Academic publications about or relating to Karrot, solidarity sharing practises, or food sharing.
Relevant fields are:
- (S)HCI: (Sustainable) Human–computer interaction
- CSCW: Computer-supported cooperative work
- Community Economies
By drawing on past CSCW and SHCI scholarship engaged with how technology can support the collaborative work of organising activism and empowering people to respond to diverse sustainability challenges– my research contributes to the emerging field of digital civics by introducing the human geography concept ‘community economies’ as a new way to frame and determine the scope of the design of digital technologies for infrastructuring food waste activism. Using a combination of ethnographic research and participatory action research (PAR), the empirical data were collected through two long-term collaborations with food-sharing communities in Denmark and Sweden and through a collaboration with researchers on a related project that focused on a food-sharing community in Germany. The findings and contributions of the work include (1) the identification of the key concerns, values, and existing sociotechnical practices involved in establishing and maintaining activist food-sharing communities, (2) insights into and reflections on the design of sociotechnical practices that support food-sharing as a form of community economy, considering challenges such as recognising the variegated capacities of participants and balancing diverse and sometimes conflicting community values, and (3) the determination of how new food-sharing communities scale their impact in different ways such by growing larger, joining forces with other local food initiatives, or proliferating by learning from similar, more established communities in different locations. The discussion centres around three key dimensions that address the research questions; food-sharing as activism, designing sociotechnical sharing and governance practices, and designing community economies. Within these areas, I discuss the tensions that emerged regarding the role of technology in the three communities and unpack how a combination of existing mainstream technologies and bespoke civic technologies act as an infrastructure for the organisation, enactment, and proliferation of community-led food-sharing initiatives.
Learning from Other Communities: Organising Collective Action in a Grassroots Food-sharing Initiative
@Katie_Berns / others
This paper illustrates the work of creating, infrastructuring, and organising a food-sharing community from the ground up. Drawing on Participatory Action Research (PAR) and a three-year engagement with FoodSharing Stockholm, the paper shows how the processes of starting up a grassroots initiative are shaped by participants’ direct experience and knowledge of similar initiatives. The analysis draws attention to: (1) how central activities such as recruiting volunteers, choosing digital tools, and establishing partnerships with food donors are conceived and organised, (2) the concrete challenges of sharing surplus food, such as adopting a distribution model and negotiating fairness, and (3) how governance and decision-making models are adopted and (re)negotiated over time. The paper introduces the term Collective histories of organising to capture the impact that learning from previous experiences can have on communities’ efforts to set up and run. Moreover, it re-orients design visions towards the consideration and adoption of existing sociotechnical practices, rather than always aiming at novel digital explorations. We outline three emerging dimensions that characterise “Collective histories of organising” as a concept, (1) configuring capacities, (2) configuring sociotechnical practices, and (3) configuring participation. The paper contributes practical sensitivities, for both designers and other food-sharing communities, to build, sustain, and infrastructure surplus food-sharing initiatives.
From Surplus and Scarcity toward Abundance: Understanding the Use of ICT in Food Resource Sharing Practices
@Butze / others
23 September 2023
Food practices have become an important context for questions around sustainability. Within HCI, sustainable HCI and human-food-interaction have developed as a response. We argue, nevertheless, that food practices as a social activity remain relatively under-examined, and further that sustainable food practices hinge on communal activity. We present the results of action-oriented research with a grassroots movement committed to sustainable food practices at a local, communal level, thereby demonstrating the role of ICT in making food resource sharing a viable practice. We suggest that the current focus on food sharing might usefully be supplemented by attention to food resource sharing, an approach that aligns with a paradigm shift from surplus to abundance. We argue for a design that aims to encourage food resource sharing at a local level but that also has wider ramifications. These “glocal” endeavors recognize the complexity of prosumption practices and foster aspirations for “deep change” in food systems.
