What is "open" in open care? Reflections on the Stockholm workshop

Where we started 

OpenCare is a very particular research for both its topic and its modality. It wants verify the potentialities of collective intelligence and of a radical open approach to the topic of care.

Coherently with that, the definition of precise research questions (and related methodologies) has not been given a priori, but will emerge steps by step from the same research-related activities (as opposed to what happens with the standard research methodologies).

Given that (that, by the way, is what makes OpenCare so interesting for me), I think that the positive tension towards understanding  where we are and where we are gong should be continuous and should be monitored step by step. On the basis of this tension research questions should be progressively better defined considering: the general research question where we started form, the commitment with UE, the first  ideas that are  emerging and, last but not least, a better understanding of who we are and what are the knowledge, skills and experiences we can use.

Shared visions and languages

On the basis of the discussion I think, that, at least for who expressed themselves (see later, item 5), we agreed on these points:

  1. The open care systems is an ecosystems: an environment where, in its best conditions, different care-related entities can emerge, live and thrive. These entities are very diverse in nature. They can be: care encounters, networks of care, enabling systems, different kinds of infrastructures, policies, norms, norms, … ).

An ecosystem cannot be designed but can be enriched introducing new caring entities (with the double goal of offering more opportunities for both the caregivers and the care receivers, and for incising its systemic resilince.

  1. The OpenCare croup and community specificity is that we deal with open care ecosystems having a particular experience and credibility on issue related to “collective intelligence and radical open approach application” (and not of care issues per se).  Given that we should orient our community’s discussion on topics that coudl be defined like that: which problems and the opportunities arise when “collective intelligence and radical open approach” are applied to and issue as “care”.

  2. Discussing about openness applied to care issues, we have two main dimensions:

  • the openness in the processes thanks to which enabling systems (i.e the enabling products, services, places, infrastructures) are designed and realized
  • the openness of care-related services in use (i.e. the openness of the network of care created around the delivery of a service).

Both these dimensions are important and could be considered separately. Nevertheless, it could also be very interesting to consider the interactions between the two.

  1. Given what has been said in the point 2. and 3. an emerging research question could be: How and how much the openness of a design and production process influences the openness of service delivery. And vice versa.

Hopefully, other research questions, similar in nature to this one, will emerge.

  1. In my view, the workshop participants who express themselves should agree with these 4 previous assumptions: can we ask them?

The problem is that, at least half of the participants did not  openly expressed themselves. And this seems to me a bad signal. What ca we do to stimualte their opinion?


I agree, @Ezio_Manzini. Specifically, I agree with your item 4. An analogy: Edgeryders is enabled by openness (in both the sense you mention). Openness is a big constraint on how the Edgeryders organisation is built and develops. For example, the need to stay open (and be perceived as such) drove our choice to be a not-for-profit: this choice signals that we are not trying to be extractive in our social contract between company and community. Similarly, I expect heavy conditioning of openness on the design of open care services.