The Give&Take project

Give&Take co-designs an innovative digital platform that enables senior citizens to reciprocally exchange services and resources, creating new opportunities for senior citizens to contribute to society as volunteers and caregivers in their local communities. The Give&Take project is funded under the EU’s AAL programme.

Through social and digital media innovation the Give&Take project:

  • Strengthens the quality of life of senior citizens through occupation and social engagement as a key to mental, social and physical fitness.
  • Explores the societal potential of informal community support and civic engagement for tasks currently supported by the public sector.
  • Improves the ability of senior citizens to live as independently as possible.

A shift from public care services to informal community support and civil engagement not only empowers seniors but also prevents dependencies and increased public consumption – several national and European projects have demonstrated how volunteering networks are defining new learning opportunities and ways to contribute to society. The senior citizens have untapped knowledge and experience, time and energy, as well as their own financial resources to contribute as citizens, volunteers, and particularly as workers and consumers.

Senior citizens desire engagement in society and the public sector needs to engage civic society in order for the welfare system to survive. The Give&Take cross-media platform solution is prepared to interface with the public elderly care system as well as in independent local senior organizations.

Give&Take co-designs with users

Throughout the project we work closely with primary end-users; senior citizens in Austria and Denmark. The initial exploration of current experiences of service exchange, and of needs, values, and criteria for an effective service exchange is done in an Open Community mode with groups of 20-25 senior citizens. We use a mixed-methods approach based on design laboratories thinking, including dialogue meetings, workshops, public events and ethnographic techniques such as observations and interviews. In the second project phase we work intensively in a LivingLab based approach with interest based and local communities of smaller groups of citizens in Denmark and in Austria. Through these LivingLabs we rehearse new sharing practices and adapt the Give&Take platform to these practices. In the final deployment phase we roll out the revised prototype for everyday exploration in a wider selection of communities in Austria and Denmark.

We also work with secondary end-users representing local neighbourhoods, senior organizations, care organizations and public care units.

To ensure a sustainable business model and societal integration of our Give&Take solution we work with tertiary end-users like private or public elderly care organisations and units that can have an economic advantage or increased efficiency through the Give&Take service, or public sector service organizers who contribute in enabling or paying the service, and who have an interest in measuring.



Our method – how we work

Give&Take combines the Design Laboratory, an innovative methodological platform for co-design and user involvement, with LivingLab and Open Community approaches. Design Laboratories facilitate open collaborations between many stakeholders (e.g. researchers, industrial partners, seniors, senior organizations, municipalities etc.) sharing a mutual interest in design research in a particular field. LivingLabs are design and experiential platforms that allow us to understand and evaluate the Give&Take concept and platform for service sharing in an everyday context.

The core of the process is a series of co-design events, where all stakeholders participate in activities that focus on mutual skitched-20140430-121434experimentation and learning. Interaction with design laboratories have been care

fully planned and organised by the scientific and municipality partners to allow continuous feedback from end-users, in the different phases of the project. Socialsquare and TakeTheWind ensure that the Give&Take prototype is developed through iterations between sketches, wireframes, specification, design, development and evaluation.




The consortium and project facts

The project consortium consists of research organisations, SME technology providers, end-users representatives and end-users.

Project partners

IT University of Copenhagen ITU RTD Denmark
Socialsquare SSQ SME Denmark
TakeTheWind TTW SME Portugal
Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) TUW RTD Austria
Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design KADK RTD Denmark
Frederiksberg Municipality FRB Other Denmark

Scientific coordinator: IT University of Copenhagen, Lone Malmborg

Project period: 2014-05-01 to 2017-04-30

Project budget: €1.601.762 of which 66% €1.056.268 is requested AAL contribution