The summary of the results of project #WELCO on collaborative welfare practices opens up new scenarios for corporate culture too


A company grows better in a place that shares common social principles. It is the cohesion of a system made up of entrepreneurship, work and sociability that is often the winning formula to achieve growth and development. However, examples to follow are required, as are stories from which inspiration can be drawn. “Il Welfare collaborativo. Ricerche e pratiche di aiuto condiviso” (Collaborative welfare. Research and shared help practices) curated by Sergio Pasquinelli for the Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale – Institute of Social Research – (IRS), is a good example of something to read better to understand the bonds between the territory and welfare.

The research starts with project #WELCO on collaborative welfare practices in the Lombardy region. It includes a collection of experiences that entail interaction, exchange, mutual support among individuals and organisations. The logic underpinning the investigation is that of connection, of inclusion and of prevention of social fragility. An area where companies can also play their part.

The project was promoted by IRS – in partnership with ARS, the Association for Social Research – and was conducted with entities from the tertiary sector, with social partners from Lombardy and the Municipality of Milan.The spheres of activity taken into consideration are: family, mobility, digital platforms, and territorial hubs.The history, evolution and prospective activities of each are illustrated.

The conclusions of the investigation identify first of all all five key words: trust, proximity, belonging, affinity and leadership. Words which, on closer inspection, can also be found in any good corporate culture. On each one, the curator “practices” a spot-on analysis of the bonds with reality. So, for example, he identifies the concept of “convenient faith”, i.e. compatible with the real means of the territory and of the entities involved. He then moves on to the comparison between collaborative welfare  and sharing economy reasoning on the pros and cons and on the confusion that a superficial glance may generate. Then collaborative welfare  itself is represented properly in a graph that groups together the conditions of the territory and of the people with the interests of the latter.

The work curated by Pasquinelli is not always easy to read, yet it is a useful tool to find out a little more about new aspects of the territory – mid-way between economy and sociality -, in which companies and workers can play a new and compelling game.



Il Welfare collaborativo.Ricerche e pratiche di aiuto condiviso (Collaborative welfare. Research and shared help practices)

curated by Sergio Pasquinelli

Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale, 2017