Institutions for Collective Action launched its new platform

Institutions for Collective Action launched its new platform

The institutional member of EMES, Institutions for Collective Action launched its new platform “Collectieve Kracht on 11 February.  The activities have entered a new phase: attracting as many citizen collectives as possible, to create the critical mass the platform needs.

After two years of preparation – and a decade of thinking things through – the Collectieve Kracht platform was ready to start. The platform serves as a link between science and citizen collectives, a type of organization springing up all over Europe since 2005. The main characteristic of these organizations is that they are formed by groups of citizens, who own and manage their assets collectively and decide on the rules together. Citizen collectives are active in sectors as wide apart as food, care, energy and mutual insurance (e.g. bread funds). Citizen collectives can be regarded as social enterprises in several ways. Societal impact usually prevails over material gain, while these organizations are embedded in the local community. They enhance the livability of their surroundings, provide care for the elderly in sparsely populated areas, try to shorten the food chain, or invest locally in sustainable energy.

In spite of their differences, citizen collectives can learn a lot from each other’s experiences. And that is where Collectieve Kracht comes in. On the platforms, the organizations can reach out to each other, ask questions, and share their knowledge. Moreover, the platform gives them access to scientific knowledge, in the form of short articles, videos and infographics. More importantly, platform members are encouraged to assess their own organizations. A self-scan helps them to identify their challenges. A set of customized scientific tools enables them to deal with these challenges. Self-empowerment is the keyword in this. In exchange for knowledge and tools, the scientists behind Collectieve Kracht – a group from several universities and a myriad of scientific backgrounds – get access to the data provided by the citizen collectives.

 

Institutions for Collective Action, based at the Rotterdam School of Management (ICA-RSM) is a highly interdisciplinary research team that includes management scientists, historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and representatives from other complementary disciplines; together, they build theories about sustainable institutions for collective action. They study a myriad of topics, from the evolution of commons over the past millennium to the formation of platform co-operatives and modern initiatives of citizens involved in the short-chain food supply. Team members aim to involve citizen collectives in their research (“citizen science”) and to return what they learn to society through a knowledge platform encouraging and facilitating the interchange of expertise among collectives of various backgrounds.

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