The Research Group on Collaborative Spaces (RGCS)* has been set up in November 2014. Fab labIt is an independent network and a think tank gathering mainly academics in the fields of humanities and social sciences (management, organization studies, sociology, economics, anthropology…).


RGCS relies on a threefold vision. Firstly, academic networks need 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 practitioners 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) a White Paper for public policies and corporate strategies. Lastly, RGCS aims also at being an opportunity, through its annual conference, to experiment and to test new ways of sharing and producing knowledge and networking. This does not necessarily mean ‘hacking’ academia, but more complementing academic routines.


RGCS is focused on new work practices and workplace transformations in the context of the collaborative economy. It explores collaborative spaces and collaborative communities, in particular coworking spaces (external or corporate) and coworking movements, maker spaces and maker movements, fab labs, hacker spaces and hacker movements, and how they contribute to shape new work practices. Studies related to RGCS cover the social, political, managerial, digital and spatial dimensions of collaborative spaces and collaborative communities.


The network is mainly focused on the dynamic of four cities: London, Paris, Montreal and Barcelona. We intend to compare the public policies, business models and everyday activities occuring in local collaborative spaces (new open spaces, co-working spaces, maker spaces, fab labs, etc.). Four local chapters have thus been set up. Each one organizes bi-monthly research seminars and working groups. Events (click here to get our program) take place in universities and collaborative spaces. Two other chapters have been opened in 2016 in France (Grenoble-Lyon). Other chapters will be opened soon in Italy (Milan-Modena-Bologna), Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Germany (Berlin).


Research seminars are opportunities to attend presentations by academics, practitioners and consultants interested in collaborative spaces.

Working groups correspond to more informal, creative and interactive meetings. They are sometimes organized jointly with research seminars, sometimes separetely.

Research seminars, Working Groups, informal discussions between members, and research projects related to RGCS aim at contributing to an annual event (which should take place in December 2016 in Paris) which should be an opportunity to provide diagnosis and recommandations for corporate strategies and public policies about collaborative spaces, places and experiences in the city. These proposals will be formalized in an RGCS White Paper which will be communicated and diffused during this event.

Click here to know more about RGCS White Paper Process or to get the Alpha version of our White Paper.

To know more about our network, see our mission statement or contact us.