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.

Over the last few years we’ve seen an impressive growth in projects and organisations using digital technologies such as open hardware, open data and crowdsourcing to tackle social challenges, with inspiring examples of scale and partnerships with public services.

As part of the EU-funded DSI4EU programme, Nesta has been studying this growth and used the digitalsocial.eu site to map the organisations and projects working on digital social innovation across Europe.

What next for digital social innovation?

Our event on May 16 was specifically designed for policymakers, funders and practitioners to share how to make the most of the opportunities in digital social innovation, through new approaches to funding, policy and partnerships with public services.

Themes discussed included: lessons about growth and impact from the innovators themselves; building capacity in the non-profit sector to make the most of DSI; funding, investment and business models for DSI; and emerging city-based strategic approaches to DSI.

We also looked at what emerging technologies mean for the future of DSI.

Woman speaks at podium

Tour of London’s most exciting DSI centres

Following the event, on May 17 practitioners, policymakers, and civil society groups from across Europe took a tour of some of London’s most exciting DSI centres.

In partnership with the best of London’s Tech for Good organisations, including the Open Data Institute, Bethnal Green Ventures, Makerversity, Center for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST) and Machines Room, participants visited a number of venues and gained an overview of some amazing projects which are delivering real social impact.

Neon Makerversity sign

Each organisation hosted for an hour and offered a short workshop with opportunities for networking, conversation and knowledge exchange.

What next for digital social innovation? Realising the potential of people and technology to tackle big challenges

Published to coincide with the event, our report - and accompanying guide- produced as part of the DSI4EU project, maps the projects and organisations using technology to tackle social challenges across Europe, and explores the barriers to the growth of digital social innovation.