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Intersectional learning : new venues for professional learning in collaborative and transformative formats. PAES 8 october 2013 Linda Lundgaard Andersen Professor. phd Dept . of Psychology and Educational Studies Roskilde University outline.

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Intersectionallearning: newvenues for professional learningin collaborativeand transformative formats

PAES 8 october2013

Linda Lundgaard Andersen

Professor. phd

Dept. of Psychology and Educational Studies

Roskilde University

  • New venues for learning in collaborative and transformative format?
  • My key note argument
  • Concepts of learning and howgoverning principles influence and frame learning
  • Hybridity and hybrid organisations
  • 2 scenarios of intersectionallearning arenas in hybrid organisations
  • Intersectionallearning – coming from a critical landscape of learningtheories
  • Summing up: potentials and challenges

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Professional Lifelong Learning, 6th Conference, June 2013.

Leeds University

roots and horizon
Roots and horizon
  • life history, learning and ethnographies of human service organisations
  • work life learning and administrative procedures in public bodies
  • learning, social entrepreneurship and social innovation in welfare services,
  • democracy, forms of governance, leadership and hybridity in human services ……. leading to
    • a continuousinterest in how and iflearningcanchangepeople, settings, organisations and society = howcantransformativelearningoccur

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning

new venues for professional learning in collaborative and transformative formats
newvenues for professional learning in collaborativeand transformative formats?
  • In contemporary welfare services the organizational – and learning - landscape is under reconfiguration. In a conventional manner of speaking organizations or enterprises is often tripartite in origin: private, public or civic – and this division has naturally been a driving force for much organizational, learning and work place research.
  • Consequently research within the professionals, work life and learning have predominantly been situated within one or several of these organizational types but lesser attention has been devoted to the intersections or weak boundaries between these three entities.
  • These new venues for productivities and learning have different labeling, for instance public-private collaboration, public-civic-private collaboration and partnerships, social enterprises, social business – and share some common features often identified under the term ‘ hybrid organizations’, although they also differ from each other.

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning


In this lecture I offer a critical exploration of these new hybrid organizations and discuss the implications for our theoretical and practical informed understanding of learning and learning arenas. In two scenarios I sketch out the type of professional activities, of governing formats and of learning tasks situated in exemplary hybrid organizations. From this I generate my conceptualization of intersectional learning as new venues for professional learning in collaborative and transformative formats – departing from a landscape of learning concepts and understandings.

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning

key argument
Key argument
  • Hybrid organisations in human service and healthcare is part of an encreasingdevelopment in welfare systems in manycountries – a developmentseeking to develop an alternative economy, new forms of solidarity, of business and organisational models, of empowerment and democracy, of co-productionbetween professionals and citizens
  • As suchtheseentities provide new platforms for human learning and interaction, professional practice, reflections and actions of a perhaps particularpromising kind stemming from the visions and objectives of hybrid organisations, theirgovernance, theirlearning and vocationalpaths and their professional and civicnetworks

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning

concepts of learning
Concepts of Learning
  • Learning theory is rich on concepts on transformative leaning such as experiential and collaborative learning, social learning, situated or action learning as well as more critical concepts like sociological imagination and critical pedagogy.
  • But learning is equivalent a potent tool of implementation, disciplining and alignment and as such paves the way for numerous welfare strategies and societal transformations.
  • Learning therefore is ambiguous and ambivalent due to its capacity of transforming human lives, social structures and organizations but also function as effective tools of political, professional and societal needs and performances
Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Professional Lifelong Learning, 6th Conference, June 2013.

