A new article of mine, titled “Future scenarios of Digital Social Innovation in urban governance. A collective discussion on the socio-political implications in Ghent”, is now out (online first) in Cities! Until the 17th of February this can be freely downloaded here or below:
The paper presents some of the results of my MSCA project CROWD_USG and proposes how to collectively discussion the socio-political implications of digital social innovation for urban governance. It describes the realisation and results of a scenario-building process in Ghent to understand under what conditions digital social innovation can both determine socially progressive and regressive effects.
The paper abstract is below:
The mushrooming of Digital Social Innovation (DSI) initiatives (i.e. digitally based or digitally enabled solutions to collective social problems) in urban governance is a recent phenomenon that has been only partially investigated in scholarly research, most often in terms of e-government or e-governance. Particularly the socially progressive and regressive aspects of DSI practices in the context of neoliberal cities require special consideration. To enrich the nascent critical debate, the paper suggests that a context-oriented, collective analysis and discussion can help explore the socio-political implications of DSI in citizens’ life. To this end, the paper describes the realisation and presents the results of a scenario-building process in Ghent, Belgium, through which key-informants analysed DSI initiatives adopted in local governance, their future perspectives, and the possibilities and threats these bring about. The collective discussion shows that, while these processes can determine people empowering effects, it is fundamental to consider under what conditions and at what costs these are happening and whether their less evident consequences are always desirable for society.