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Wednesday, May 18 • 9:30am - 9:45am
Sharing, Collaborating and Relational Goods

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Sharing means collaborating. And collaboration stands for “an exchange in which the participants benefit from the encounter” (Sennet 2012)[1]. Doing so, they exchange something (time, experiences, expertise) to achieve a mutually recognized result. At the same time, they produce, as precious side effect, relational goods, as trust, friendliness, empathy, mutual attention and care.

 My proposal is to use this relational goods production as norm of reading to evaluate sharing innovations and their evolution from first ideas to mature solutions.


Adopting this point of view, it can be easily recognized that, where at the beginning the majority of sharing ideas and practices were collaborative and capable to produce relational goods, in their evolution towards maturity, different innovation paths have been followed. The result is that some of them have totally lost their original collaborative character, and some others maintained it, adapting it to the new conditions. That is, finding the way to extend collaborative behaviours from the initial small groups of enthusiasts, to larger number of active, but far less committed actors.


My presentation focuses on this second path and, moving from here, discusses how sharing innovations can evolve, become mature and spread maintaining their collaborative dimension. That is, producing, reproducing and amplifying relational goods in the normal everybody’s everyday life. In other words, my proposal is that, for the sharing movement, after the gold rush there could be the challenging perspective of a disruptive normality: a condition in which, for a growing number of people, it becomes normal to think and behave in contrast with the unsustainable ideas and behaviours that, unfortunately, are still mainstream. 

avatar for Ezio Manzini

Ezio Manzini

Professor, DESIS Network, University of the Arts, London, Politecnico di Milano
For more than two decades he has been working in the field of design for sustainability. Most recently, his interests have focussed on social innovation, considered as a major driver of sustainable changes. In this perspective he started DESIS: an international network of schools... Read More →

Wednesday May 18, 2016 9:30am - 9:45am CEST