January 2018 workshop at University of Edinburgh Business School explored the co-production of public services in the European context.
For the past two years, CenSE has been a key partner in a European H2020 project exploring social solidarity in Europe in the wake of the recession (SOLIDUS). This project has brought together partners from across Europe and with a varying range of expertise – CenSE contributing its expertise on service management. On 29 January 2018, CenSE hosted a national workshop at the University of Edinburgh Business School that explored the potential links between the co-production of public services and the facilitation of active citizenship in European societies.
The workshop was attended by over 40 public service managers and community activists from across Scotland. Elisabetta Mocca and Katharine Aulton both presented their research as part of SOLIDUS. The focus on active citizenship and co-production was enthusiastically received by participants. While a whole host of events around co-production have been held across Europe over the last couple of years, the focus here upon its links to active citizenship was unique.
Concluding the workshop, Stephen Osborne, Director of CenSE, explored the dynamics of co-production and active citizenship from the perspective of value creation in local communities and society. He emphasised that it was important to focus on three things:
- the locus where value could be created (or sometimes destroyed) in local communities, and emphasising that co-production often takes place in complex networks and service systems
- the type of value that is trying to be created through co-production
- the differing processes of co-production that may enhance or inhibit this value co-production.