Leeds University

hybridity as a concept
Hybridity as a concept
  • Hybridity is originally defined as a cross between two separate races or cultures. A hybrid is something that is mixed, and hybridity is simply mixture. As an explicative term, hybridity became a useful tool in forming a fearful discourse of racial mixing that arose toward the end of the 18th Century
  • The development of hybridity theory as a discourse of anti-essentialism marked the height of the popularity of academic "hybridity talk“ - to eliminate essentialist thinking and practices (namely racism)
  • To see hybridity as a cultural effect of globalization. For example, hybridity is the ‘cultural logic’ of globalization as it "entails that traces of other cultures exist in every culture
  • Hybridity in linguistics and arts, gender and family
  • …..and now hybridity in organisations as labeling for hybrid formats
one point of view johanna mair 2006
One point of viewJohanna Mair, 2006

Wearguethat social enterprisesmix the economic principles of the market, redistribution and reciprocity and hybridizetheirthree types of economicexchange so thattheyworktogetherratherthan in isolation from eachother

Mair, 2006:318

hybrid organisations a profile
Hybrid organisations – a profile
  • Bothsocial and economic dimensions
    • Incomerecirculation, donations, voluntary participation, commercialrevenue, business activities, inclusion,
  • Relationshipbetweensocial, public and politicalauthority
    • Addedvalue to social organisations in a publicnessgrid
  • Social dimension:
    • local social responsibility, benefitcommmunity and disadvantagedgroup of citizens, one-member-one-vote, stakeholderrepresentatives in governingbody, more relaxed profit distribution constraint
  • Role in society:
    • better distribution of ressources throughcitizensvolunteered time, create jobs, social capital and promote localdevelopment generate a large amount of trust

Mair og Noboa, 2003

hybrid organizations
Hybrid organizations

In our traditions of modernity we used to think about professional expertise as institutionalisedand individually mastered specialist knowledge based on scientific evidence and reason. Today the trend is towards de-institutionalisation, hybrid forms of organisation and co-operative mastering of knowing and knowledge production, towards open expertise produced in multi-actor networks. The paradox concerns the need not only to support organisational and individual learning but also to transfer knowledge and expertise into and from productive practice (Karvinen-Ninikoski, 2003:12)

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning

blended learning in multi functional arenas
Blended learning in multi-functional arenas
  • Multi-functional learning arenas:
    • Motives and motivation: individual drives as payment, acknowledgement, making a difference, to be or become a social entrepreneur
    • Vocational training, peer-to-peer, instructional training, service learning, to become a labor market subject
    • Democracy and governance: how to participate, govern and voice your opinion, how to take on responsibility
    • Develop a social enterprise: organisational drives and structures, strategy, negotiate with local partners, authorities
    • Community work: develop and integrate SE as local business, commnity development and empowerment, co-develop sustainability
reflexive expertice

It seems that expertise will be created co-operatively in multi-professional co-operation and communities, as traditional profession-centred solutions do not work. Organisations are also changing in their constellation and new flexible, light and innovative hybrid networks and knotworksare emerging. Reflexive expertise can be seen as a kind of orientation process relating experience to powerful meanings and calling also for an epistemological standpoint in contextual and experiential factors of knowledge generation.

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning

organisations in transformation
Organisations in transformation

Labels, formats and objectiveschangesmovingtowardshybridity:

    • from employment integration activities to social enterprises and partnerships
    • from secundaryhealthcareactivities (e.g. rehabilitation) to professionel-userco-productionshaped by NGO’s and local society
    • from a primaryhealthpreventivefocus to preventivehealth centers in co-creation with NGO’s, civic society and sometimes private enterprises
  • Consequentlyleading to professions and professionals in transformation:
    • from mono to plural functions and competences
    • from sole authority to co-production and sharedresponsibility
    • From work ‘for’ to working ‘with’

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning

a learning and organisational profile
A learning and organisational profile
  • Hybridityembeds a strong arena of production, vocationalactivities and a learningenvironment
  • Building stones of social entrepreneurship: social value, network, producing, governanceand democracy – in a learningperspective
  • intersectionallearning = learning in intersection: learningoccurs in a multitude of different parallel or displaced arenas including peer-to-peer, vocationaltraining, social learning, learning and practicingdemocracy and governance
  • Mutual affectingeachother – cannotbeunderstood as seperateentitiessincetheyareintertwined - some times for the goodsome times for the bad – leading to transformativelearning and competencedevelopment
blended and intersectional learning
Blended and intersectional learning


