Opss! Lab

Opss – Organizations, Policies and Eco-Social Systems

Open Research Lab

The map is not the territory (Alfred Korzybski)

Scheduled Initiatives / Iniziative in calendario:

  • Next seminars / initiatives / Conferences on Ecological Transitions, Work and Sustinable Welfare here – qui
  • Next publications and special issues on Ecological Transitions, Work and Sustinable Welfare here

> Past events / Eventi precedenti


Marta Bonetti – martabonetti.eu@gmail.com
Giulia Colombini – colombini.giulia@gmail.com
Giacomo Lampredi – giacomo.lampredi@unifi.it
Irene Masoni – irene.masoni@gmail.com
Matteo Villa – matteo.villa@unipi.it

Principal Investigator / Contact: Matteo Villa / matteo.villa@unipi.it

Research topic:

SH1_10 Organization studies: theory & strategy, industrial organization
SH2_1 Social structure, inequalities, social mobility, interethnic relations
SH2_2 Social policies, work and welfare
SH2_5 Democratization, social movements
SH2_7 Political systems and institutions, governance
SH3_2 Environmental change and society
SH3_4 Social and industrial ecology

Scope and objectives:

The members of Opss! Laboratory participate and collaborate since many years in research, training and consulting activities in the field of social policies and social welfare, social exclusion and participation, group, organization, governance processes and democratic organizations, community organization, sustainability.

The activities are mainly developed in collaboration with public and non-profit institutions and local social actors (as also part of University so called “Third Mission”).

From a methodological viewpoint, activities are mainly based on action-research (AR), meant as an embedded, embodied and interdependent path of social construction and cognition in collaboration between researchers and social actors. AR is actualized by blending pragmatist observation, learning and change instruments with systemic analysis, with a particular regard to the cybernetic/complexity theories and for the role of abduction as a legitimate part of the investigation processes and a useful analytical and change strategy to deal with emergent properties of organizations, policies and eco-social systems.

Abduction reflects the process of forming/selecting analytical and explanatory hypotheses in situations in which the previous ones fail, appear obsolete or are simply lacking, enabling recognizing, reconstructing and comparing patterns of interactions, rules and regularities in complex systems. It is therefore defined as the “logic of surprise”. Hence, the link with the acronym of the laboratory, “Opss!”, that is a typical expression that indicates surprise, embarrassment, something unexpected.

The scientific activities of the laboratory are inspired by the principles of Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation.

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Ongoing Research Projects:

  • PLANET4B. Understanding Plural values, intersectionality, Leverage points, Attitudes, Norms, behaviour and social Learning in Transformation for Biodiversity decision making. EU Commission – Horizon 2020.
  • WIDE-ARC: Wellbeing In a Dematerialized Economy: An RRI Conception,University Research Project (PRA, University of Pisa).
  • AUTENS (Sustainable Energy Autarky): Self-sufficiency in Energy Communities
  • Ecoesione: coesione sociale nella transizione ecologica.
  • Welfare sustainability: a pragmatist-systemic approach for ecological researches
    and practices in social policy.

Past Research Projects:

  • Logics of welfare: improving understanding of welfare systems contextualization, organization and implementation processes. An abductive and action-research oriented conmparative study between Italy and Norway.
  • The socio-political construction of citizenship, welfare and well-being in community organisations: a comparative case study between Argentina, Italy and Germany.
  • Organisations on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Action Research case studies of distressed Southern European social enterprises.
  • Culture, organization and modes of governance in the field of grassroots sports: a comparative research between Italy and Norway.
  • Evaluation of measures to combat poverty (CCT).
  • Youth hard pathways towards adulthood. A case study.
  • Dealing with new challenges by increasing usable knowledge? Evaluation action-research towards new forms of collaboration and merging between NGOs.

Reaserch Events, Seminars, Conferences, Presentations

At this page you can find scientific events, seminars and conferences carried out also as part of Opss! Lab activities.
Presentations or other downloadable materials are included.

Outreach, Community and III Mission initiatives and projects

At this page you can find a list of outreach activities (the Third Mission of the University) carried out also as part of Opss! Lab activity. It includes territorial initiatives (research, seminars, training and consulting) in collaboration with groups, associations, nonprofit organizations and public bodies carried out in recent years in different places and contexts.

Latest Publications:

  • Benegiamo M., Guillibert P., Villa M. (2023) (eds.), Work and welfare transformations in the climate crisis: A research pathway towards an ecological, just transition, «Sociologia del lavoro», n. 165 (1), 2023, pp. 9-29, DOI: 10.3280/SL2023-165001oa, [Introduction to the Special Issue “Labor transformations and ecological transition: Work, welfare and social movements in the era of climate justice”].Article in open access: here. Special issue: here.
  • Bonetti, M. [2023], Alle prese con la transizione. Rischi sociali, innovazione e crescita nel progetto di riconversione di una multinazionale del settore automotive in Toscana, in «Sociologia del lavoro», 165(1), Special Issue numero speciale, pp. 68-89. Link here.
  • Cucca, R., Kazepov, Y., Villa, M. (2023) (eds.), Towards a sustainable welfare system? The challenges and scenarios of eco-social transitions, Focus «Social Policy», n. 1/2023, pp. 3-26, https://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.7389/107136.
  • Villa M. (2023), Cambiare o traccheggiare? Politica e lavoro eco-sociale, transizione ecologica e la sfida della complessità: note di campo, in E. Matutini (a cura di), Environmental social work. Lavoro sociale, giustizia ambientale e sostenibilità ecologica, PM Edizioni. Info e abstract qui.
  • Villa M. (2022), La comprensione ecologica deve essere ecologica: note metodologiche su inerenza, immanenza e incorporazione dei processi conoscitivi, in Perullo N., Fadini U. (a cura di), Storia, natura, ecologia. Scritti per Manlio Iofrida, Mucchi Editore, Modena, pp. 305-316, ISBN 978-88-7000-916-3. Download: qui.
  • Masoni I., Villa M. (2021). Hard pathways towards autonomy and adulthood. Understanding youth transition patterns in an Italian fragile area. Italian Journal of Sociology of Education. 13(2), 65-98. DOI: 10.14658/pupj-ijse-2021-2-4
  • Masoni I. (2020), In the homeland of sport for all, in Sport, Welfare and Social Policy in the European Union, Routledge, 2020 (ISBN 978-0-08153-6051-3)
  • Villa M. (2020), Crisi ecologica e nuovi rischi sociali: verso una ricerca integrata in materia di politica sociale e sostenibilità, in Tomei G. (a cura di), Le reti della conoscenza nella società globale, Carocci, Roma
  • Bonetti M., Johansen V.F., Villa M. (2019), Nelle pieghe dell’innovazione. Logiche di welfare in cambiamento in Italia e Norvegia. Rivista delle Politiche Sociali M. 1/2019, gennaio-marzo 2019, pp. 55-74, ISSN 1724-5389, ISBN 978-88-230-2241-6 Link
  • Lampredi, G. (2019), La scienza delle proprietà emergenti. Un approccio circolare alla relazione attraverso Escher, Culture e Studi del Sociale, 4(1), 33-46
  • Lampredi, G. (2019), Il mio braccio è un ramo: L’ecologia della mente tra estensione del corpo e intreccio con il mondo, Scenari n°11, Mimesis edizioni
  • Villa M. (2019), Welfare state and ecological crisis: action-research perspectives towards sustainable social policies, AGROCHIMICA. International Journal of Plant Chemistry, Soil Science and Plant Nutrition of the University of Pisa, ISSN 0002-1857, Area 13, (Special Issue: Proceedings of a Conference Held in Pisa on December 6, 2019)
  • Villa M., Johansen V.F. (2019), What difference does the context of activation make? Challenges and innovations in the Italian and Norwegian local welfare. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 39 Issue: 5/6, pp. 478-493. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-11-2018-0196
  • Bonetti M. and Villa M. (2018), Innovare le politiche sociali in contesti di crisi. Una ricerca-azione locale tra apprendimento e trasformazione organizzativa, in Salvini A. (a cura di), Crisi socio-economica, nuove forme della diseguaglianza e sviluppo sociale, Pisa University Press, Pisa, pp. 99-159, ISBN 978-886741-7292
  • Masoni, I. (2017), Modelli organizzativi nell’ambito dello sport di base: un’analisi comparata tra i sistemi italiano e norvegese, La Critica sociologica LI(202), 43-57
  • Masoni, I. (2017). Cultura e pratica sportiva tra volontariato e intervento pubblico: il caso norvegese. Culture e Studi del Sociale, 2(1), 9-18.
  • Tomei G., Villa M., Ciampi S., Stopponi L. (2017). Le politiche di contrasto alla povertà in Europa, in Leone L., Tomei G., Rinaldi F.M., Misure di contrasto della povertà e condizionalità, MILANO:FrancoAngeli
  • Colombini G., Mazzei M., Baglioni S., Sinclair S., Roy M.J. (2016), Enabling Environment for Social Enterprises. Case Studies Report: Scotland EFESEIIS Project WP5
  • Villa M. (2016), The transformative role of the social investment welfare state towards sustainability. Criticisms and potentialities in fragile areas, Sociologia e Politiche Sociali N. 3/2016 DOI: 10.3280/SP2016-003003
  • Sabatinelli S., Villa M. (2015). Happy ever after in the quasi-market place? The dowry logic of active labour policy in the Lombardy Region, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 35, Issue 11/12 https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-11-2014-0114
  • Villa M. (2015). Autonomia, Individualismo e paradigmi di welfare capitalism: una lettura in chiave ecologica secondo Bateson e Polanyi, in AA.VV. Ecologia, esistenza lavoro, a cura di M. Iofrida, Bologna: Mucchi Editore, coll. Officine Filosofiche, p. 51-70
  • Bonetti M. (2014), Promozione degli abitanti e welfare locale in un quartiere di edilizia residenziale pubblica in Menesini E. e Ruggeri F. (a cura di), Quartiere famiglia e scuola insieme, Franco Angeli, Milano (pp. 46-60)
  • Bonetti M., Villa M. (2014). In the shadow of legalism: understanding community participation in an overly-bureaucratic context, Critical Policy Studies, Vol. 8/4 https://doi.org/10.1080/19460171.2014.950305

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