Digital technologies allow us capable of social innovation be realized by mobilizing of communities, the parts of resources and the (re) distribute of power. A growing group of innovators develops digital solutions for social problems and challenges, thereby various forms of tapping into collective intelligence.

  • Walking set of social networking for people with chronic diseases, to online platforms for the collecting data on the environment, the use of open data to the government Check. In a recent study are hundreds of these projects have been classified in countries, in order to better understand the phenomenon and to use. Defines Digital Social Innovation (DSI) on the basis of the study, discloses some examples and provides insight into underlying scenarios and trends.

Network effects

 Digital Social Innovation is a growing, relatively young field, so there is still little knowledge about what it is, who the main actors, the activities they perform and how this digital application are used to achieve social impact. DSI is defined as a type of social and collaborative innovation in which innovators, users, and communities cooperate, using digital techniques, knowledge and solutions co-create for a broad spectrum of social needs, on a scale that was unprecedented for the rise of the Internet “.

Five Digital Social Innovation, which creates use of network belongings:

  • Multidisciplinary cooperation aimed at solving social and community problems;
  • Distributed networks without central control, where users keep control over their data;
  • Mobilization and campaigns aimed at promoting social and institutional change;
  • Crowdsourcing, where money and other resources are brought together by individuals; and finally,
  • Empathic networks and self-help through equals (peers), with strong links to created between individuals and groups.

DSI is mostly aimed at strengthening social and environmental sustainability, in which use is made of an array of digital technologies, including social media, crowdfunding, big and open data, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and online education online petitions. Innovation is not a linear process in which R & D leads to implementation and marketing of new products, but complex, dynamic and interdependent process bringing together various stakeholders to achieve common goals.

Technology trends

 An important property of a condition and for DSI is the open nature of the innovation.

DSI is stimulated by four-to-date technological trends:

  • Open hardware. This allows new ways collective ‘make’ possible. A rapidly growing infrastructure of public labs, including fab labs, hacker spaces, and open wet labs is crucial.
  • Open knowledge. This involves co-production new knowledge and mobilizing groups based on open content, open source, open standards and open access. Combine with the use of blogs, wikis, social networks, crowdfunding, crowd mapping, and crowdsourcing.


DSI has in recent years a largely taken flight. This is partly because a DSI number of values that are embraced widening behave. There are now hundreds of organizations and projects in many countries that promote DSI, which include various types of actors own roles.

The results of the projects often remain limited to a dedicated group of participants. The future scenarios allow for the Internet however that scale up enormously can take.