Nesta hosted this half-day event focusing on opportunities and challenges in Digital Social Innovation.
Over the last few years, we have increased our research into and support of programmes that explore how the internet, digital technologies, and data in new forms and larger volumes are transforming the way social innovation happens, by enabling new ways of developing, making and collaborating. We understand this movement as Digital Social Innovation; and at its heart lies a creative, open and collaborative community.
However, while our recent research and support for projects such as Make Things do Stuff, the Open Data Challenges, Bethnal Green Ventures and our EU funded digitalsocial.eu research project, have demonstrated its potential, this has also highlighted that we are a long way from making the most of the many exciting new opportunities presented by digital technologies.
Looking across the many projects working on digital social innovation, this event gave an overview of the opportunities and the biggest challenges to making the most of these. We worked with DSI experts and policy makers from central and local government in the room to begin explore how we can overcome these.
The day was split into three main parts:
- What do we mean by digital social innovation?
- Increasing the quality and supply of digital social innovation. How to support and create high quality, useful services and products that build on digital social innovation methods.
- Creating the right infrastructure for digital social innovation. What needs to be in place for digital social action to flourish?
Speakers at the event included:
- Cancer Research UK who will share its experience with using Crowdfunding and Citizen Science to involve people in funding and undertaking research ways
- Tomas Diez, co-founder of Smart Citizen and Global Coordinator of Fab Academy will talk about the role of Fablabs and the maker movement in Digital Social Innovation
- Paul Miller, partner at Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) will talk about social tech startups through the BGV accelerator programme for people who want to change the world using technology
- Fran Bennett, CEO of Mastodon C will talk about its work using open source technology and big data methods with a social purpose
- Dan Sutch, Head of Development Research at Nominet Trust will share lessons on helping people and organisations to build the skills to make the most of digital social innovation and supporting DSI ventures
- Chris Taggart, founder of Open Corporates, the largest repository of open corporate data
- Laura James, CEO of Open Knowledge Foundation
- Carl Haggerty, digital communications manager at Devon County Council and Chair of the LocalGov Digital steering group, a network for digital practitioners in local government