  • apply the concept of intersectionality from the feminist sociological concept by Crenshaw and McCall as a methodology of studying ‘the relationships among multiple dimensions and modalities of social relationships and subject formations’.The theory suggests - and seeks to examine how—various biological, social and cultural categories such as gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation and other axes of identity interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to systematic social inequality
  • intersectional learning is then to study the multiple dimensions and modalities of learning, social relationships and subject formations – and to inquire how - and if - this leads to equality and inequality as well as empowerment, competences and life skills
  • Social Enterprise and WISE (work integration social enterprise) in Copenhagen providingjobtraining, recyclingshop, mobile coffeebike, localcommunityacitivities and democracy: culturefood and cultural festivals, handimanbusiness
  • The enterprise had 4 employees: 2 social workers, a handiman and a manager – and a group of 50 localcitizenscoming on a regular basis
  • Based on her phd thesiswork Charlotte Rosenberg performed a microanalysisidentifyingthe intangible aspects of the many and diverse relationships in the different spaces at his enterprise - explaining the details that creates change. The analytical approach was concentrated on the interactions between the individuals participating – uses, citizens and professionals. She observed and noted the imperceptible occurrences which toke place in the coming together of the different individuals and their potential for change.

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning



  • A key feature in understanding the transformations for the users and individuals involved is that there are fluid boundaries between the users, volunteers and activated individuals. One is not necessarily either one or the other, but can flexibly move in and out of the different rolesthat different arenas provide
  • The absence of boundaries provides a variety of options for users to be or becoming in many different ways simultaneously = intersectional learning. Different regulated and unregulated arenas in egrecycling shop, in the coffee shop, in meetings arenas, in handyman business provides spaces for users where they themselves can compose their activity and develop in their own pace and place

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning


The combination of regulated and unregulated arenas in the enterprise is significant for the way in which the users, the volunteers and professionals live their lives and at the same time is significant for the ways in which they perceive themselves and others. The relationship between the staff and the users is equally characterised by smooth and hard elements. There is no one single way of being a member of staff: it is possible to be a member of staff in different ways and the differences also depend on which physical and psychological space the member of staff is participating in. There is no either/or.

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning

the bridge a social economy organisation
The bridge – a social economy organisation

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning

a casestudy
a casestudy
  • Drop in centre for the sociallyexcluded but alsofacilitated the mainstream localcommunity
  • Situated in a provincialtown in Denmark
  • Typical Danish WISE – work integration social enterprisecombining a highdegree of innovation and creativity with a highdegree of public subvention and marketdynamics
  • The Bridge was a quite successful social enterprise that nevertheless had to close down after a number of years due to lack of financial support
activity profile
Activity profile
  • a community project aimed at providing different activities for the local community at large.
  • It hosted a second-hand shop, a textile workshop and a café serving meals at very reasonable rates. The overall objective of community building was combined with goals of work integration, pursued through hiring people on different forms of unemployment benefits for different work tasks within the organisationsold on market terms creating an income
  • The participants were offered different job experiences, according to their own preferences and ability, under the supervision of staff members from the organisation. The organisation foremost operated as a way of kick-starting individual processes of development and qualifications that led to an evaluation of criteria’s for reintegration of participants into the labour market or different educational programs – and to trainthem in participation, decision making and strategicwork
The Bridge combined an innovative drop-in centre for the most socially exposed groups in the local area, but it was also an organisation that applied to mainstream citizens in the local community.
  • At the time when the project was the most dynamic, the Bridge consisted of a second hand shop, a workshop on textile work, a rental shop, a café, several social re-training initiatives and offers for social welfare recipients and long-term disability recipients, a regular gathering point for the cultural activities of local Turks and Kurds and finally an adult education centre offering courses to elder people.
  • The project provided a large group of lonely and worn out people in the local community with a place to expand their social network. The project also made a small income from sale of products and services
the manager
The manager
  • “The positive about this place relates to our legal affiliation. If we come up with new ideas then we are free to implement these – it we have the funding. If we want to do an excursion or another new initiative we can do it. Nobody controls us. I refer to the board and that’s it. The adverse effect on the running of the Bridge is about the limited financial resources – and our market dependence. Some of our ideas – for instance if we would like to have the local people to join us for a dancing evening every week, we are not able to do due to our financial situation. Or if we would like to give open lectures then we need to be able to provide money for that too.”

