The Research Group on Collaborative Spaces (RGCS)* has been set up in November 2014. It is an independent network and a think tank gathering researchers in the fields of humanities and social sciences (management, organization studies, sociology, economics, anthropology…), practitioners and activists. RGCS is inspired by makers and open science movements. The culture of DIY, open knowledge and doocracy are at the heart of its values.
- RGCS VISION: THREE IDEAS
RGCS relies on a threefold vision. Firstly, research networks need more than ever to be both global (as almost all international networks) and local. That is why we organize an annual conference, but also local (at the level of different cities) meetings. We see this as a way to be closer to what the world itself has become. Local meetings are also opportunities to share ideas and research with entrepreneurs, managers, journalists, artists and politicians who would probably not join us for a global event.
Then, we want to share research, but we also want to have an impact on society and organizations. That is why RGCS is also a think tank, a collectivity producing (collaboratively), posts, articles, research notes and a White Paper for public policies and corporate strategies. All documents collectively produced are free, creative commons-based, open knowledge oriented.
Lastly, RGCS aims also at being an opportunity, through its annual conference (RGCS Symposium) and other local events, to experiment and to test new ways of working and co-producing knowledge for researchers, practitioners and activists. This does not necessarily mean ‘hacking’ academia (quoi que…), but more complementing academic routines. A new research method has thus been elaborated by RGCS. It is called OWEE (for Open Walked Event-Based Experimentations). It consists in organizing regulary a set of walked, reflexive, partly improvised events all other the world and connecting them in time and space (e.g. with Twitter and other tools), producing a sense of ‘happening’ together with academics, entrepreneurs, activists, artists, to re-appropriate public spaces and places, to be transformative of work practices (e.g. academic work practices). Our last learning expeditions were #hackingday2018 in Boston, #OWEESA in Paris, #collday2017 in Milan and Roma, and #visualizinghacking2017 in Tokyo.
2. RGCS FOCUS: FUTURE OF WORK, NEW WORK PRACTICES AND COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES
RGCS is focused on new work practices (e.g. the emergence of collaborative entrepreneurship, freelancing, slashers, employment-entrepreneurship hybrydization, telework, remote work, mobile work, DIY, DIT, makers, open Innovation, open knowledge, corporate hacking…) and workplace transformations (e.g. open spaces, coworking spaces, mobile work, digital nomads, corporate fab labs, fab cities…) in the context of the sharing and peer-to-peer economy. Our network explores in particular collaborative practices, collaborative spaces, collaborative communities and collaborative movements (e.g. coworkers, makers and hackers) and how they transform or make visible (new) work practices. Studies related to RGCS cover the social, political, managerial, digital, spatial, temporal and historical dimensions of collaborative entrepreneurship, DIY and hacking practices.
3. RGCS ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNANCE: A NETWORK
The network is mainly focused on the dynamic of 15 cities in Europe, North America and Asia: London, Paris, Montreal, Barcelona, Berlin, Roma, Amsterdam, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse, Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Stockholm, Helsinki and Milan. Each chapter organizes independantly its own events, in particular research seminars, workshops and learning expeditions.
Research seminars are opportunities to attend presentations by academics, practitioners and consultants interested in collaborative spaces.
Workshops correspond to more informal, creative and interactive meetings. They are sometimes organized jointly with research seminars, sometimes separetely.
Learning expeditions are key time and spaces which are opportunities to connect RGCS members and to try to have a social impact with OWEE (see #collday2017 below, a learning expedition which took place in March 2017 in Berlin, or #visualizinghacking2017 organized in Tokyo in June 2017). Two other learning expeditions will be organized soon in Roma #sharingday2017 and Geneva #OWEE2017.
Research seminars, workshops, learning expeditions, informal discussions between members, and research projects related to RGCS aim at contributing to an annual event (the 3rd RGCS Symposium will take place in Barcelona in January 2019). This event is also an opportunity to meet for all the coordinators of the network.