Scaling Out, Scaling Down: Reconsidering growth in grassroots initiatives

New paper out , co-authored with Airi Lampinen and Christofer Gradin Franzén.

Abstract. In this paper, we reflect on how scaling out – recreating and reconfiguring horizontally the most promising practices across contexts (Manzini, 2015) – can help local, grassroots initiatives to grow in a socially sustainable fashion and to sustain their action over time. We ground our discussion on the case of Hoffice, a self-organizing network that is experimenting with an alternative social model for collectively organizing and supporting flexible forms of work. In a prior ethnographic study of the Hoffice network (Rossitto & Lampinen, 2018), we outlined the socio-technical practices and values that characterise this community. We complement this previous piece by zooming in on the community’s struggles in the face of rapid growth. We conclude by proposing a way to rethink the challenges that growth can pose.

The paper will be presented at the Ethnographies of Collaborative Economies Conference, and can be found here.

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