Meaningful welfare technology through collaboration – discover how!

Welfare technology for older people, difficult to make it work? You are not alone, have you thought about collaborating more? 

This webpage provides a conceptual and methodological toolkit supporting collaboration among people and organizations in the design and implementation of new services to meet the needs of older people based on their actual capacities, motivations, and expectations. This toolkit is based on the research activities of SinS – Developing the capacity of leading technology-related social innovation in cooperation (2017-2018).


Collaborating with whom?


Older people
“Those who have been considered as ‘people with problems’ (i.e., service end users) can be recognized as ‘people with capabilities’ (i.e., service co-producers): people with knowledge, time, and energy who can usefully contribute to the conception of a service and, most importantly, to its day-by-day production and delivery” -Ezio Manzini-


Other professionals
“Identifying stakeholders is necessary for clarifying mutual requirements and needs for information, supplies, coordination, and cooperation” -Keld Bødker, Finn Kensing, Jesper Simonsen



Other organizations
“Coalitions and networks are increasingly turning out to be the key to successful change” - Robin Murray, Julie Caulier-Griece, Geoff Mulgan-



Collaborating on what?


Needs and expectations
“Disability arises not within the individual, due to impaired capability, but is a result of environments, products and services that fail to take into account the needs and capabilities of all potential users” - John Clarkson, Roger Coleman Simeon Keates, Cherie Lebbon-

Learn more


A new service
“Services are jointly designed by users, frontline workers and professionals through a process of dialogue that goes beyond the initial perspectives of any one party. Co-creation is not a one-off event, like a referendum in which the community decides what should be done.  Developing services that promote health will take more time.” - Hilary Cottam, Charles Leadbeater-

Learn more


“The implementing mindset is about ‘how to win’. Thinking in this phase benefits from a narrow focus on the specific steps necessary to realize offerings. However, each one needs to work in conjunction with the others if success is to be achieved” - Vijay Kumar-

Learn more

About the project

The SinS project was aimed to foster social innovation in welfare technology from a human-centered design perspective. Such a perspective relies on the cooperation between ‘experts’ and ‘nonexperts’ by creating tools that enable those people that experts are designing for to take a more skillful part in the process and achieve good results, which can be eventually embraced. The goal is to develop products or services that match potential users’ practices, needs, and preferences. This goal was consistent with SinS’ purpose.

The SinS project has been conducted through traditional sociological techniques, such as:

  • Semi-structured interview to spokespeople for the organizations involved;
  • Focus group with spokespeople for the organizations involved;
  • Passing ethnography conducted on the occasion of municipal meetings and public events on welfare technology (i.e. Mötesplats Välfärdsteknologi och E-hälsa). Ethnographical observation also took place on the occasion of workshops with older people.

Several workshops with older people and professionals representing key professions in welfare technology were organized. A participatory approach informed workshop activities aimed at identifying problems and tensions, framing them into the local context, and discussing possible solutions through design methods, such as:

  • Photo elicitation: to elicit needs and expectations of older people and discussing them by involving professionals too.
  • Concept sorting: to organize the results emerging from the previous activity from the professionals’ perspective.
  • Persona combined with user journey map: to track older people’s steps through an entire experience of potential rehabilitation at home after an injury, from the perspective of both older people and professionals. These techniques were used also for imagining a welfare technology implementation process by gathering different professionals.

The Open Space Technology method has been used to engage participants in a discussion on the collaboration between older people and municipalities, possible tools, and benefits of working together.
The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method has been adopted to facilitate one meeting between partners’ representatives to identify competences to share which would improve the quality and efficiency of current services and encourage future collaborations in welfare technology matter.
Diffusion of the research results took place at national and international conferences, and via publications in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. Contact with the media and specialized magazines on welfare technology contributed to the public engagement. The researchers also presented part of the results at the MVTe 2018 exhibition and conference: an arena for professionals, companies, public sectors representatives to meet and discuss welfare technology.

Publications, conference proceedings and selected media appearances


Cozza M., Crevani, L., Hallin, A., Schaeffer, J. (2018) “Future ageing: welfare technology practices for our future older selves”, Futures. The journal of policy, planning and futures studies

Cozza, M. (2018) “Interoperability and convergence for welfare technology”, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018, J. Zhou and G. Salvendy (Eds.): ITAP 2018, LNCS 10927, pp. 13–24, 2018.

Andersson, C., Cozza, M., Crevani, L., Schunnesson, J. (2018) “Infrastructuring for remote night monitoring: frictions in striving for transparency when digitalising care service”, 16th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Nancy, France, 4-8 June, 2018 (ISSN 2510-2591), DOI: 10.18420/ecscw2018_006)

Crevani, L., Cozza, M. (2018) “Complementary representational practices for articulating matters of concern”, proceeding of the 5thParticipatory Innovation Conference 2018, Eskilstuna, Sweden, pp.270-277 

2018, 26 June: “En robot med uppdrag att rädda välfärden” [“A robot with a mission to save the welfare”], ETC-Ekonomi,,

21 February: “Brist på forskning som problematiserar välfärdsteknik” [“Lack of research that problematizes welfare technology”], Medicin-Digital Hälsa

2016, 14 December: “Så kan man samarbeta för att öka livskvaliteten hos äldre” [“This way you can work together to increase the older people’s quality of life”], Mälardalen University webpage - News

Other initiatives providing support for the introduction of welfare technology

While our webpage provides support for collaborating on welfare technology, we refer to other initiatives if you want to find spaces for sharing knowledge or if you want to read about best practices: 

Knowledge sharing platforms

  • – a platform for sharing knowledge for people working in the public sector
  • Different groups on social media

Examples of best practices 


Lucia Crevani
Lucia Crevani is associate professor in business administration specialized in organization theory. Her research focus is on organizing processes, leadership, introduction of technology, gender and intersectionality, inspired by perspectives that bring to the fore sociomaterial processes and interaction.


Michela Cozza
Michela Cozza is senior lecturer in business administration specialized in organization theory and science and technology studies. Her research focus is on organizational processes and technological innovation, inclusive design and gender. She is a certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator.


Koen Wijbrands
Koen Wijbrands is a student in the Master programme in Innovation and Design at Mälardalen University and has supported the research team with the development of this website. 



Jonathan Schunnesson
Jonathan Schunnesson is a former student at MDH, now a master's student at Uppsala University, who has been a research assistant in the SInS project.