Ulla, manager

  • ”We have had some income increase. We did a new enterprise where we did theatre make up. We had a significant increase the first year, but the second year income stagnated because we had emptied the market. Our rental shop has its ups and downs depending on how much PR we do. We have been somewhat cautious because we worry that someone would accuse us of unfair competition. The private enterprises are not very happy with us. Many local social enterprises have had similar problems. They are not very likely to help social enterprises that aim at getting individuals in job-activation. They see us as competitors getting funded by the public. So the director of the local labour market administration has offered his help if such a case should turn up.”

Ulla, manager

  • ”The Bridge incorporates what is known as the Danish tradition of a ’Folkehus’ (People’s house) bringing the atmosphere and group identity specific to this. Then we are a ’community house’ for the local people as well. And this is an obstacle. When people join us and want to be part of the Bridge, they are immediately faced with the many practical functions. For one thing to make this café work every day…what happens is that they quickly become volunteers. In reality they are users. But the individual person feels better when being a volunteer. This means that some of the newcomers at once become part of the staff - whereas others become users when they use the sewing workshop to sew their clothes. Some would want to fix something; others would want to learn something. All in all around 54 persons enter the house every day.”
the volunteers
The volunteers
  • “One thing is that it looks good on paper to have volunteers. Another thing is that it is an essential moral message to send to the activated clients: that some are actually here of their own free will. Even though the clients don’t pose the attitude that this is forced labour- there is an element of force in it. So the fact that the clients see that many volunteers slaves – just like me but that is different – and that the volunteers never have a sick day! Thatmakes an impression.”
  • One thingworriesmethough – whenever I am away team work and acitivitiesslowdown. Wereallytryveryhard to involveeverybody – and wearequitegood at this! But when I am not therenobodyseems to takemyplace. They do their jobs and activities but theydon’t bring it further – and wesometimes have to do thatifweare to survive. I have beenthinkingquitehardaboutthis. How to understand this. And the onlything I canthink of is that for somepeoplethis is a very long process”
blended learning in multi functional arenas1
Blended learning in multi-functional arenas
  • Multi-functionallearning arenas:
    • Motives and motivation: individual drives as payment, acknowledgement, making a difference, to be or become a social entrepreneur, lifehistory and learningtrajectories
    • Vocationaltraining, peer-to-peer, instructionaltraining, service learning, to become a labormarketsubject
    • Democracy and governance: how to participate, govern and voiceyour opinion, how to take on responsibility
    • Develop a social enterprise: organisational drives and structures, strategy, negotiate with local partners, authorities
    • Communitywork: develop and integrate SE as local business, communitydevelopment and empowerment, co-developsustainability
summing up
Summing up
  • Hybrid organisations –as demonstrated – canbedisplayed as organisations aiming at human growth and empowerment, social valuesthrough the production af welfare services or products via marketdynamics
  • They offer blended and intersectionallearning in multitude learning arenas – in whichmarginal citizensworkalong side with welfareprofessionals like social workers, social pedagogs and assistents, healthcare professionals, teachers in shared positions and actions, throughco-creation and co-production

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning


Thankyou for your attention

Linda Lundgaard Andersen || Tiltrædelsesforelæsning