Social Innovation and Technology

Technology, the web, our phones, our laptops. All of these devices and platforms have become such a major part of our lives that we forget the impact they have.

But then it’s not about the tools, it’s about how we use them.

Our uses have adapted over time from being merely functional, serving a minimal purpose, to revolutionising the way we connect, allowing a constant state of being plugged in to the biggest pool of information and people ever known thus creating a type of global consciousness.

People like Ezio Manzini, a leading thinker in sustainability and collaborative project  design, states that technology and the web is now allowing collaboration on a local level, and once successful, a scaling of these social innovations on a country and global level.

Key examples of social innovation using technology include:
Kiva http://www.kiva.org/, Live Local http://www.livelocal.org.au/ and Get Up: http://www.getup.org.au/

How are you using social innovation to encourage Social Innovation?
What examples do you have of web platforms for social innovation ?

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What’s for lunch? Tell us what you would like

Planning has started on the fine details of the day. Now the easy and cheaper option is pizza but it was felt this may be going against the new Social Innovation notion of locally sourced produce.

As this is a open and collaborative event we thought we would ask the participants so What would you like for lunch?

Social Innovation BarCamp a success in Paris

As you may be aware, this is the first Social Innovation BarCamp to be run in Australia, even though BarCamps have been been held throughout the world for a number of years now.

Attendees of the French BarCamp included entrepreneurs, community managers, researchers, technologists, bloggers, consultants, designers, NGO and social business representatives. It was the first social innovation barcamp ever in France.

At the beginning of the day it took 15 minutes for the gridboard to be filled with 16 workshops, presentations and discussions.

Popular discussions included:

  • How to manage an international online community
  • Research and development around social innovation
  • Industrialisation of social action
  • Neuro-connections and creative intelligence
  • A tour of Asian meeting innovative social entrepreneurs
  • How global NGOs can get the most out of web 2.0
  • Open money and microcredit
  • Community management
  • The use of media in conflict resolution
  • Next steps after the BarCamp

It would be excellent for participants of the Sydney camp to discuss topics of such depth and hopefully this can give some idea as to what we can explore on the day.

For more details about the Paris Social Innovation BarCamp please see here:
To register for the Sydney BarCamp please do so here

Designing Social Innovation

Everybody now acknowledges that there is a problem concerning our environment. The unfamiliar and unsure part is what we can do to solve this.

Last week one of the leading thinkers in sustainable design visited Australia. Ezio Manzini shared his wisdom in helping us make this change now. He identified the tools and opportunity we have  around us to embrace this change now.

Listening to him also put into context where we are at as a civilisation, the amazing achievements in progress we have had over the last 100 or so years, and what the next step for us is: To become more resourceful in using the materials around us, to reconnect as communities and to embrace the need for sustainability as an opportunity rather than some scary, overwhelming, costly exercise.

His blog contains some excellent examples of this innovation and one in particular is interesting is the ‘Walking Bus’:
Every school holiday it is amazing how much the traffic decreases. Parents feel a need to drive their children for safety but the organisation of this group means that children can walk together, reconnect with each other, under the supervision of a few adults. http://sustainable-everyday.net/cases/?p=52

What examples of this are already going on in Sydney? It would be great to hear about them at the Social Innovation BarCamp