Aims of the consultation

The DSI Manifesto will set priorities and identify the measures to be put in place for digital innovation to be at the service of the whole civil society. This will give a stronger voice to the Digital Social Innovation communities in Europe: it will help obtaining support for bottom-up initiatives and raising the public and political awareness about the importance of digital social innovation and its impact.
The aim of this consultation is to obtain views and contributions from a broad constituency on the main priorities that the manifesto should capture. Your contributions will shape the updated version of the DSI Manifesto that will be presented and further discussed at the dedicated workshop that will be held on the 23 May 2017 in Rimini (Italy), co-located with the Rimini Wake Hub 2017 event. Registration is open, book your seat!
To participate to the consultation please answer to the following questions.

The consultation will be open until May the 17th. Please help us spreading the voice and gather contributions from all active players.

We are at your disposal for any additional information or clarification needed.

The key points for the Manifesto
1. Financial support

Ensure that funding for innovation in the digital society – whether at EU, national, regional or city level – reaches the actors and areas with most potential for societal benefits:

  • Governance: Redefine the governance rules for public research programmes, assigning a leading role to social innovators (such as makers, start-ups, researchers, social enterprises, civil society associations and NGOs) rather than to large and established companies with powerful lobbies.
  • Methodology: structure funding to fit the distinct stages of innovation – from early stage design to incubation and acceleration and then through to scaling up.
  • Additional sources: leverage public sector procurement opening it up to the above-mentioned civil society actors and sustainability areas. Increase access to alternative sources of finance and cross-border crowdfunding.
2. Experiment

Develop EU and national funding streams to promote pilots that can explore emerging solutions and demonstrate the long-term potential of DSI, for example in healthcare, democracy, making, environment, energy, or new economic models (such as the sharing economy):

  • Bring together existing communities of citizens with entrepreneurs, social innovators and institutions, to assess the real effectiveness of DSI solutions and align regulation, law, technology and user needs in order to eliminate barriers to innovation.
  • Set technological priorities of public research programmes as the most effective to cope with societal challenges: low-cost or collaboration potential may be more important than sheer performance.
  • Public adoption: make sure that EU and public institutions are the first ones to test and adopt DSI approaches.
3. Digital skills and multi-disciplinarity

One of the biggest barriers to making the most of DSI is the significant gap in the skills and capacity to experiment with and develop new digital social innovations. The development of easy-to-use and effective solutions requires a complex combination of expertise from disparate different technological and social domains, which is not provided by the traditional education systems.

  • Promote digital skills among citizens, NGOs and other community organisations, to enable them to get advantage of digital technologies – and contribute to their development into social directions.
  • More ICT curricula: information technologies and coding skills, as well as a broad multidisciplinary understanding of Internet governance, should be part of the core curricula both in schools and universities – which requires massive training for teachers as well.
  • Incentives for multi-disciplinarity: novel approaches and support are sought to fostering collaboration between the tech community, social scientists and civil society organisations.
4. Democracy and decentralization

The decentralized Internet has insofar be a powerful support for democracy and participation in every part of the world. DSI solutions can effectively be harnessed for elections, consultations, deliberations, policy making. And, even in a world dominated by a few de facto Internet monopolies, DSI can inspire new decentralized models for the management of personal data, ensuring citizens’ sovereignty over their digital life and providing them with a broader choice of solutions, which is a basic need for advanced democracies.

  • Accelerate democracy projects which aim at integrating digital tools into every aspect of democracy, from campaigns and proposals to policy design, spending and scrutiny – and encourage leadership from municipalities, parliaments, political parties, whether through funding, advocacy or convening.
  • Showcase open democracy: analyze, compare and give broader visibility (for further replicability) to the open democracy and participatory budgeting practices implemented by several European cities.
  • Promote citizens’ and political awareness and political attention towards these new forms of citizen engagement and to the risks (privacy, monitoring) entailed by centralized solutions.
5. Openness

Avoiding that citizens of the digital world are locked into proprietary solutions and guaranteeing access and a level playground for fair competition to actors of any size is essential for realizing the full potential of collaborative solutions. EU and national public institutions should promote laws and programmes that make data and digital platforms open as default:

  • Mandate Open-Source (and possibly free) software in national and EU funding streams. Encourage development and adoption of Open Hardware (hardware which people can adapt, hack and shape into tools for social change with no legal limitation).
  • Promote Open Data approaches (innovative ways of opening up, capturing, sharing, using, analysing and interpreting open data).
  • Sustain Open Knowledge (communities supported by online platforms that collectively analyse data, develop and analyse new types of knowledge or crowdfund social projects).




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