Posted on | October 24, 2010 | No Comments
Teemu Leinonen (Aalto University, Finland) kindly invited Coprodnet to address via skype to a seminar on ‘Co-creation, co-governance and peer-to-peer production of public services’ (http://co-p2p.mlog.taik.fi/seminar-2010). James (from Coprodnet) did the video-link – here’s what he said:
Hello from Manchester…
Co-production is an idea whose time has come in the UK
Our coalition government is implementing massive cuts in public expenditure, a staggering 81 billion pounds in cuts over the next 4 years…
These cuts are being complemented with a call to establish the ‘big society’… key slogans are the ideological ‘big society not big government’ and the doubtful ‘we’re all in this together’
The ‘big society’ is a vague and highly controversial policy… the basic idea is that public sector and professional service provision is replaced by voluntary provision, cooperatives in some places, and reciprocal citizen relationships…
The relationship between the ‘big society’ and co-production is that co-production enables the conceptualisation of the changing relationship between public services and service users or citizens
Against this back drop we have convened Coprodnet…
Coprodnet is an interdisciplinary academic and practitioner network interested in all things co-produced.
We have 2 aims:
- To critically engage with co-production and the causes and consequences of its recent adoption, across a range of academic disciplines… we have members from business studies, education, geography, development studies, politics, sociology, anthropology, and architecture…
—- As part of this critical engagement we’re hosting a conference on 4th November with David Boyle, Diana Mitlin and Su Maddock providing keynotes and reflection… we also have 15 research ‘showcase’ presentations on new research into co-production …
- there’s more information about the conference available at www.coprodnet.org
- we’re planning a series of follow-up seminars. One on co-production and sustainable cities, another on co-production in health service innovation, and most importantly co-production and social justice
- Our second aim is to engage with and support co-production in practice… lots of third sector organisations in Manchester are trying to hit the ground running with co-production and we’re trying to build relationships and support them, within our modest means…
- We’re working with a local employment skills network to develop a Community Learning Champion project with a time banking element in four deprived wards in Manchester… the project is inspired by Ivan Illich via Edgar Cahn
- We’re also supporting an organisation for parents of disabled children to evaluate the outcomes of an ‘expert’ carer programme they’ve been running… tellingly they’re hoping to justify their co-production approach in the face of threats to their funding
- And we’re also working with an organisation to develop a creative evaluation project that links local ‘big society’ projects and the Coprodnet network using social media… the idea is to interrupt a typical summative evaluation with a formative process that links people with problems with people with solutions and resources through, for example, Twitter… we’re working with a local digital artist to capture this process and develop an art exhibition from it.
So it’s an incredibly exciting and maybe precarious time for co-production in the UK… co-production potentially offers a way around huge public sector cuts but will undoubtedly be associated with the impacts of the cuts during this period of austerity.
David Marquand wrote recently of the ‘big society’
‘the big society is little more than a label, a dream, a confused if glowing aspiration. There is no knowing whether the notion can be made to fly in the harsh climate we now live in. But that is not a reason for rubbishing it… It is a reason for treating it as the opening gambit in a national conversation’
Coprodnet is participating in this national conversation… asking how can co-production make Britain fairer and improve our collective well-being?
I hope me talking to you today is the first step in joining colleagues internationally in this conversation about the potential benefits and pitfalls of co-production.
I’d like to thank Teemu Leinonen for letting me address you and you all for listening.
Videos from the seminar will hopefully be up soon – check http://co-p2p.mlog.taik.fi for updates.
Posted on | August 4, 2010 | No Comments
Hello, and welcome to our blog!
We are an interdisciplinary network of researchers interested in co-production. We are organising a conference about co-production, which will be held in Manchester in November 2010. See our wiki for more details, and to submit proposals and make suggestions. We are genuinely open to this conference being co-produced!
We will be updating this blog periodically with links and thoughts about co-production. We are interested in using this blog (as well as our wiki and Twitter) to discuss what co-production means, and how it’s being defined and shaped, particularly with reference to the ‘big society’. Is it genuinely empowering, or is it a smokescreen for different forms of exclusion?
We’d be very interested in hearing from you…