How did we get started?
Colaboratorio IC was the product of a meeting called ¿Y SI NOS ENREDAMOS? (what if we networked?). It was held at the end of April 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, as part of the Frena La Curva (Flatten The Curve) project, in order to reflect on ways to promote and coordinate the Civic Innovation ecosystem.
This meeting was initially convened by Laia Sánchez (Citilab); Ricardo Antón (ColaBoraBora / Wikitoki); Javier Ibáñez (Las Naves); Ibai Zabaleta (Hirikilabs / Tabakalera); Alberto Flores (Makea Tu Vida); Adrian De Miguel and Marcos García (Medialab Prado); Adolfo Chautón and Josian Llorente. It involved more than 150 people (professionals, mediators, activists, researchers etc, mainly from Spain and Latin America). This report was the result of the conversations, exchanges and lessons which took place there, which we now use as both a source code and a roadmap. You can learn more about the steps taken on this timeline.
Colaboratorio IC is built to last, with the intention of staying active for as long as is needed to make Civic Innovation, and its agents, visible, organised and united as vital components of wider innovation systems.
To make this happen, a community feeling and mindset are essential, always with Civic Innovation at the centre. A community, which is the base of Colaboratorio CI, made up of diverse and complementary agents of all sorts, shapes and sizes (civil society / government / academia / private sector). Agents who want to cultivate meaningful relationships and transversal alliances (based on skills, disciplines or regions), from a position of mutual trust and acknowledgement, proportionally sharing responsibilities and eschewing any trace of extractivist thought.
In addition to the broad and diverse Civic Innovation community, Colaboratorio IC has the committed support of other figures with varying degrees of involvement.
These are organisations and people who, as active members of the community, are significantly involved in the guidance and management of Colaboratorio CI, and make up part of the Coordination Group. They build this work into their own strategies and action plans, and provide relevant resources (dedicated work hours; available materials, resources and services; budgeting for specific initiatives; organising activities etc)
Want to get involved as a promoting agent?
Current Colaboratorio IC promoting agents are:
These are agents who, without directly forming part of the community, have direct or transversal responsibilities, or who work in fields which affect Civic Innovation and wish to contribute to Colaboratorio CI’s mission. These can be, for example, public administrations, innovation agencies, foundations, universities, research or business centres. Collaboration of this sort takes the form of connections or contributions such as: financial resources; research or communication materials; providing Civic Innovation projects with access to strategically advantageous fields or connections.
Want to get involved as a Collaborative Agent?
Current Colaboratorio IC collaborative agents are:
Why should you join Colaboratorio IC?
What do you get out of joining Colaboratorio IC?
- Be part of an active, diverse community centred on Civic Innovation, capable of collectively representing, advocating and creating dialogue in different fields, regardless of specialist, regional or other limitations.
- Form connections with related agents who share your interests, and whose diverse perspectives, experiences and skills will complement yours.
- Be part of consolidating existing alliances and establishing new relationships with both national and international agents.
- Take part in outlining the shared goals and projects developed among members of Colaboratorio IC.
- Access tools, frameworks and other resources created or shared through Colaboratorio IC.
- Share your activities and ideas with like-minded people and organisations.
- Share methodologies, lessons and best practices.
There are so many shared benefits, and the more you put in, the more you get out!
Open, Dynamic, Participatory Structure
Colaboratorio CI does not have a legal structure, functioning instead as a federated system. Its development is built on a foundation of mutual trust, acknowledgement, and support. We seek to involve as many agents as possible by providing forms and levels of participation which engender co-responsible, self-managed and distributed work.
Joining Colaboratorio CI will allow you to be involved in its management, working groups and decision-making processes as well as more specific projects.
- Composed of agents with an interest in being part of the Civic Innovation ecosystem, who want to be connected and kept up to date but with a more relaxed or occasional level of commitment.
- The community holds at least 2 annual meetings.
- There are different information and participation channels which can be adapted to meet the community’s needs.
- This team is made up of private individuals or representatives of organisations which form part of Colaboratorio IC, including Promoting Agents as well as wider Community members.
- Its responsibilities include basic management and organisation, technical administration, communication, stimulating and dynamising the ecosystem.
- It is, by its nature, open and voluntary, although many of its functions – given the available resources – can be supported by the work of other members.
- Meetings are held regularly, at least every 2 months.
- Open groups which can be permanent or temporary, made up of people committed to the group’s development and actions.
- Each group decides how it will operate based on aims, number of people, levels of involvement, time constraints, and availability of resources.
- These groups are run adhocratically and have at least two levels of involvement:
1.“Pulling the Cart”; coordinating and ensuring that the milestones and targets are met.
2. Supporting the process and pitching in for specific tasks or moments.
Resources and funding
How is Colaboratorio IC sustained?
A significant amount of Colaboratorio CI’s work is only possible thanks to the voluntary involvement and contributions of its members. This can be summarised as follows:
- Time dedicated to Colaboratorio CI (management, communication, writing proposals, technical support etc)
- Providing infrastructure and tools for shared use (servers, streaming, collaborative tools etc)
- Externally contracted services, hired by agents within the ecosystem which can be used to benefit Colaboratorio CI (for example translation, design, technical services, printing, travel, etc).
- Budget allocations to cover costs or personnel associated with projects and and services tied to Colaboratorio CI’s plan of action. Specifically, such allocations are for involvement which goes beyond the reasonable expectations and bounds of voluntary commitment, in order to prevent unsustainable situations which can result in self-imposed precarity (coordination work, technical administration, management or stewardship tasks, preparing proposals, facilitating activities, web programming, keeping minutes etc)
NOTE: Colaboratorio CI does not currently have a legal structure which allows it to request or directly receive financial resources, or resources of any sort. Resources are held by Promoting Agents, always following criteria of transparency and collectively agreed aims and strategies.