In order to respond with new services to meet people’s need for well-being and a social life, one of the contemporary solutions is ‘collaborative welfare’. The name reflects the fact that services are based on reciprocity. The giver and the recipient are both active participants and contribute to creating value in terms of individual and collective growth. It is also known as ‘generative welfare’, since the resources invested trigger others and create additional value, or ‘community welfare’ to emphasise how individuals take part in constructing services.
These forms differ from traditional welfare, which requires the presence of a public or private entity that provides services and resources. For public welfare, it is the State that guarantees services to citizens, while in company welfare the services are given by the company to its employees.
There are also cases in which all these stakeholders come together to coordinate and optimize services for the community. One interesting project in Italy is Welfare Bene Comune (‘Welfare as a Common Good’), an initiative launched by municipalities in the province of Padua that includes the creation of a platform through which goods and services (medical, mental health, social assistance and social care) are offered, integrating public welfare with corporate, regional and local welfare. In the first few months of 2020, the platform was set up to provide health and information services to meet the needs arising from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
To learn more on this topic, an interesting resource is the AICCON website, a study centre for the promotion of the culture of cooperation, promoted by the University of Bologna, Italy.