Story architects think&DO Collaboratory was founded in 2011 as a private firm (enskild firma), by Jasmine Idun, working in various fields of communication and art, often through collaborative processes and from a CSR/ASR perspective (Corporate/Academic Social Responsibility). In 2015 Jasmine gathered projects related to experience design and interactive and electronic arts under the brand Playcentric Industries & Institute, which also supports the game makers that are working in Collaboratory.

Operating in transdisciplinary markets that did not exist in Sweden meant that I had to go abroad to do research on how I could build a sustainable market and spread knowledge about how to work across borders, merging art and technology, social innovation and technological innovation, and experiment with business models based on non-monetary values like intellectual and social capital. Many think tanks, incubators and co-working spaces were in the making in Gothenburg, and I met many film students, game designers and other artists who asked for meeting spaces. I wanted to take it a step further and focus on doing, not just thinking, writing and talking, and mixing ages and disciplines, building a diverse designer collective and be accessible to people outside of the societal security systems.
Being based at Lindholmen for a couple of years, a place strategically chosen due to the transformations going on, the mixed industries around and because of the hardworking people building the film village there, I felt this was a place where people shared my mindset, drive and working morale. I also worked with art house film and game design so I choose to stay and develop a bigger community driven innovation lab and bring a game focus to the area. When the CEO of the Gothenburg Film Studios (GFS) told me a space would be available we decided to try out something new. I started building my lab and GFS started a cafe for young filmmakers. I had open design meetings, a method I use for collaborative projects where anyone is welcome to take part, so that the future users of the space could have their say about the needs and structures of the lab. A few people got very engaged and we basically started building the space with our own hands and no funding at all. We got old computers and furniture from a few companies and schools nearby, and we shared our own machines and other materials in the space.

Being advised to run a mixed model of a for-profit company and a non-profit organisation I looked for partners to make the organisation stronger. I found a few organisations that were interested in the concept and the space, but no one to start a AB with. So initially we registered a non-profit organisation to make it easy to get started and introduce a membership system where members could pay a fee to cover some costs for the space. The members decided the fee levels together during meetings. In connection to the brand Collaboratory which belongs to Story architect/Playcentric Industries&Institute, a member driven non-profit organisation called Collaboratory local association (Collaboratory lokalförening) existed until 2015. The non-profit organisation was the administrative entity, mainly working with social innovation and culture projects and events. The firm handles production, R&D, partner/public relations and supports all users in the space with their personal development and companies. The last months (2015) it provided the community with 45 paid jobs and contributed to new career titles like makerspace facilitator and digital scenographer. In addition, or instead of a private firm and non-profit organisation, an AB or economical organisation can be founded to create long term sustainability and growth, get in contact if you would be interested in taking Collaboratory to the next level, take responsibility for a part within the organisation, like incubation, administration etc, or franchising the model and set up a Collaboratory in your city. Many people, researchers and organisations have visited Collaboratory to study the concept, and the goal is to have it flexible enough to always be able to develop according to the fast changes in our society and the needs of the people involved.

In 2015 most income came from Playcentric Industries & Institutes own projects which was not sustainable, in addition Lindholmen turned out to not be a collaborative area so the expected synapses did not happen. As a result the contract for the space at Lindholmen was cancelled August 31st and Collaboratory Gothenburg is now looking for a new space and funding partners. The non-profit parts of the model will only continue if the city and region starts supporting it. Collaboratorys events, game dev support, game jams, workshops and pop-up makerspaces continue as usual.

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Collaboratory local non-profit organisation – numbers 2014 (SEK=Swedish krona)

The rent for our space was 30 916 SEK/month. Membership fees were introduced in April 2014, and in 2014 that brought in 83 525 SEK.

Partnership fees brought in 90 000. We had 3 partners in 2014, Gothenburg University, Interactive Institute and Chalmers, who all paid 30 000 each to Collaboratory lokalförening to be associated with the brand. Partners had some activities and employees/members in the space. Since the partners use of the space varied a lot, those fees will change and be adapted to the amount and types of activities partners plan to have in the space, or if they are supporting partners only. Every partnership is discussed and developed together to be as effective for everyone as possible. There are no static fees at this point, we meet and form a collaboration together.

In 2015 Gothenburg University had a couple of lectures in the space and we ran our yearly events. Plan for 2015 was to develop our accelerator and incubator services, focusing even more on art exhibitions and international artist/researcher visits, consulting and process leading labs, HackLabs and game jams, promoting diversity in the game, film and IT industries and expanding internationally.

We are continuing with producing, curating or hosting labs, jams, exhibitions, workshops, hacks, pop up makerspaces, and yearly events and festivals like Make Change, Future city lab, Learn Do Share (fka. DIY days), TEDxLab, The Science Festival including Gbg Mini Maker Faire, GAMERella, Global Game Jam, Ludum Dare, Collaboratory labs and Ninja playshops.

As Collaboratory is not supported by the city or region, even though we help groups of people that are excluded from the normal society support systems, we need support from people who find this concept awesome and want to contribute, contact us if you would like to collaborate and sponsor the future development of this concept.

The Collaboratory lokalförening board was
Jasmine Idun – chairperson
Samantha Hookway – treasurer
Henrik Hörlin – secretary
Fellows – Allen Smith, Christian Holmquist, Asgeir Sigurjonsson, Kjell Håften

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