Nesta to Highlight Digital Social Innovation at CSW Europe

Written by Priti Ambani

Sep 25, 2014


 Nesta is an innovation non-profit with a simple mission — bring great ideas to life. Ideas that can potentially help the 7 billion+ of us lead better lives while harnessing technology and the Internet like never before.  Nesta will bring some of these topics to the forefront at CSW Europe, the first-comprehensive 3-day conference on the crowd economy in Copenhagen from Oct 14-16. 

We live in challenging times where there is an urgent need for resourcefulness, creativity and tools to maximize the human potential for problem solving. But the opportunities are endless too. We are connected like never before and some amazing initiatives are happening around the world that offer out-of-the-box solutions for problems that have plagued generations. But there are barriers to these innovations. Nesta is working to remove the barriers of scale and help bring great ideas and tools to the masses, to help organizations collaborate better to achieve common missions and to pioneer new methods of tapping great ideas and collective brainpower for the common good.

Nesta is currently at the forefront uniting thought leadership and best practices on Digital Social Innovation. So what is Digital Social Innovation or DSI?

DSI enables people to collaborate using digital technologies (such as open data, open knowledge, open hardware, and open networks) to co-create solutions for social needs and at a scale that was unimaginable before the rise of Internet-enabled platforms.  At the heart of Nesta’s DSI research is, a dynamic and crowdsourced map of organisations that work on DSI.

At CSW Europe, on October 14, a specially designed session with Nesta will focus on:

Digital Social Innovation – What do Best Practices in Crowd-Powered Social Innovations Look Like?

We are thrilled that the session will include an opening plenary from Peter Baeck, Principal Researcher, Public and Social Innovation at Nesta followed by talks from Tomas Diez (Founder, Smart Citizen), Joonas Pekkanen (Founder, Open Ministry) and Daan Weddepohl, (CEO + Founder, Peerby)

About Tomas and Smart Citizen:

Tomas Diez is a Venezuela-born Urbanist specialized in digital fabrication and its implications in the future of cities. He is the director of the FAB City project at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), and one of the initiators of the Fab Lab Barcelona. He is a PhD researcher at University College of London, co-founder of the Smart Citizen and StudioP52 both in Barcelona. His research interests relate to the use of digital fabrication tools to transform the reality, and how the use of new technologies can change the way people consume, produce and relate with each other in cities. 

About Joonas and Open Ministry:

Joonas Pekkanen currently works as an Open Democracy Expert at Forum Virium Helsinki on the D-CENT project ( He founded the Open Ministry, a civil society organisation for crowdsourcing citizen-led law proposals into parliament. Pekkanen studied finance and law and worked 10 years in internet and mobile start-ups. Pekkanen is the coordinator of the Apps4Finland open data competition and active in the Open Knowledge movement. He is a civil society representative on the Finnish Open Goverment Partnership committee. 

About Daan and Peerby: 

Daan Weddepohl is a stellar entrepreneur and the founder of Peerby, a website and iPhone app that enables people to borrow the things they need from others in their neighborhood in 30 minutes.

The talks will be followed by a panel discussion to be moderated by Dr. Jesper Christiansen, Reserach Manager at MindLab

Follow this session and many others on social media with #CSWEurope.



What are some other initiatives at Nesta?

Make Things Do Stuff

Make Things Do Stuff aims to mobilise the next generation of digital makers. Nesta  wants to help people to make the shift from consuming digital technologies, to making and building their own and to re-imagine the possibilities.

Making sense of the UK collaborative economy

Nesta produced a report earlier this year that examines what the collaborative economy is, who is operating and participating in it, and looks at how it can be supported and managed. One of the key findings of the report  – 25 per cent of UK adults used internet technologies to share assets/resources over the last year. 

Open Data Challenge series

Nesta is running a series of seven challenge prizes to support the development of innovative solutions to social challenges using open data expertise with a credible plan and market. Follow @odchallenges on Twitter to hear of new challenges when they open.

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About Author

About Author

Priti Ambani

Priti Ambani is the Global Media Director at Crowdsourcing Week, a thought leader and prominent writer on social enterprises, start-ups and web 2.0 businesses. Previously, Priti grew Ecopreneurist, a nascent green business blog into a notable social business resource as site director and managing editor. Working from the ground up, she has developed successful business and communications strategies for impact organizations that aim to create social, environment and economic wealth. Priti is a Professional Engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Biological Resources Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.Priti lives in the Washington DC Metro area with her husband and sons, is a lover of the outdoors, traveling and from-scratch cooking!

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