“The City of Digital Social Innovators”. Call for abstracts

Call for abstracts for special issue “The City of Digital Social Innovators” on Urban Planning, vol. 5, issue 4; Editors: Chiara Certoma’ (Ghent University/Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies), Antonella Passani (T6-Ecosystems) and Mark Dyer (Waikato University); Deadline for Abstracts: 10 September 2019

Digital Social Innovation (DSI) is defined as “a type of social and collaborative innovation in which innovators, users and communities collaborate using digital technologies to co-create knowledge and solutions for a wide range of social needs and at a scale and speed that was unimaginable before the rise of the Internet” (Bria et al. 2015). Under this definition we also encompass the recent alternative labels of “Connected Technology for Social Good”, “Social Tech” or “Tech4 (social) Good”. Living-lab and fab-labs organizers, digital social entrepreneurs, p2p sharers and digital commoners, hackers, social mappers, co-workers, open-access/source/data managers, open software (co)creators, DIY and temporary-user activists, citizen scientists, crowdsourcers and crowdfunders, etc. advance new ways of organizing and equipping the city for enhancing many of the essentials of citizens’ life (education and job, participation and democracy,  science and technology, economy and business, hosing, design and public services) (Caulier-Grice et al., 2012). This disruptive form of collective agency infiltrate and modify social organizations and (government, research and business) institutions (Chesbrough, 2003; Noubel, 2004); and gives raise to inedited social, economic and political configurations that affect the traditional forms and function(ing) of urban planning and governance (Certomà et al.2015). Stepping beyond the dichotomy between the acritical technology-optimism of the smart innovation perspective (Aitamurto, 2012; Prahalad and  Ramaswamy 2004) and the radical criticism advanced by the “wisdom of the crowd” discontents (Lanier, 2006; Herzog and Hartwig, 2008), we aim to elaborate a critical appreciation of (1) how traditional urban planning is challenged by the agency of  digital social innovators; and/or (2) what social, political, environment and economic benefits (if any) DSI is bringing to traditional urban governance processes (Passani et al. 2015). Particularly, we invite theoretical analysis and case-based contributes from scholars and practitioners to explore how digital social innovators are making or not making or could make) cities “more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just” than before (Deiglemeier and Miller, 2008). If interested, please send a 250 words abstract with title and 5 keywords to: chiara.certoma@UGent.be; a.passani@t-6.it; mdyer@waikato.ac.nz

Photo by Chiara Certomà

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