Among the legacies of the international economic crisis of 2008 in Italy, we can mention the revival of the debate on the "pluralization" of welfare system and the reconfiguration of the relationship between public and private sectors to better meet the expansion of social needs - more and more diversified and individualized - such as long term care. In this scenario, mutual organizations have gained momentum, disclosing their contribution in the welfare system innovation processes. The article scrutinizes the reasons underlying the attention that mutualism is catalyzing and sheds some light on the specific role of the mutual aid societies. It uses the long term care policies as a test bed for reflecting on some of the issues that lay at the basis of welfare systems: the socialization of social risks, aggregation of social demand on welfare provisions, public-private partnership, and fundraising and resources allocation.
Keywords: Welfare mix, mutual aid organizations, long term care policies, social innovation