simple medical treatments. Starting from the second half of the 20th century, developed countries switched to systems where the care providers were professionals, working for the government and modern corporations.
This new solution has achieved brilliant results, based on the deployment of scientific knowledge and technology. However, over the past 20 years it has come under growing strain: the demand for professional care (health care, social care, daycare for children, care for elderly people…) seems limitless, but the resources our economies allocate to it clearly are not. Additionally, any attempt to rationalise the system and squeeze some extra productivity out of it seems to dehumanise people in need of care, who get treated as batches in a manufacturing process.
What if we could come up with a system that combines the access to modern science and technology of state- and private sector-provided care to the low overhead and human touch of community-provided care?
The purpose of the OpenCare PopUp Village is to demonstrate that this is indeed possible.
During the past 12 months, we have driven a transnational research project on the future of health and social care. Through OpenCare we have connected with hundreds of partners, investigating radical solutions to social and healthcare systems under strain, failing to cater to the needs of growing and ageing populations.
These solutions are often under-the-radar initiatives - from open source devices for echography to peer-to-peer suicide prevention schemes; from building alternatives to expensive proprietary medical instruments to decentralising the science and production of essential drugs such as insulin.
Many of them involve neither state nor private sector support or funding. Some are completely informal, some being run by only one hard-working individual. They hunger for peer support and opportunities to collaborate; during the year we have seen them forming partnerships and sharing their ideas and practices, all as a side effect of meeting on our online platform.
With members in over 30 countries and 4 continents, we are currently building a network of opencare cities to scale up the initiative with us. As well as committed partners willing to bring in their own resources as an investment in an exciting new venture.
The OpenCare PopUp Village will be a series of participant built festivals, with project demonstrations and a vibrant community spirit. Our ambition is to connect local actors in your country, with peers from all over the planet. Before the physical gatherings even start, a lot of preparation happens openly online. This means there is plenty of room for partners and attendees to shape the content, or for taking ownership of spotlight themes.