Grounded Space 2.0 was based on learning from Fifth Space,Grounded Space 1.0, and the ethnographic work of InWithForward. It recognized that the conditions for social R&D were mostly wrong when performed inside organizations. It was too difficult for employees to wear both a delivery and a development hat and to practice what they were learning within a delivery context. It was also difficult for organizations to toggle from compliance and accountability to experimentation and contestation. Having two operating systems was hard on systems that sought consistency and clarity.
Some key learnings that went into Grounded Space 2.0:
Social R&D needs a clear value-base when applying methods and a clear vision when sifting ideas. It’s not experimentation for experimentation’s sake. Who’s this for? Where’s their involvement, agency and power?
Research in organizational and system contexts by “citizens” of those systems tended to produce ideas that were incremental and technocratic in nature rather than genuinely disruptive. If we wanted to produce novel and disruptive ideas, we needed to reach beyond the social services.
Grounded Space 2.0 involves spending a lot more time engaging with community stakeholders and solutions. It involves building relationships with hobbyists, businesses, community organizations and diverse community members in order to tap into their creativity and capacity. It also makes possible the ownership of emergent prototypes by community–whether it is a moral ownership, partnership or actual.