After 1,5 years of exciting work, the DSI4EU project is coming to a close. Seven partners have been working across Europe to scale and grow 'digital social innovation' (DSI), also known as 'social tech' or 'tech for good'. It has been an interesting time in which we got to know many new initiatives and progressed in our learning about the success factors for DSI.
Earlier in the project, the project published mapping reports on the state of play of DSI in six different clusters. These topical clusters included health and care, digital democracy, migration and integration, skills and learning, cities and urban development, and food, environment and climate change. Next to that, we published trend reports and the DSI Index measuring European cities' DSI readiness.
Now we are excited to launch six special publications that celebrate the lively field of DSI. In these products, the six cluster leads each selected a topic that they were triggered by most and wanted to bring to the light. Here we present these six fruits of particular interest, in no particular order.
- Berlin-based betterplace lab, lead of the Migration and integration cluster, has been on top of 'refugee tech’ in the last couple of years. Out of care and concern for refugees and newcomers, many citizen groups and NGOs organised to offer networks, shelter, and language lessons. Many of them found the internet a good platform to do so at scale. Betterplace’s Ben Mason discusses what happened after the initial (euphoric) wave of refugee apps. Which solutions flatlined, and which actually took off? Download the pdf.
- Fab Lab Barcelona, who ran the Skills and learning cluster, took it on themselves to make what you could call a workshop in a booklet: 'A guide for developing DSI ideas'. From cover to cover, this engaging read provides exercises and tools that help you create new DSI ideas and fool-proof them. The guide is especially geared towards civil society groups and DSI incubators and lays extra emphasis on the development of new skills for DSI. And what’s more, it is a candy for the eye. Download the pdf.
- WeMake, based in Milan, led the Health and Care cluster of DSI4EU. Zoe Romano, Serena Cangiano and Maddalena Fragnito have solid experience in open care projects and now published the 'Guide for Open Source Medical Devices'. If you are developing DIY medical solutions, when and how could you run into certification requirements? WeMake based this beautifully designed guide on the webinar they held featuring Carmelo De Maria and Licia di Pietro, which was part of a series of online DSI discussions on health and care. Download the pdf.
- The Polish ePanstwo Foundation has been observing many different types of collaboration between governments and civil society organisations (CSOs). Based on this experience, they decided to bundle together their insights in the guide 'Social Innovation in the Digital Democracy Era'. As an extra, they designed an overview of 'models of collaboration' which helps DSI practitioners and policy makers alike to navigate the world of collaborations and make better decisions. Download this pdf and this pdf ('Models of collaboration').
- Waag, the institute for technology and society hailing from Amsterdam, published 'A strategy for urban data'. This report saw the light thanks to design meetups organised in the context of DSI4EU but also the collaboration with AMS Institute on data sharing. In this report, Waag discusses common misconceptions on 'what it it all about' in data sharing and argues towards well-organised 'data commons' for the city. Download the pdf.
- And last but certainly not least, we bring you the 'DSI Ideas Bank', produced by Barcelona Activa. The Ideas Bank aims to share some of the most exciting examples from across the world, in all their diversity, and to support city governments to adapt and replicate these ideas for their own contexts.
The Ideas Bank sits as a companion to the DSI Index, which measures how 60 EU cities fare on over 30 variables which can support DSI to grow and scale its impact. Download the pdf.
Final conference in Warsaw
And you can be there! 'New urban visions: Bringing digital social innovation into City Hall' will take place in Warsaw on 25th June. This event features speakers including Catherine Stihler (Open Knowledge Foundation), Nataliia Vyniarchuk (Transparency International) and Sander van der Waal (Waag’s Future Internet Lab); the pioneering European DSI Index and collection of visions for the future of DSI, both launching on the day; and you can meet experts and practitioners and take part in interactive workshops exploring success factors for DSI.
If it helps smoothen your ride to Warsaw: we still have bursaries available to support people's travel costs to get to our final DSI event in Warsaw on 25th June - available for those travelling from certain countries typically under-represented at these events. Get in touch if you're interested!