DSI4UG. Exploring Digital Social Innovations ecosystems and Urban Governance models in a quadruple helix perspective

DSI4UG is a SPIN- Supporting Principal Investigator research project by Chiara Certomà, proposing a Europe-wide analysis of the mutual impact of Digital Social Innovation (DSI) and Urban Governance.

This project is hosted by the Department of Management at Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Research Institute for Social Innovation

DSI4UG project aims at:

  • creating awareness on the revolution brought forth by DSI practices on traditional governance processes in the planning, organization and management of European cities and the macro-regional context; and
  • exploring the relationships between different stakeholders of the quadruple helix innovation model to find out what are the main assets and dynamics operating in DSI-supporting ecosystems.
Picture by Veronica Vitale
Picture by Veronica Vitale

The project grounds upon the juvenile (still promising) evidence that digital social innovators are progressively entering the sphere of public governance and fostering far-flung genius of actor-networks to (re)produce conditions that (self)reinforce urban innovation-supporting ecosystems. Thus, while filling the awareness gap by exploring whether and how digital social innovators are progressively (and tentatively) forging a new heterogeneous corpus of impactful social actors, DSI4UG also investigates the enabling conditions for the reproduction of a digital city which is actually smart (because inhabited by smart citizens, just, and sustainable).

It provides a novel and original approach based on a combination of quali-quantitative methodologies for providing an in-deep analysis of:

  • the possibility for digital social innovators to produce a urban innovation that makes cities “more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions” ; and
  • the characters of DSI-supporting urban ecosystems and specific governance models that, on the other hand, provide the adequate contexts for the emergence, persistence and capability for DSI initiatives to  effectively change the city hardware and software.