Back to top

Digital Social Innovation EU Project

Author: Nesta
Published Date: 4 September 2013

The European Commission, DG Connect, has commissioned a study to map the digital social innovation field in Europe led by Nesta and delivered in partnership with Esade Business School, Waag Society, Institut de Recherche et d'Innovation, FutureEverything and Swirrl.

The vision is for Europe to be the best possible environment to encourage digital social innovation.

At the heart of the programme is, which aims to create a pan-European network of organisations and people that use the internet for social good, maximising its network effect.

The site shows the working connections between the various digital social innovators and enables both practitioners and policymakers to understand what services, standards or digital projects are being developed. In time, the site will be an open database of case studies and potential funding opportunities.

Alongside they will be publishing three study reports throughout the project that focus on:

  • A typology and overall framework of digital social innovation, developed through case study analysis
  • A network analysis of the organisations and people in the field
  • Recommendations for how different levels of policies from city to national and EU level can best support digital social innovation across Europe 


Digital social innovation enables people to collaborate using digital technologies (such as open data, open knowledge, open hardware, and open networks) to co-create knowledge and solutions for a wide range of social needs and at a scale that was unimaginable before the rise of Internet-enabled platforms.

Examples of digital social innovation include: Arduino, Smart Citizens Kit, Confine, Open Corporates, Your Priorities, Open Ministry, and Communia.