That is what says the report "What next for digital social innovation?". It maps the projects and organizations using technology to tackle social challenges across Europe. It also explores the barriers to the growth of digital social innovation.
The projects and organizations using digital technologies to cope with social challenges are increasing across Europe. The British foundation Nesta studies this growth and collects information in the website digitalsocial.eu. On May 16 Nesta held the conference "What next for digital social innovation?" in London and they presented the report of the same name.
The report found that there are almost 2,000 organizations and over 1,000 projects using open technologies and collaboration to address the social challenges in Europe. They work in the fields of health, education, employment, participation democracy, migration and the environment.
Despite this activity, there are difficulties or shortcomings: there are few projects that achieve impact on a large scale and there is little collaboration between initiatives. The report considers that "there is a pressing need to grow strong networks within and across countries and regions to boost collaboration and knowledge-sharing".
The report states, moreover, that the growth of digital social innovation is hindered by lack of funding and investment in the continent, especially outside Western Europe. In this respect, recommends governments to enable funding mechanisms. It also encourages them to promote digital social innovation within existing organizations of civil society or to facilitate peer learning and the dissemination of good practices.