The interest on Commonfare both as research project and as proposal for a new welfare idea is growing up in Italy. This positive trend is witnessed by the qualified presence and the good results of the meeting held in Milano, October 4th, as the second dissemination event organized by BIN-Italy. More than one hundred of persons crossed the meeting. A result that confirms the appealing of this research.
The meeting was organized in three main sessions. The first session, after greetings from Cristina Tajani (councilor of the Municipality of Milan) and Loretta Anania (Project Officer of DG) by video message from Brussells, presented the first results of a socio-economic and ethnographic inquiry on the metropolitan areas of Milan and Rome. Sandro Gobetti and Cristina Morini (BIN-Italia) illustrated how PIE conditions are differently perceived among young precarious, Neets and unemployed people. The rise of fragmented poverty conditions, no longer easily represented simply by a lack of income but more and more by difficulties in accessing common goods such as housing, health, relationships, education, and so on, poses new questions about institutional governance and calls for new ways of addressing precarity. From this point of view, as highlighted by Chiara Bassetti (University of Trento), the Commonfare.net can play a relevant role in connecting the different levels and shares of precarious life. Marco Sachy (Dyne.org) explained the role of digital coins in the Commonfare project, by illustrating possible alternative uses.
The second session presented some European CAPS programs in which the Municipality of Milan is involved, opening the debate on what kind of social innovation is required to answer the present challenges. Projects such as OpenCare (on health from below, illustrated by Zoe Romano), OpenAgri (on peri-urban agriculture, Rossana Torri), Empatia (on the construction of a platform able to encourage participative democracy, Massimiliano Secchi) or experiences such as Sharing City (to improve liveability in the city, Piero Pellizzaro) or Mare Culturale Urbano (an interactive space for sociality, Sergio Galasso) are all working to redefine an eco-system appropriate to contemporary issues. Also Rob de Mat, who organized the catering (with really good food!), had time to explain their interesting experiences.
To this question of developing social innovations to address contemporary social issues, the round table in the afternoon tried to answer. Starting from the need to recognize and value existing bottom-up good practices in the welfare field, the discussion among exponents of associations engaged in social innovation (Davide Agazzi) or in labor transformation (Sergio Bologna), of Welfare Foundation (Romano Guerinoni), of universities (Enzo Mingione, Ivana Pais, Roberto Randazzo)and of Trades Union (Melissa Oliviero) pointed out the necessity to fill the gap between a metropolitan reality full of initiatives and an unsatisfactory social protection. From this point of view, the issue of sustainability is central in order to allow more structural interventions to relieve discomfort and reduce uncertainty.
The presence of two councilors of the Municipality of Milan was very important, as it showed the interest generated by the Commonfare Project. Pierfrancesco Majorino (Social Policies), in his speech at the end of the morning, underlined the necessity to experiment with new welfare tools, despite budget constraints. Cristina Tajani (Labor and Economic Activity), who opened the Conference, concluded the meeting in the afternoon, reiterating the driving role of Milan in experimenting with various forms of social innovation, within which the Commonfare.net project can and must be located. When the test of the platform is complete, it is therefore necessary to schedule a new meeting. [Report courtesy of BIN Italia]