This paper describes an experimental teaching model born from the collaboration between two bodies. The Politecnico di Milano’s POLI.social - a programme aimed at developing international and local cooperation projects and at increasing the value of research and didactics - and a Foundation formed by companies in the Italian region of Trentino to assist people with Autism - Fondazione Trentina per l'Autismo (FTA). Today social enterprises are operating in a subsistence market place context, characterized by growing competition for donors and grants [1]. Firstly formed to address growing multidimensional social problems and insufficient resources, now social enterprises bring in the need for collaboration [2]. That is why social alliances were born. These are voluntary collaborations between different actors, tackling complex, indivisible social problems that single organizations find difficult to cope with alone [3]. From a resource dependence perspective [4], the resource complementarities between businesses and social enterprises motivate them to cooperate. An alliance can provide important benefits for an organization lacking certain resources as it links the organization to another with complementary resources [5]. !Coherently with the shift towards a more strategic Corporate Social Responsibility approach [6] and the creation of shared value for business and society [6] [7], profit-nonprofit (P-NP) collaborations are nowadays evolving into more strategic partnerships where the two organizations work together with common goals and a higher level of involvement [8]. This emerging kind of collaboration has been shown to result in higher benefits for both the company and the society [8] [9]. There is in fact empirical evidence showing that a strong commitment towards CSR can push the company to develop innovative products and services with a high social and environmental value [10] [11]. These innovations are known in the literature as CSR driven innovations and can be defined as “new market spaces, products and services or processes driven by social, environmental or sustainability issues” [12]. !The so-called “Co.Meta” experience originates exactly from the above mentioned issues. Co.Meta developed inside the Politecnico’s laboratory during the 2nd year of the Industrial Design degree, for a subject called “Laboratorio di Metaprogetto”. The name merges the concepts of “Cooperation” and “Meta”. The course lasted from October 2013 until February 2014 and focused on the generation of product-system projects to be adopted in the upcoming "Centro Sebastiano" structure for people with Autism provided by the Foundation. !The students' task was to design several concepts aimed at improving the quality of people's life. These were patients, relatives and care givers, all gravitating around Autism, an unsolved, little-studied pathology implying huge complexity and a deep social impact. Psychologists and educational trainers were also involved, allowing students to better address the field. Moreover, the foundations “Fondazione Trentina per l’Autismo”, “Fondazione Piatti” and “Cooperativa Sociale Spazio Aperto Servizi” gave priceless support for facilitating both data gathering and field research. The main goal of the course was to teach its students a “metadesign” perspective. The purpose was not to reach final products, but rather to define possible scenarios where design acted as a transformation trigger. Based on these premises, this paper describes a specific collaborative educational model. We showed how the University could play a further role in assisting social alliances developing their products from the concept phase. The model also enabled design students to acquire methods and expertise to face Social Innovation projects, with a User-Centered approach.

An ethical approach to design teaching: the “Co.Meta Lab” experience from a Social Innovation perspective.

ARQUILLA, VENANZIO;SIMONELLI, GIULIANO;GENCO, DAVIDE;GUARICCI, FABIO
2014

Abstract

This paper describes an experimental teaching model born from the collaboration between two bodies. The Politecnico di Milano’s POLI.social - a programme aimed at developing international and local cooperation projects and at increasing the value of research and didactics - and a Foundation formed by companies in the Italian region of Trentino to assist people with Autism - Fondazione Trentina per l'Autismo (FTA). Today social enterprises are operating in a subsistence market place context, characterized by growing competition for donors and grants [1]. Firstly formed to address growing multidimensional social problems and insufficient resources, now social enterprises bring in the need for collaboration [2]. That is why social alliances were born. These are voluntary collaborations between different actors, tackling complex, indivisible social problems that single organizations find difficult to cope with alone [3]. From a resource dependence perspective [4], the resource complementarities between businesses and social enterprises motivate them to cooperate. An alliance can provide important benefits for an organization lacking certain resources as it links the organization to another with complementary resources [5]. !Coherently with the shift towards a more strategic Corporate Social Responsibility approach [6] and the creation of shared value for business and society [6] [7], profit-nonprofit (P-NP) collaborations are nowadays evolving into more strategic partnerships where the two organizations work together with common goals and a higher level of involvement [8]. This emerging kind of collaboration has been shown to result in higher benefits for both the company and the society [8] [9]. There is in fact empirical evidence showing that a strong commitment towards CSR can push the company to develop innovative products and services with a high social and environmental value [10] [11]. These innovations are known in the literature as CSR driven innovations and can be defined as “new market spaces, products and services or processes driven by social, environmental or sustainability issues” [12]. !The so-called “Co.Meta” experience originates exactly from the above mentioned issues. Co.Meta developed inside the Politecnico’s laboratory during the 2nd year of the Industrial Design degree, for a subject called “Laboratorio di Metaprogetto”. The name merges the concepts of “Cooperation” and “Meta”. The course lasted from October 2013 until February 2014 and focused on the generation of product-system projects to be adopted in the upcoming "Centro Sebastiano" structure for people with Autism provided by the Foundation. !The students' task was to design several concepts aimed at improving the quality of people's life. These were patients, relatives and care givers, all gravitating around Autism, an unsolved, little-studied pathology implying huge complexity and a deep social impact. Psychologists and educational trainers were also involved, allowing students to better address the field. Moreover, the foundations “Fondazione Trentina per l’Autismo”, “Fondazione Piatti” and “Cooperativa Sociale Spazio Aperto Servizi” gave priceless support for facilitating both data gathering and field research. The main goal of the course was to teach its students a “metadesign” perspective. The purpose was not to reach final products, but rather to define possible scenarios where design acted as a transformation trigger. Based on these premises, this paper describes a specific collaborative educational model. We showed how the University could play a further role in assisting social alliances developing their products from the concept phase. The model also enabled design students to acquire methods and expertise to face Social Innovation projects, with a User-Centered approach.
Transformation of design within the context of Social Innovation
design education; social enterprises; concept generation; social innovation; autism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/959989
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