Rebecca Pera and Giampaolo Viglia, two international university researchers, are studying the dynamics of innovation, in particular with interest in the communities in which individuals work in collaboration with one other and contribute to the social and cultural capital of the community. They want to understand the motivations and the values that characterize this community.

That’s why they are asking the community of Fabbers around the world to participate in their survey (before Thursday July 25, 2013!).

FabLab members tend to foster collaboration, working successfully but in a different way than traditional companies who don’t tend to collaborate do. This new productive community has been called a “alter brand community”. This sort of community offers an ideal environment for the application of collaborative innovation: they can be described as noncommittal, experimental, playful, educational, collaborative, visual, filled with richness and diversity of content, skills, magical opening up of world-creating possibilities for belonging.

This university study wants to know: From a social point of view, do Fabbers co-create? Are they collaborative within the community, and what happens with members outside it? Do they share a strong we-ness feeling?

The researchers hypothesize that well-being is the main driver to collective creativity and that the activities, the projects and the collaborative spaces (such as FabLabs) are stimulated and enhanced by Fabbers’ well-being. The dimensions that define wellbeing, which are tested in the study, are: self-acceptance, autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others. These six dimensions are crucial aspects of personality in order to understand if Fabbers are, in the end, happy people and if this is related to co-creation.

Which leads us to wonder: are fabbers happy people because they collaborate? Which of the six elements listed are the ones that best foster innovation?

These researchers need your help!

If we want to know the answer, we all need to sacrifice just 15 minutes of our time to take this survey developed by Pera (who teaches marketing and user innovation at the Università del Piemonte Orientale and at the Politecnico di Milano) and Viglia (a post-doc student at the Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona). As an additional incentive, survey participants can win a €100 gift certificate to amazon (which now stocks 3D printers and supplies, incidentally). But most of all, if you participate in the survey, you’ll be continuing your role as a happy, collaborative fabber!


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