The U·TRANS project was born 15 years ago, with the aim of improving the performance and outcome of research centers, universities and other institutions working on the creation and dissemination of knowledge. At that time, in early XXI century, we started talking about knowledge society and we feel that there was more job than meets the eye.
Organizations going beyond the ultra-efficient, specialized and bureaucratic model of production of goods and services were needed. More cross-cutting work was needed due to the need for impact beyond organizations. Greater awareness on research and innovation was required, and more confidence on market as a provider of solutions to spread opportunities and social welfare. More strategic thinking and a broader scope were also needed to overcome, in a nearby future, the countless ordinary day-to-day problems. More investment was needed in education, provided that knowledge would become the key factor of production. There was a need for a greater coordination among public and private actors working in the same geographical area, due to their common interests. More responsibility, evaluation, and accountability were needed, too.
Today there is plenty of work to be done and our ideal is fully in vigour. We work for impact and social value and U·TRANS is our project, our tool to take forward this mission.
Since a couple of years, we are rethinking U·TRANS and the last step has been to change our location and the place we work in.
Even though we still want to remain a footloose firm, we are aware that an ideal and its project require a physical concretion, which acts as a symbol and expression and a new way for presenting U·TRANS and its values to the world. We needed a new diaphanous, transparent, and multifunctional open space. Beyond professional activity, the new space allows exchange, informal networking between professional of different disciplines, trajectories, ages and with complementary interests. It should also enable creativity, communication, co-creation, learning and knowledge transfer. And why? Because it is a need to replicate the ecosystem within which production processes take place in the knowledge society.
In a moment of deep changes in the social, political and economy spheres, in the post-industrial globalization era, we looked backwards for some inspiration on classic references to set the new space up. And we found the contributions made by the utopian socialists. We appreciate the intellectual and material effort of people who, inheritors of the Enlightenment and during the historical process of the Industrial Revolution imagined – and put into practice in some cases – the best way to create value in spaces that harmonize job with other activities that help personal growth.
Time will judge whether we have been able to create a genuine XXIst century phalanstery in the Sants neighborhood of the city of Barcelona, but this is our sincere desire.
Welcome to U·TRANS new headquarters.