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New map launched for social digital innovations

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New map launched for social digital innovations

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Whilst there remains a degree of confusion around whether social business is actually the enterprise collaboration kind of thing or the social good projects that have blossomed under Muhammad Yunus, it remains one of the more pleasing aspect of the social business world that an increasing number of projects fall into both camps.

Whether it’s civic crowdfunding or MOOC style social learning, a great number of social media based projects also deliver strongly on social good metrics too.  A telling visual representation of this has been created recently by the UK innovation charity NESTA.

They have created a map of what they call ‘digital social innovation’ ventures currently in operation throughout Europe.  The map, which currently has over 400 entries (albeit some which appear to be test entries rather than valid ones!), is a project backed by the European Commission and involves Esade, FutureEverything, IRI, Swirrl and Waag Society.

Entries on the map provide standard information about their organization, with this information displayed freely on the map under a creative commons licence.  Through the production of the map, NESTA have identified 11 trends that they believe are particularly prominent in this field.

  1. Crowdsourcing
  2. Crowdfunding
  3. Crowdmapping
  4. Networks that sense
  5. Open hardware
  6. Big (open) data
  7. Open source code sharing
  8. Open licensing
  9. Citizen science
  10. Learn for free
  11. Collaboration spaces

All of which are no doubt common themes to regular readers of the blog.  Displaying them in map form however is a nice way of representing the spread of these kind of ventures throughout Europe.

It brings to mind the Startup Genome project that I wrote about last year.  The project will see a global network of volunteer curators craft up to date maps of start-up communities in the areas in which they both live and work.  They have recently secured additional funding from the Kauffman Foundation to expand the project.

“Mapping local startup ecosystems not only provides an important tool to communities, but it will create a treasure trove of rare data on local startups,”said Dane Stangler, director of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation.

“Our plans include studying how startup communities develop and identify action steps that cities can take to grow their entrepreneurial community and measure their progress.”

“Startup Genome enables entrepreneurs and investors to plug into their city’s startup scene, which has untold benefits to them and their local economies,” said Thom Ruhe, vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “So everyone wins when communities gain a better understanding of their city’s entrepreneurial climate.”

What other crowd mapping projects are you aware of?

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