Summer is filled with notable academic conferences. For organization researchers, July is particularly notable for holding the annual and big conference of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), an interdisciplinary event about organizations, organizing and collective activity. As most academic conferences, EGOS colloquia provide a venue for researchers to present and discuss their research papers through sessions and sub-themes.
In 2017, The Research Group on Collaborative Spaces (RGCS) added an event off the track, an unconference called: “Organization & Organizing of the Sharing Economy” (OOSE). I have been part of the organizing committee of the two first sessions in 2017 and 2018.
Behind the Unconference Scene
Each season, through a series of Skype planning meetings, our small group of conveners shared visions about a gathering that might both enhance and criticize the current thinking on the sharing and … Read more
By Julie Fabbri (emlyon business school, OCE & STORM, email@example.com), David Vallat (Université Lyon 1) et Amélie Bohas (Université Aix-Marseille)
“Entrepreneurship is an incredible Odyssey whose leaders are the heroes”. These were the first words of the organizer of the 7th Printemps des Entrepreneurs in Lyon (France), where we spent a whole day with students from emlyon business school. Why? To experience real-life working conditions. How? We led an Open Walked Event-Based Experimentation (OWEE) in this context to help them to get the most out of the event. In a nutshell, we lived a spatio-temporal odyssey in and around the fair to grasp, all together, what is at stake in entrepreneurial journeys and what could be the future world of organizations.
On April 24, 2018, at 8am, about thirty red dressed students gathered in front of the Double Mixte, a well-known business event hall. They are double-degree … Read more
The promise was enticing, and the menu quite mysterious: OWEE (Open Walked Event-based Experimentations) is a research protocol conducted by international researchers. After several experiments all over the world (in Tokyo and London), a tour in the 13th district of Paris was concocted, open to all. It is difficult to give a precise definition of OWEE without giving in to tautology: it is an experiment, while walking, while seeking. You’re welcome.
For this day dedicated to Street Art, we meet at 9 am on a gray Thursday in front of the square Luis Say (founder of Beghin-Say and, fun fact, brother of the liberal economist Jean-Baptiste Say), at the exit of the metro Glacière. Facing us, three facades completely covered with murals. On the left, a delicately rendered cat from the French artist C215, in front, a « freedom-equality-fraternity » muse in the iconic Obey style, on … Read more
Our learning expeditions and field trips following the OWEE protocol have often resulted in co-produced traces by means of various tools: posts on blogs (e.g. RGCS WordPress, the Conversation, LSE Business Review, LSE impact blog…) written by coordinators during and after the event, social networks (in particular Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), geolocalization systems (e.g. Samsung health systems) but also more specific collaborative technologies such as Stample or Framapads. The use of these tools aimed at narrating our events as they were happening, learning and reflecting from them, searching for political impact through better integrative and connective narratives.
We would like here to give a short feedback about two technologies we used: Framapads and Twitter and how they help us to co-produce reflexive traces of our events.
Framapad: great open technology, but atmosphere and animation are key
This summer, walking has been a trendy topic in French bookstores. Presented either as healthy practice, an opportunity for true, reflexive loneliness, a possibility to explore a territory, a new managerial approach or a political engagement, walk is an embodied practice at the heart of numerous trends and fashions today. Indeed, it is a very old practice. Aristotle taught philosophy while walking in the Lyceum of ancient Athens. Beyond the peripatetic school, situationists (with the practice of ‘drifting’) or revolutionaries (through walk as a protest) have all settled practice as a movement with possible political connotations.
Walk is also an experience. Moving from one place to another (see vignette 1 below) without thinking about it, there is something lived in-between. Walking as a group of researchers outside university walls is an intriguing liminal experience. For academics (and probably entrepreneurs…) experimenting … Read more
By François-Xavier de Vaujany and Albane Grandazzi
Our learning expeditions in collaborative spaces and our ethnographies of new work practices have been the opportunity to use numerous diaries, reports and note books to keep a trace of what we saw, what people said or what we felt.
Such a practice is not new in ethnography and auto-ethnography. Ethnographers have always collected and self-produced the narrative traces of their experience. They have always done it asynchronously (e.g. at the end of the day…) or synchronously (in the flow of what they were observing). We would like to stress here an embodied, material, visible aspect of ethnography as a practice: the gesturing of notes, sketches, traces of our shared experience with the people and societies explored.
More than ever, in a digital, largely disembodied, world, gestures and physical movements of the ethnographer are key micro-practices on the field. Our ethnographies and … Read more
By François-Xavier de Vaujany, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine
The “derive” can be translated by the notion of “drift” in English. It is has been originally put forward in by Guy Debord, a member of the Letterist International, in the context of his “Théorie de la derive” which was formalized in the late 50s. Debord defined dérive as « a mode of experimental behavior linked to the conditions of urban society: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances. » Dérive is a full improvised, an unplanned walked journey through an urban landscape. Still according to Debord, the maximum number of participants is three, which makes it possible to keep the integrity of the group in the process of improvisation. Through “derive”, participants are expected to suspend their everyday relations and « let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there ». Dérive … Read more
As researchers and/or entrepreneurs, we have been absorbing cultural knowledge of collaboration, entrepreneurship, coworker and maker movements for a number of years. We often face and hear about how to become disruptive by two keywords: opening and hacking. Between July 25 and 28, 2018, we co-created a rich learning expedition organized by the Research Group on Collaborative Spaces (RGCS), at MIT and Harvard University, in Cambridge (Massachusetts). This alternative academic network focuses on topics about new work practices inspired by open science and citizen science cultures.
The starting point of our learning expedition was our astonishment: How can elite institutions (in particular, … Read more
Between the 25th and the 28th of July 2018, I have had the opportunity to participate to a very rich learning expedition organized by the Research Group on Collaborative Spaces (RGCS), an alternative academic network about new work practices inspired by open science and citizen science cultures.
The expedition called #hackingday2018 consisted in a set of visits and reflexive discussions about Boston’s academic, entrepreneurial and innovative eco-system*. We followed a protocol combining planed with improvised visits following the flow of discussions and questions of the event itself (see the OWEE protocol for more details). More than two thirds of the visits were thus improvised. The protocol also relies on openness (anybody can register for free via an Eventbrite link) and long walked times alternating visits and other seated times. Social media, blogs and videos are used to extend the event in time and space, and link it to … Read more
On May 15th, 2018, the Montreal’s RGCS (Research Group on Collaborative Spaces) chapter organized a learning expedition through coworking spaces and start-up incubators chosen for their diversity (technological and social entrepreneurship) and their location in the city, in order to propose a 1-day walkable itinerary through 3 different neighborhoods of Montreal: downtown, Mile-End and Mile-Ex. We experimented some of the OWEE method’s principles, by walking together in the city, collecting visual and written data, sharing it on social media and having informal and semi-directed discussions.
This post is a collective illustrated report of this learning expedition.
1. Welcoming the participants in MTLab
On the same week, ESG UQAM was holding an international conference on entrepreneurship, the Journées Georges Doriot 2018, providing the opportunity to form a group of 20 participants interested in new forms and spaces of entrepreneurship (scholars, students and practitioners).