#researchprojects | The Impact of Digital Technologies on Social Innovations during the Covid19 crisis

Published: 17 October 2022 | Innovazione e ricerca

Scientific officer: 
Valentino Marini Govigli

01/03/22 - 30/09/22

The Covid-19 pandemic triggered an era of radical digital transformations for worldwide economies and societies. People and communities in both urban and rural areas started to work together with-out being able to physically interact, opening innovative ways for virtual communications, network developments and facilitations. It remains however unclear the extent to which digital technologies have supported Social Innovation (SI) models in rural Europe in delivering their on-the-ground ob-jectives to improve the well-being of local communities.

The iDEAL Project fills this gap by developing and delivering a survey to European rural SI initia-tives to explore the uptake of digital tools during the Covid-19 pandemic and their impacts on the SI’s activities and outcomes. iDEAL will exploit the networks and database of SI initiatives put to-gether by the H2020 project SIMRA, in which iDEAL members from the University of Bologna and KU Leuven were formally involved. The results from the survey will serve to identify whether the digital transformation triggered by the pandemic can support or rather hinder the works of social innovators in reconfiguring and transforming local networks, attitudes, and governance arrange-ments to promote new ecological, social, or institutional practices. iDEAL explores the linkages be-tween local communities and digital technologies examining if the digital transformation has been beneficial or detrimental to grassroots movements and associations in adopting sustainable and decent working and collaborative conditions.