The increasing integration of technology and everyday life creates a new set of challenges in multiple fields. The fully connected world, in which virtual and physical layers interact seamlessly is a goal envisioned and pursued by many, yet there are some major obstacles in the way of achieving it. One of the fundamental differences between previous systems and the envisioned solution, from information technology point of view, is the diffusion of the roles of service providers and consumers. Traditional solutions, with fixed roles and abstracted physical layers can be too rigid to address the arising challenges. In order for these systems to work, they have to be vastly more scalable and account the physical layer too in the system architecture. In this paper, we investigate and show some examples and notable works on a possible solution to these problems, the field of participatory systems. In a participatory system, the roles of client and service providers are diffused, clients are working together as an integral part of the system, pooling their resources and providing services among themselves.