(Re-)Distributional Food Justice: Negotiating conflicting views of fairness within a local grassroots community
19 April 2023
Sustainable HCI and Human-Food-Interaction research have developing interest in preventing food waste through food sharing. Sustainability requires attention to both the opportunities and challenges associated with the building of food sharing groups engaged in the redistribution of food but also in developing a wider agenda which includes, for instance, the local production of food resources. In this paper, we argue for a better understanding of the different conceptions of ‘fairness’ which inform volunteer and guest practice and in turn mediate community-building efforts. We examine the practices surrounding ‘SharingEvent’ and challenges faced to sustainability by the heterogenous, and sometimes contested, commitments of the people involved. We further consider how ICT provided opportunities for explicit examination of ideological differences concerning what ‘sharing’ might mean. Our findings show that community building is dependent on the negotiation of different values and purposes identified. We derive recommendations for action-oriented researchers ultimately concerned with systemic transformation.
@Katie_Berns / others
21 June 2021
https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3461564.3461582 (not open access)
This paper addresses the sociotechnical challenges of organising queuing at large scale, face-to-face, food-sharing events. The authors have partnered with a grassroots food-sharing community, FoodSharing Copenhagen (FS-CPH), to reconsider queuing practices at food-sharing events. The results present three “queuing canvases” that illustrate how FS-CPH members envision digitally mediated queuing at food-sharing events. The paper outlines three themes that emerge from this design work: communicating activism through queuing, encountering others through queuing, and transparency in queuing mechanisms. We discuss how the envisioned ideas illustrate novel perspectives on queuing in volunteer-driven settings, while sometimes falling back on accepted norms and common expectations of how queuing should work. To address this, we present a set of sensitivities, for designers and activists alike, to design for queuing in settings where non-monetary sharing is central.
07 May 2021
https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3411764.3445059 (not open access)
This paper investigates the practices of organising face-to-face events of a volunteer-run food-sharing community in Denmark. The ethnographic fieldwork draws attention to the core values underlying the ways sharing events are organised, and how - through the work of volunteers - surplus food is transformed from a commodity to a gift. The findings illustrate the community’s activist agenda of food waste reduction, along with the volunteers’ concerns and practical labour of running events and organising the flow of attendees through various queuing mechanisms. The paper contributes to the area of Food and HCI by: i) outlining the role of queuing in organising activism and ii) reflecting on the role that values, such as collective care and commons, can play in structuring queuing at face-to-face events.
@Vasilis_Ntouros / others
22nd April 2021
Despite sharing economy’s promise of a novel, inclusive and community building socio-techno-economic system, sharing economy has been indicted, among others for profiteering from previously private and occasionally non-monetized activities, for turning the activity of sharing into an individualistic and impersonal one, for reproducing stereotypes and creating precarious jobs. In the epicenter of such critiques are the ‘big’ and ‘limelight-ed’ platform-firms, such as AirBnB and Uber and the digital infrastructures they employ. To the best of our knowledge, the majority of related research focuses on sharing economy platforms of this ilk. In response, acknowledging that the problem is not the agency of the digital in the activity of sharing per se, but that the wrong people set the terms, design and benefit from this mediation, we find it timely to explore the existence of community-driven sharing economy initiatives and explore how they use the digital to support their ends. As a result, in this paper we report from our engagement with a ride-sharing initiative, called ‘Share the ride ;)’ that has operated within a Facebook group since 2009 and is the most popular ride-sharing ‘platform’ in Greece. Extrapolating from our findings and while adopting a ‘Solidarity HCI’ approach, a call to design for ‘human’ rather than market needs, we participate in the ‘sharing discourse’ by providing design implications for the development of sharing economy platforms which can favor community building, participation, self-organization and the nurturing of a generative sharing ideology. To this end, we suggest the development of malleable sharing economy platforms and of mechanisms that can support the development of relational trust(s) and enduring social connections. Finally, we underscore that in order to favor the establishment of such relations, those platforms should employ architectures which esteem pluralism and self-affirmation.
Is it possible to reduce food waste on the final stages of the supply chain by turning the unsold surplus into a commons, managed by and for a community? What does it take to turn this food excess into a shared resource? The paper explores these questions by making an in-depth qualitative analysis of two case studies: Foodsharing in Germany and Solidarity Fridge in Sweden. The cases show that there are some clear characteristics similar to the governance of other
common-pool resources, but also that the commons approach to reducing food waste finds itself in a legal gray zone and is dependent to a great extent on other market players. The paper also highlights the importance of digital tools and sharing of knowledge in allowing this model be
scalable and widespread.