Amicitia is the Latin word for friendship, and it is in the spirit of this that the project is founded.
The history of friendship and the underlying benefits of strong mutual relationships have been debated for many centuries. From the earliest philosophers to modern day cognitive scientists friendship is seen as a conduit for both good health and happiness. To Aristotle friendship was viewed as the art of holding up a mirror to each other’s souls and it is through this reciprocal mirroring that we can improve our individual self.
With work playing such an integral part of our lives it is important to consider systems that can create friendships within the workplace. By collaborating and working together towards new solutions in the spirit of friendship, we can design alternatives, and we can create a better, healthier, society.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, different fields such as business and engineering have regarded design as a significant strategic advantage for innovation and change (organisational, social, technological, etc …). Design problems are hard to solve because they are inherently complex and this complexity increases the difficulty in understanding them and finding reasonable ways to resolve them.
The task of designing the outcome at the same time as the context is embedded in design problems. Furthermore, no problem ever exists in complete isolation—every problem interacts with other problems and is, therefore, part of a set of interrelated problems. Because of this interconnectedness of problems, the design problem-solving process has to be a multidisciplinary endeavor—functional disciplines working in close collaboration.
Co-creation place multidisciplinary design teams and users at the centre of the innovation process, not only ensuring that products and services are designed for them but, also, with them. A fundamental belief in the practice of co-creation is that people can generate new ideas and make decisions relevant to their future needs and dreams.
Technological advances have the potential to transform communities, change the nature of work and create new systems of health and wellbeing. But they may also lead to the degradation of environment, grow class divisions and create vast inequality across society.
People-centered development of technology systems is an approach that focuses on improving local communities by introducing solutions that safeguards against any negative consequences.
The open-source model of software development offers a good example of holistic technology implementation. These principles can be extended beyond software development to multiply effort and share the workload to grow communities.
Design is continuous within Amicitia’s circular system. It is important to create feedback cycles and learn from the input we receive along the way.
We then use these feedback loops to collect and explore the next steps and iterate our design. This process continues to add value to both the business and social aspects of the project as it evolves.
Specialised training systems help to build the confidence of our team and encourages further growth in the system.
In recent years business has been criticized as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. Companies are widely thought to be prospering at the expense of their communities. By focusing short-term financial performance, they overlook the greatest unmet needs in the market as well as broader influences on their long-term success.
A shared-value approach can reverse this trend. This is a strategy to find business opportunities in social problems and redistribute business surpluses to strengthen communities.
Community is at the heart of all our endeavours. By designing systems embedded in local communities we can begin to tackle some of the complexities which lead to social decline.
Strong communities offer places that allow people to connect and share experiences. The elderly and disabled have easy access to vibrant townlands with employment oppostuinites and community support networks stretching to the hinterland.