About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Five stories of digital social innovation

As highlighted in our recent study, the term digital social innovation covers a wide range of different uses of digital technologies to solve social challenges, from crowdfunding campaigns with a social purpose to creating transparency through opening up government spending data.

In our work on www.digitalsocial.eu, we have mapped more than 1000 different examples of this. In the films below, we take a look at five stories of digital social innovation in more detail.

Hannah Keartland, Citizen Science Lead at Cancer Research UK, describes how the charity has changed and how it undertakes research and raises awareness about cancer through developing citizen science projects, such as the Cellslider and Genes in Space, where citizens can help analyse cancer data and advance cancer research.

Chris Taggart, founder of Open Corporates, tells the story of how access to open data and data analysis methods has helped Open Corporates develop the largest global corporate database, which helps visualise the often very complex corporate structures of global companies such as Goldman Sachs.

Jonathan Waddingham from Just Giving explains how crowdfunding, best known as a new way of financing creative projects on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, can also be used to fund projects with a social purpose – demonstrated by Just Giving's work on their own crowdfunding platform YIMBY.

Tomas Diez, from Fab Lab Barcelona talks about the potential in open hardware and the maker movement as a driver for digital social innovation, and how it helped him and his co-founders to develop the Smart Citizen Kit, a tool that enables citizens to measure and share their own environmental data.

Finally, Laura James CEO of Open Knowledge, highlights the opportunities in the free and open sharing of knowledge and how Open Knowledge as an organisation is promoting this.


Peter Baeck

Peter Baeck

Peter Baeck

Director of the Centre for Collective Intelligence Design

Peter leads work that explores how combining human and machine intelligence can develop innovative solutions to social challenges.

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