Top Digital Social Innovation Twitter Accounts to Follow
Not surprisingly, Twitter is a hive of activity when it comes to digital social innovation. The social media platform functions as a news wire, information hub and sounding board for those who want to promote causes of every stripe, and activists and organisers of social innovation are no exception.
Building Change Trust has crawled the web and found the five organisations you must follow if you want to keep up with the issues.
Oxford based charity Nominet Trust is the UK’s leading social tech funder, investing in people and groups that make imaginative use of technology to address complex social issues.
The group has granted over £17 million to UK social tech ventures since 2009 as well as investing over £1 million in business ventures – which are allowed to maintain full equity and intellectual property rights.
Projects funded by the trust tackle a wide variety of issues, including bullying, caring for the elderly, and mental health. The trust has been shortlisted for the Charity/Social Enterprise Digital Leader of the Year.
The Digital Agenda for Europe is a key part of the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy, which sets objectives for the growth of the EU for the next 5 years.
The agenda proposes to better exploit the potential of communication technologies in the promotion of innovation, economic growth and progress. The main objective of the Digital Agenda is to develop a “digital single market” in order to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in member states.
A digital single market aims to address the barriers that are in place that block the free flow of online services and entertainment across national borders within the EU. The agenda also aims to promote digital literacy, research and innovation, and competitively priced ultra fast Internet.
The Twitter feed is a helpful source of information on Internet usage, experiences with broadband and other issues relating to information, communication and technology.
Culture Tech is the renowned Derry/Londonderry festival of innovative ideas held every September in the Maiden City. The organisation’s remit goes beyond simply organizing the festival every year, and extends into the development of the wider digital sector in Derry/Londonderry and engaging traditionally ‘non-digital’ industries.
The group partners with arts and cultural organisations, SME’s, the education sector, social enterprises and government and manages programmes for the public and philanthropic sectors. The festival, held in September, drew 43,000 people last year, 75 percent of whom were under the age of 25.
The 2014 festival also saw the incorporation of education as a main theme and the family-friendly programme encouraged everyone to get involved with technology. Highlights included a Minecraft event and the launch of the North West Regional Science park. CultureTech has gone a long way in cementing Derry/Londonderry’s reputation as a city of creativity and innovation.
FabLab NI is the local offshoot of a global movement started by a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that brings technical tools to the people, providing access to equipment used to make, create and innovate. Northern Ireland is home to two FabLab centres, in Belfast and in Derry/Londonderry, where anyone can come in to use open source design software and a selection of computer-controlled machines.
Screen printing, digital painting, architectural models and laser engravers are just some of the tools available to visitors. The centres are open for drop-in most Fridays, and they also hold training programmes in digital fabrication.
They also provide space for community groups and organisations to make signs, large scale murals, tee-shirts and jewelry.
FabLabNI’s Twitter feed is a good source for information on innovative programmes, start-ups and cultural and educational events.
TechChange is a Washington D.C.-based online education company that promotes social change. With students located across the world and courses that focus on international development, conflict management and the humanitarian and educational sectors, TechChange is an innovative model in providing flexible, practical and affordable educational qualifications.
TechChange also offers a range of free courses, accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection, from an introduction to trade in Africa to an introduction to mobile money.