Everyday, whether we are working in the third sector, government, business or the media, we are faced by new challenges. Increasingly, these challenges are social. Social Innovation has been defined as the development and implementation of new ideas (products, services and models) to meet social needs. This broad definition embraces innovations in fields as diverse as fair trade, distance learning, hospices, urban farming, waste reduction and restorative justice. Social innovation can come from individuals, groups and associations, the non-profit sector, the market and the state.
Whether it is through co-design, co-production, co-collaboration, or co-creation, the idea of ‘co- ‘ - the idea of acting together - has become part of the way in which we live our lives and shape our society. It undermines top-down thinking, while not being entirely bottom-up.
It brings together a broad range of perspectives. It changes the way we approach ownership of projects and responsibility for outcomes. But what does co-creation really mean? Is it just another buzzword, or an effective mechanism to create new solutions?
On the 24-25th May, 2011, nearly 100 participants gathered in Amsterdam to discuss the advantages and pitfalls of co-creation between citizens and organisations in this new technology-mediated world. A global community including professionals from public agencies, NGOs, global firms and universities joined with technology experts, policymakers, and service users to explore these issues.
This guide is a result of the outcome of the discussions.
The full version of the guide is available for download here.