A meeting entitled ‘Commonfare. Precariousness, emerging needs, and social innovation’ took place on the 9th of November in Rome in one of the most interesting co-working spaces of the city. The meeting was organised by the Italian partner of the PIE News / Commonfare Project.

BIN Italia’s presentation of Commonfare activities and objectives stimulated an interesting exchange of experiences both at national and international levels, which has revealed a large community who wish to maintain a high level of communication and implement the connections between its various activities also through the Commonfare platform.

The meeting was hosted by Millepiani, a co-working space which can provide space to over 80 co-workers on a daily basis and to over 30 active businesses. It also organises BarCamps, hackathons, co-design jams, accelerator programs for start-ups, job placement projects for refugees, and campaigns for common goods.

Millepiani, along with many other co-working spaces, helped to create the first collaborative urban ecosystem, CoRete. This collaborative network designs common services, dissemination events, and it offers participatory mapping and co-planning. It acts like a single, large community of expertise available to start-ups and companies based in the territory.

The discussion during the meeting highlighted many converging ideas between Commonfare and I-Wire, another European project that has been introduced by Francesca Pesce, vice president of Acta (the Freelancers Association in Italy) and EFIP (the European Forum of Independent Professionals), a European not-for-profit collaboration of national associations whose mission is to promote independent work.

The discussion focused on the connections between the requests of freelancers and precarious workers at European level, on their common sharing needs, and on how exchange and collaborative platforms can play a significant role in this sense. From this point of view, many similarities have been highlighted in relation to the research promoted by the Commonfare project.

Enrico Parisio (Millepiani) highlighted the need to continue to enhance ‘common doing’ and ‘common welfare’ before the growing supply of services that make a profit by levering the economic difficulties of precarious workers as well as young startuppers. Therefore, Commonfare can also be a space offering visibility to collective proposals and initiatives based on genuine shared values.

Also, as Commonfare plays a significant role in simplifying and improving the access to the forms of institutional welfare, it is important to disseminate information about the project’s existence.

Chiara Faini (SmartIt) stressed how, in recent years, they have had to expand the pool of professions to which they offer guarantees and protections. Commonfare can be an interesting and useful narrative space for those who turn to SmartIt. Commonfare provides a space where it is possible to meet other professionals and therefore overcome the subjective difficulties and the sense of isolation experienced by adults.

Then, Amedeo Ciaccheri (social centre La Strada) emphasised the importance of taking part in the research and co-research experience carried out through Commonfare as it helped them to widen their gaze on the potential of their action in their territory and beyond, and to foster a new social and political debate on the need for digital common and cooperation spaces.

This meeting was, therefore, an interesting and important occasion for everyone to share analyses and points of view that will lead them to meet again on the Commonfare platform.

Thanks to these new connections, Commonfare increases its potential to meet people and stories, and thus build collaborative communities.