Playbook: SAMVERKET – a philosophical, but practical, guide to co-operation and innovative power in the public sector

The purpose of this playbook is to collate and share all the thoughts, lessons and outcomes that emerged from the Vinnova-funded project, Samverket. Our idea is not for the playbook to be read from cover to cover. Instead it should serve as a source of inspiration based on what you currently want to focus on. That’s why the playbook is divided into separate chapters where we describe how each separate component has helped us to shape Samverket as a whole. There are many target groups for this playbook, including those who are generally interested in Samverket as a concept and phenomenon, and those wishing to establish new hubs of co-operation for both the public and private sectors. The playbook can also act as a source of inspiration for organisations that wish to develop and strengthen their own workplace and culture.

About Samverket

Samverket is a national concept and infrastructure grounded in needs expressed in Vinnova’s Impact Innovation program, the EU’s Horizon program and others, regarding new types of co-operation models. The concept has been developed based on existing research into co-working and what it is that builds trust, transparency, effective co-operation, creativity and innovation. It is powered by people’s engagement and curiosity in societal development, and it is enabled by culture, premises, processes and facilitation. It is a concept aimed at strengthening co-operation, developing and making existing organisations more efficient, and providing support so that the public sector can collectively become even more solution-oriented, flexible and innovative in order to solve the complex societal challenges that currently end up in the gaps between organisations and existing remits. Additionally, we believe that these neutral and equal places throughout Sweden will help the public sector become an even more attractive employer by enabling lifelong learning and greater flexibility in terms of workplace and choice of lifestyle environment. Samverket has been designed as a complement to the current office and home workplace by being and acting as the third workplace. It is a neutral place with no roles and titles nor the constraints of current remits and processes. It is a place to create “loose ties” to others in the public and private sector. The spaces are designed to stimulate co-operation, learning and creative working by providing environments that enhance psychological safety, transparency and involvement in all the activities that take place there. To succeed in this, the community manager is an incredibly important role for creating a welcoming, safe and creative environment, and also to connect people, interests and needs. Furthermore, it is important that all members feel responsible for creating the culture, environment and involvement in the topics and activities that take place. The project has been monitored by four researchers and the preliminary results demonstrate the clear value and importance of these types of places for boosting learning and creativity, and helping the public sector be an attractive employer for the future. Samverket is a place for informal and effective co-operation.