digital social innovation

Across Europe there is a growing movement of people developing inspiring digital solutions to social challenges. We call this digital social innovation (DSI). These digital solutions have developed thanks to big advances in technology, such as the open source and open data movements, low-cost open hardware, crowdsourcing and Internet of Things (IoT). By empowering citizens and engaging them in civic action, they provide new ways of building social movements, delivering public services and creating social impact in fields as diverse as healthcare, education, democracy, environment, transport and housing.


In 2019 the STARTS prize goes to an innovation agency from Barcelona and two artists who work with AI and machine learning.


Thames & Hudson has published the book Futurekind, with a chapter about our project MakeHealth.


Are you working on sustainability and curious to know how new, open technologies can contribute? Join the Amsterdam Social Tech Tour.


How can scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, citizens and creatives best work on solutions for urban issues together?


A fine two-page portrait of Eva Couwens and Bas van Abel of Fairphone in the Dutch newspaper Trouw.


When it comes to food, our demands are high. Could blockchain be the solution to the lack of transparency in de food chain?


Socrates Schouten gives you five priorities in using digital technologies for social innovation.


Fairphone has managed to raise 2.5 million euros through a crowdfunding campaign, that will be used to increase the impact of the fair smartphone.


An overview of fragments, with a short description, as chosen by Marleen Stikker for the third episode of VPRO Zomergasten of 2018.


DSI talks is a series of events that investigates technologies and their ability to solve sustainable challenges.


When should we really be speaking about 'Digital Social Innovation' (DSI)? And what falls outside the realms of DSI?


The British economist Kate Raworth visited the Waag to discuss the application of Doughnut Economics with city makers and councilmen from Amsterdam.


The 2018 STARTS Prize is for MX3D & Joris Laarman Lab (NL) and Giulia Tomasello (IT).


Amsterdam’s radically different tone of voice demonstrated by the newly elected city council on the issue of technology is crystal clear.


Martijn Gerritsen is conducting his thesis research on the use and implications of technology in urban experimentation.


The sharing economy is having an enormous impact on our cities. In the coming years new technological developments will change them even more drastically. The question is: who owns the platforms?


It is hard to participate in classical EC Research programs for civil organisations, social enterprises, co-operations, communities and creative SME’s.


This report, and accompanying guide, produced as part of the DSI4EU project, maps the projects and organisations using technology to tackle social challenges across Europe.


Whereas the DSI (digital social innovation) policy agenda was mainly focused on the level of the European Union, we see that cities are strongest in materializing the DSI idea. It’s likely that the biggest impact is reached when those levels are connected. A new idea that could contribute to this ambition is the ‘third space’. In third spaces, stakeholders from multiple levels come together at urban nodes to shape the future without being preoccupied by administrative boundaries.


Digital technologies and the internet are providing new opportunities to address social challenges. We call this phenomenon digital social innovation (DSI).


Many people, including me, have high hopes for Digital Social Innovation. The traditional models of innovation, to be blunt, have failed us on many fronts. They prove, on the long run, to be disastrous for the planet, for economic equality, for social cohesion and for our sense of self and belonging, by focussing on the economic dimensions and the short run alone.


The first Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) in Ukraine was organized by TechSoup Europe, Fundament and the Civil Network OPORA.


At the Open Innovation 2.0 Conference in Amsterdam (KIT - Royal Tropical Institute), Marleen Stikker received the Open Innovation Luminary award 2016.


Going from poor-to-poor towards peer-to-peer: how do we get to an open, sustainable and purpose economy?


By taking away initiative, enforcing top-down control, and focusing on maximizing efficiency instead of possibility, the smart city is a disaster waiting to happen. Our hope lies in its constituents: the citizens. Citizens can become smart, engaged, and illuminated through mastering the technologies that help them express themselves, connect to others, share their resources and thoughts, and that helps them to reflect so they can decide the best course of action. In short, the technologies that help them to solve their own problems in a better and more thorough way.


The big question is this: do administrators and politicians understand what the consequences of the “smartness” they are injecting into public infrastructures?


On Tuesday February 17th, 2015, the report about Digital Social Innovation (DSI) was presented in Brussels. The last several months, NESTA, ESADE and Waag worked hard to make this happen.


The final report on Digital Social Innovation, titled 'Growing a digital social innovation ecosystem for Europe' was published in February 2015. This report commissioned by the European Commission, DG CONNECT is the first systematic network analysis of the emerging digital social innovation (DSI) ecosystem in Europe.


An interview with Marleen Stikker, co-founder of Waag about her work, influences and social change.


In this blogpost, we introduce five examples of ‘glocal’ digital social innovators. These organisations are creating bridges between local issues and a global group of participants in innovative ways. Since 2013 we are involved in the Digital Social Innovation research project. The European Commission has funded the project to build a living map of organisations that use digital technologies for the social good. As part of the project, we want to explore the different organisations we came across during our research.


The project partners in the EU project Digital Social Innovation (DSI) have published an interim report of 217 pages outlining the developments and players in the field of digital social innovation in Europe.


On 3 February 2014, at the European Commission in Brussels, a one-day policy workshop for Digital Social Innovation (DSI) was organised to share knowledge among policy makers, government agents, and DSI practitioners, and to jointly explore a range of tools that might encourage and accelerate digital social innovation.


A report of the third day of the Amsterdam Urban Innovation Week about 'Redefining Growth' on 19 September 2013.


‘A million people working for nothing, you better give them what they really own,’ sang John Lennon in Power to the people (1971). The times have changed, the circumstances are uncomparable, and yet the call to act is more urgent then ever.


From over 400 entries, the jury made ​​a selection of the 23 most innovative initiatives: De Radicale Vernieuwers. And Fairphone is one of them!


In order to face societal challenges, we need to use the innovation potential of the whole society. Design Thinking and creativity are crucial to the acceptance of innovative applications and technology. It's all about encouraging people to behave sustainably.


The Open Innovation festival in Amsterdam kicked off on 26 November with the soft launch of This new website will inform you on the innovation projects of the City of Amsterdam, among which are the so-called City Challenges. These challenges will soon appear on the website, but were presented today at the C4EU City Challenge Pitch.


Waag stood to the cradle of Apps for Amsterdam, Apps for Noord-Holland and Apps for the Netherlands, and soon the contest Apps voor Europe will start.