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The city of digital social innovators

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The concept of digital social innovation (DSI) refers to a fast-growing set of initiatives aimed at providing innovative solutions to social problems and needs by deploying the potential of the social web and digital media.

Despite having been often interpreted as synonymous with digitally enhanced social innovation, we explain here why, in consideration of its epistemological and socio-political potentialities, we understand it as an interdisciplinary set of practices able to interpret and support the changes of a society that is more and more intrinsically virtual and physical at the same time. Notably, we briefly discuss how DSI processes can be functionally mobilized in support of different socio-political projects, ranging from the mainstream neoliberal to the revolutionary ones. Eventually, we provide a synopsis of the articles included in this thematic issue, by aggregating them accordingly to the main stakeholders promoting the DSI projects, being more bottom-up oriented or more institutional-based.

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