An Open Design approach to support innovation for the societal good. A paper

Serena Cangiano and me submitted to the 12th European Academy of Design Conference a paper to share some insights around our work at DSI4EU project. The paper was then published on the Volume 20 of Design Journal.

Built upon the definition of social innovation, the umbrella expression “digital social innovation” was introduced to describe a wide range of projects that use digital technologies, community engagement and collaboration, co-creation strategies and bottom-up approaches to solve societal needs, in opposition to the centralized proprietary solutions owned by a few companies. Assessing how digital social innovation projects can scale in order to have a better impact, is crucial to provide a concrete European model to innovation creation that considers values beyond economic factors. This paper presents the results of a one-year training program aimed at supporting the scalability of digital social innovation projects in order to have a better impact. In particular, it describes the application of an open design approach to the design of a P2P mentoring model, and a sustainability toolkit that faces the issue of generating capacity building in emerging community of tech social innovators.

Read the paper

Design for Next: Proceedings of the 12th European Academy of Design Conference, Sapienza University of Rome, 12-14 April 2017


Exploring Citizen Engagement on The Next Generation Internet

In April and May 2017, Atomium – European Institute for Science Media and Democracy (EISMD) run a citizen engagement and media campaign on the issue of The Next Generation Internet as the latest deployment of the REIsearch Platform. The campaign was developed in collaboration with leading European research organisations, media, policy makers and stakeholders from both the public, private and third sector with the aim of:
– create a responsible and informed multi-stakeholder debate on the issue;
– create and promote access to reliable information on the issue;
– increase inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral debate;
– collect and analyse results to deliver to researchers and policymakers;
– bridge the gap between science, society and policy;
– increase dialogue and discussion between science, media, society and policy.

The results of the campaign were presented in Brussels, on the 6th and 7th of June 2017, during the Next Generation Internet Summit held with the intention to support the European Commission to build a strategy together with leading policy makers, renewed innovators, researchers and citizens to foster the development of the internet, as a powerful, open, data-driven, user-centric, interoperable platform ecosystem, for the benefit of citizens and companies.

Read the report in PDF.

Continue reading Exploring Citizen Engagement on The Next Generation Internet

Textile sensor workshop at the Eu Parliament

On May 31, the EU institutions  hosted the first-ever EU Institutional Maker Faire in the European Parliament building.


I was invited by organizers to give a 1-hour workshop about wearables, so I proposed a simple hands-on activity to involve participants into discovering the world of e-textile:

“Make a DIY textile sensor” – Smart textiles are fabrics developed with new technologies allow seamless integration of textiles with electronic elements like microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators. Wearable electronics gained lots of attention because they are becoming more accessible to the non-technical crowd thanks to recent open source and educational approach. In this workshop you’ll learn about textile sensors and soft interactions: create your own sensor and connect it with a micro-controller to explore its behaviour.

Here’s a gallery of images about the event:

And some twits from participants:



Shaping the Future of Digital Social Innovation in Europe


In 2013 I was invited by Nesta to join the Advisory Group to advise on a major new policy study on digital social innovation in Europe. The study has been looking at grassroots civic innovation enabled by the internet, and at how social innovation is being enabled by the “network effect” of the Internet and new open innovation models.

The study has been run by Nesta, in partnership with the WAAG Society (NL), ESADE (SP), IRI (FR), and Future Everything (UK) and it has been exploring how emerging technologies in the digital economy can transform society by the mobilisation of collective action, enable a more collaborative economy, new ways of making, citizen participation, sustainability and social innovation.

In February I’ll be in Brussels to discuss lessons from the 18-month research and the future of DSI in Europe. Continue reading Shaping the Future of Digital Social Innovation in Europe

Anarchy in the EU

Shades of pink and green
Shades of pink and green

(EN) Some infographics (stickers inside the book!) I made for Anarchy in the EU, Movimenti Pink, Black, Green e Grande Recessione” by Alex Foti. In the bookshops from the 9th of May.


(EN) Pubblico le infografiche che ho realizzato (ci sono anche gli adesivi nel libro!) per Anarchy in the EU, Movimenti Pink, Black, Green e Grande Recessione” by Alex Foti. Nelle librerie dal 9 Maggio.

The genetic map of Europe/La mappa genetica dell’Europa

Genetic map of Europe
Genetic map of Europe

How are french, spanish, italians, finnish and other europeans related to eachother in term of genes? Some scientists tried to answer this question analyzing the DNA of 2500 europeans. The results are visible in a map published in this article on Current Biology in august and commented by the New York Times.  The map shows structural similarities with the geographical map but it also shows two genetic barriers, one in the north with the finnish, a very small population that expanded in isolation; and one in the south with italians, separated by the rest of Europe by the Alps.


(EN) Quali sono le relazioni tra il corredo genetico di francesi, spagnoli, italiani, finnici e tutti gli altri europei? Un team di scienziati ha provato a rispondere a questa domanda analizzando il DNA di 2500 europei. I risultati sono riportati su una mappa pubblicata in un articolo di Current Biology in agosto e commentato dal New York Times. La mappa mostra ovvie analogie strutturali con la mappa geografica ma mostra anche due barriere genetiche: a nord con i finnici, che rappresentano una popolazione molto piccola che si è espansa quasi in isolamento, l’altra a sud con gli italiani, separati dal resto d’Europa dalle Alpi.