RGCS Mission Statement updated version alpha

Article 1: The aim of the RGCS network is to encourage exchanges among scholars and between scholars and practitioners interested in work and workplace transformations in the context of the collaborative economy. It is focused on collaborative spaces,  collaborative communities and collaborative movements, in particular coworking spaces (external or corporate) and coworking movements, maker spaces and maker movements, fab labs, hacker spaces and hacker movements. Studies related to RGCS cover the social, political, managerial, digital and spatial dimensions of collaborative spaces. It addresses the following gap: collaborative hubs and networks already exist in the professional world, but there are no international fora, particularly on the topic of collaborative communities, to support academic discussions and to interface between academic, professional and political arenas. Beyond its status of forum, RGCS aims at producing studies and recommendations (both managerial and political) about collaborative spaces, collaborative communities and collaborative movements. Its ambition is therefore close to that of a collaborative ‘think tank’.

Article 2: RGCS is an independent network. It is not affiliated to any other network, company, organization or political party. Its roots are wholly academic, with all this implies: a critical mindset and a will to analyze, beyond local managerial implications, the effects of new collaborative spaces, collaborative communities and collaborative movements on the dynamics of society at large and on the new modalities of work, control, legitimation and socialization of managers and citizens, in cities, countries, and also internationally.

Article 3: The research object is very open. The new collaborative spaces correspond to new places and new experiences developed to foster collaborative practices and value co-creation. They also represent a new intermediation between private and professional lives, design and exploitation, organizations and communities, single-handed and collective  entrepreneurship. They include ‘third’ places such as maker spaces, fab labs, hacker spaces, co-working spaces, etc.; and associated sets of new tools and practices of collaboration such as corporate or mutualized co-working, new digital platforms, BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices), design for working and well-being at home, on-line value co-creation, open source communities, etc. Beyond collaborative spaces, collaboration is more and more at stake in collaborative communities and collaborative movements (e.g. coworking, hacker and maker movements). RGCS aims at understanding them.

Article 4: Like these communities, RGCS aims at being a collaborative community itself, and includes three ‘chapters’ in three different countries (Montréal, London and Paris) and the use of transversal on-line tools. Discussions, proposals, and exchanges in the context of RGCS are expected to be a public good. It is intended to function in the spirit of a gift and counter-gift culture and respect of the Other. Nobody can ‘talk’ on behalf of RGCS. Visions, proposals and propositions are collective only and are coordinated by RGCS and its chapters.

Article 5: Chapters are supported by universities and facilitated by scholars who guarantee the conviviality and independence of debates. Public organizations and private companies  can sponsor projects coordinated in the context of the RGCS network (in particular the presentation of RGCS white report and RGCS symposium). Nonetheless, they will do so respecting the fundamental principles of RGCS: exchanges and presentations are a common good, knowledge is formulated and  disseminated according to the rules and practices of academic production.

Article 6: Individual members are not subject to any selection. Being a member of RGCS only involves attending at least to one event, registering on the LinkedIn platform[1] devoted to the network, and communicating to one coordinator a signed version of this charter (electronic or paper-based). Yet, coordinators reserve the right to de-register an individual whose motivations are mainly commercial or whose behavior is contrary to the values of RGCS. A moral entity cannot be part of RGCS. Only individuals belong to RGCS. Apart from registering on the RGCS platform, everybody is welcome to the events organized by the Paris, London, Montreal, Grenoble, Lyon, Barcelona, Modena, Roma and Milan chapters and by respecting the values of the network.Membership to our Working Group is selective. Each coordinator of WG invites experts to participate to local working groups. Participant to WG can contribute to the annual RGCS White Report. To appear as a contributor to the report, each member of the WG needs to have attended physically to at least two RGCS events per year, make written proposals for the report, and of course, have agreed to appear in the White Report as a contributor.

[1] A more specific platform is currently being developed. It should soon replace the LinkedIn platform.

Article 7: The first coordinators have been invited by the founders of RGCS (François-Xavier de Vaujany and Emmanuelle Vaast) and have accepted this role. They are Yesh Nama, Julie Fabbri, Viviane Sergi, Nathalie Mitev, Pierre Laniray, Hélène Lambrix, Pierre Labardin, Anouk Mukherjee, Stefan Haefliger and Fabrice Periac. They are essential to the life of the network. Their mandate is of three years from the 1st September 2015. François-Xavier de Vaujany is the general coordinator of RGCS. Five other coordinators have joined us from the 1st January 2016: Viviane Serge, Annie Camus, Sabine Carton, Nicolas Lesca and David Vallat.  Their mandate can be renewed or they can be replaced through a discussion or a consensus on the basis of the presence of the members attending a general meeting (during the month preceding the end of their mandate). If necessary, a vote (at the majority qualified) can be requested by the members present and organized. The coordinators’ role is to facilitate meetings, coordinate projects linked to RGCS and ensure that RGCS values are respected. Other chapters can be set up in other cities (requiring a link to a specific university). Each will be validated by all coordinators. If necessary, a vote (at the qualified majority) can be organized electronically. RGCS also includes at “scientific committee” across the chapters. It has a consultative status. Coordinators and members can consult this committee to check the relevance and coherence of scientific projects likely to be inscribed in and labeled by a chapter. The SC can also be used to assess projects and people who have applied for a grant obtained by a chapter; project members are assigned to a local chapter and appointed by its local associated university or research centre. An individual can be both a coordinator and a member of the SC.

Article 8: Grants and funded projects coordinated in the context of RGCS and promoted by RGCS remain  under the responsibility of local universities and research centers which administer them financially and managerially. Universities are responsible for the good functioning of projects. RGCS is only a space for discussions and proposals, i.e. a forum, it is not an organizational entity. Its dynamic is based on gifts and counter-gifts, mutual assistance and self-help groups.

Article 9: Participation to RGCS events, registration, and access to platforms is free.

Paris, London and Montréal, 02/09/2015

Updated by RGCS general coordinator the 13th February. Submited to a vote the 29th February. Adopted after vote by the coordinators.