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).
“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-
“Identifying stakeholders is necessary for clarifying mutual requirements and needs for information, supplies, coordination, and cooperation” -Keld Bødker, Finn Kensing, Jesper Simonsen-
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-
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-
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:
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:
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.
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, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2018.03.011
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. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92037-5_2
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 http://pin-c.sdu.dk/2018.html
2018, 26 June: “En robot med uppdrag att rädda välfärden” [“A robot with a mission to save the welfare”], ETC-Ekonomi, https://www.etc.se/ekonomi/en-robot-med-uppdrag-att-radda-valfarden2018,
21 February: “Brist på forskning som problematiserar välfärdsteknik” [“Lack of research that problematizes welfare technology”], Medicin-Digital Hälsa https://www.insiktmedicin.se/articles/512128/2018-02-21-10-58-53-brist-pa-forskning-som-problematiserar-valfardsteknik
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
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
Examples of best practices
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 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 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 is a former student at MDH, now a master's student at Uppsala University, who has been a research assistant in the SInS project.