Irish and European Digital Social Innovators are already progressing and changing the European landscape creating ideas for change through digital technologies which have disrupted and will continue to transform the wider social innovation sector as we face a whole new world post Covid-19.  Check out Module 1 Introduction to Digital Social Innovation where you will learn about the different youth opportunities in the realm of digital social innovation putting the spotlight on some young people who are leveraging the power and potential of digital social innovation to change their communities, regions, and indeed the world!


Some YDSI Definitions First

SOCIAL INNOVATION is about creating ideas for change (Social TrendSpotter 2018) and developing solutions to improve the wellbeing of people and society.

DIGITAL SOCIAL INNOVATION is a smart/technology-driven form of social innovation (Social Innovation 4.0) that uses the power and potential of digital technology to create ideas and develop/implement social solutions for change.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES such as blockchain, design thinking, virtual reality, robotics, AI, and cloud analytics all have tremendous social innovation power but simpler online platforms, websites and a mobile app can also be used to great effect as we will learn later in this module and further into this course.




‘Social innovations are new ideas that meet social needs, create social relationships and form new collaborations. These innovations can be products, services or models addressing unmet needs more effectively’.

‘Social innovative activities and services that are motivated by the goal of meeting a social need and that are predominantly developed and diffused through organisations whose primary purposes are social.’

Examples of Social Innovation Solutions

  • Poverty by providing education and pathways to job opportunities
  • Social Problems by creating awareness programmes like street drama, informational advertising around alcohol and drugs, anti corruption, fair working conditions
  • Environment clean air for everyone, access to water, prevention of climate change, farming and food sustainability, recycling, biodegradable packaging
  • Consumption new travel accommodation models (Airbnb) where traveller can find cheaper accommodation and hosts can earn extra income, measures to save food/ waste prevention


Irish Example – Thriftify

Thriftify is an online charity shop. Buy ethically & help charity with our range of books, clothes, films, games & more at bargain prices.

Rónán Ó Dálaigh, Rahil Nazir,  Timur Negru of Thriftify

‘We want to disrupt how and why people shop. Faced with ecological crises, we need to give people the option of purchasing from the most sustainable sources.

We also need to shift our value system from a materialistic basis to one driven by positive social impact. We want to help charity shops move from a €2 billion bricks and mortar-based industry to a €20 billion digital commerce-based industry’.


Irish Example – Kitche

Kitche is a smart kitchen food waste app for cost-saving & food-waste reduction at home. Save money on food. Get recipes and reminders for food at home.

Alex Vlassopulos – Founder of Kitche


‘We created Kitche after I spoke with friends in the park one afternoon about the amount of food that people just chuck from their fridges. We wanted to do something to try and fix this. It was obvious to me that there were no platforms out there which addressed the amount of food waste in the home, despite it being the biggest source of waste’.

Irish Example – Foodcloud

FoodCloud tackles food waste by creating a network of charities to match with donating businesses. It then offers fast and efficient ways for these businesses to donate surplus food which goes to the network of more than 9,500 charities across Ireland and the UK

Multiple charities are included e.g. those who support children and youth at risk of food poverty, elderly, homeless, those going through drug and alcohol rehabilitation, escaping domestic violence….

Aoibheann O’Brien & Iseult Ward, Ireland

By using the FoodCloud Application a business can upload details of their surplus food and the time period in which the food can be collected. A text message is sent automatically to charities in the community and the first charity to accept the offer collects it directly from the business.

  • Redistributes surplus food & reducing food waste
  • Creates opportunities for social inclusion through this redistributed food
  • Inspires communities to take local action, the ripple effect of which will result in global change!