Open Care: Open Participatory ENgagement in Collective Awareness for REdesign of care services in a collaborative consortium for social innovation
Opencare is a European project that received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 688670.
The goal of the project is to pilot and profile an ecosystem of community-driven approaches to social- and health-care. To do so, the consortium conducts research on collective intelligence, on digital fabrication and frugal innovation, and on management of large online hacker communities.
Starting from the second half of the 20th century the world, rich countries first, headed towards health systems that could deliver universal health coverage (UHC), based on scientific method and continuing professional education. This approach, heralded also by the WHO, has achieved brilliant results where deployed.
However, over the past 20 years it has come under growing strain: the demand for professional care (health care, social care, daycare for children, care for elderly people) seems to grow limitlessly, whilst the resources our economies can allocate to it have clearly declined due to a slowing of economic growth. Welfare systems have tried to approach the challenge by adopting management solutions that worked elsewhere, mostly in industry, but any such attempt to rationalize the machine of care delivery and squeeze extra productivity out of it, inevitably hastened the crisis by dehumanizing care, and producing paradoxical new challenges..
Looking further back in history though, universal health coverage has not always been the rule, even though some form of institutional welfare have been available from very ancient times. Care then had always been provided by communities: family members, friends and neighbors, practitioners of the same professions would check on each other to make sure everyone was fine, keep an eye on each other’s children or elderly parents, mutually support through hardships. What if we could come up with a system that combines the access to modern science and technology of state- and private sector-provided care to the low overhead and human touch of community-provided care, to surpass the current hurdles of our societies and States?
Since epochal changes in scientific practices, technology and global communications have transformed the way we produce, access and share knowledge, and the balance of power in setting and coordinating small and local or large and global initiatives, we could envision a renewal of the social contract of community and mutualistic care, which was almost abandoned during the golden age of UHC, to one where we all are emphatic innovators, able to collaborate, create, and act in changing environments.
Opencare, in two years and with a budget below 1.6 million euro, took a pragmatic study approach to the design and prototyping new care paradigms, following exactly on the intuitions we just shared with you. In the past 24 months we have:
Collected experiences of community-driven care services;
Challenged, informed, and validated them through open discussion, both online and offline;
Augmented them with access state-of-the-art maker and information technologies, as well as management theory;
Created awareness of what is shared and what differentiated the communities we worked with from each other, and the added value for them to come together in reflecting on their value chains, supervising the ethics, and exchange knowledge and experiences.
Partners in OpenCare, next to ScimPulse:
· University of Bordeaux
· Municipality of Milan
· WeMake Srl
· Institute for Economic and Business History Research
Public documents and deliverables coming from the EU H2020 project Open Care.
We, as SCImpulse, take proud in what we achieved by participating in the Open Care project. So we share not only the deliverables of the project but also some “side documents” that gives you an indication on how we contributed as ScimPulse to this European initiative:
WP6 D6.5 – Ethics interim evaluation and guidance
WP6 D6.1 Consent funnel
WP4 D4.5 Community driven care. A draft social contract
WP1 D1.6 Peer-auditing of the project, and indication on how to work-around failures and pitfalls
WP1 D1.4 DeepGames protocol and intended audience
OPEN CARE Social contract milestone 11
OPEN CARE Ethics Advisory Board
OPEN CARE CERN workshop @IdeaSquare – 2 DAYS PROGRAM