Module 3

Technology & Creativity for Social Innovation

Welcome to Module 3: Technology & Creativity for Social Innovation - Explore and test your innovative solution!

Now that you’ve learned about active citizenship and how social businesses work, you will learn how to leverage creativity and technology to resolve social problems.

To this end, this module guides you in exploring approaches and tools useful to devise, validate and implement innovative services and products able to answer to pressing social problems.

We offer you practical insights useful to the everyday activities of social entrepreneurs, financers, policy makers and citizens. The overarching objective is to help all of you to play the social innovation game together through shared operational tools! For example:

  • If you are a social entrepreneur, in this module you may find interesting indications how to build flexible and cost-saving design & development processes to secure that your services/products are effective answers to everyday social needs;
  • If you are a financer, you will hear about which behaviours to keep monitored to recognize social enterprises and initiatives that are working on solutions that can be impactful and sustainable;
  • If you are a policy maker, you may discover tips useful to build programmes directed to pick innovative solutions emerging from the community you administer and to scale them up at systemic level avoiding wrong investments;
  • If you are a citizen desiring to play an active role in your community, you will learn how to make the other stakeholders aware of your concrete needs and to participate in the co-creation of their solutions.

Learning Objectives

During the module, you will learn how to

  • analyze and understand the concrete needs of the people experiencing social problems;
  • design user-centred innovative services and products able to satisfy such needs;
  • develop and test prototypes of your would-be products and services in the real world and learn how to improve (or discard) them;
  • transform a prototype into an actual product/service.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!


This lecture will teach you how to use design thinking to develop a context-responsive user-friendly product or service. Interested? Click through to find out more!

We translated the lecture videos\' scripts into German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Slovak and Slovenian. In case you would like to have a look at the translated scripts, please see the files for downloading further down.

Lecture 1

Let's Design - Explore and Create

Lecture playlist

Lecture 1

Let's Design - Explore and Create


Lecture 2

Let's Design - Test and Implement


Additional materials and transcripts

Infographic on Technology and Creativity for Social Innovation

Let’s take a step back and go over the main points of technology for social innovation one more time. In this infographic, you’ll get a quick summary of the main points and a reminder of the steps to implementing design thinking principles in your own practice.

Expert interviews

Innovation For Good

Now let’s have a look at a short video that will familiarize you with innovation and social impact.

The cooperative ènostra is the first non-lucrative renewable energy supplier in Italy. Founded in Milan in 2014, it produces, buys and sells energy generated only from renewable sources to family, businesses and social enterprises. Its mission is to boost renewable energy productions and to help citizens in making critical and responsible choices on energy consumption.

Chronicles from the Field

Dive deeper into the life of a social entrepreneur with these real-world case studies about social innovation makers.

Limix is a dynamic Italian startup founded in March 2015 with headquarters in Camerino, Marche. Founded by two young students Francesco Pezzuoli and Dario Corona, it is committed to develop ‘Talking Hands’ – a wearable digital glove able to translate the sign language in voice. Thanks to Talking Hands, Limix aims at helping deaf people to be understood by everyone.

Tool and Assignment

Now it’s your turn! In this section, you’ll be guided through the principles of design thinking so that you, too, can implement it for your social innovation.

Additional Readings

That wraps up our unit on technology and creativity for social innovation.

The learning doesn’t end here though! Voluntary readings may serve to dive deeper into specific topics.

We’ve arranged them by subject for your convenience and encourage you to study them individually or discuss them down below in the discussion section.

Can Blockchain be a tool for Social Innovation?

  • Creating a digital identity for undocumented people
  • Recording social impact and real-life data
  • Incentivizing social behaviours
  • Disintermediating international development work
  • Disrupting markets where data automation and ownership are key (energy, healthcare..).

About Positiveblockchain is the open-source database and platform exploring blockchain for social impact. The database currently lists nearly 600 blockchain projects and startups that aim at generating positive social impact for the people and society.

    Table of contents

    Academy Modules
    Active citizenship
    Social Business
    Technology & Creativity for Social Innovation
    Stakeholder Engagement
    Impact Assessment
    Impact Finance
    Social Innovation Policies
    Roots of Impact
    pontis foundation

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