I am helping IBBT in organising the Flemish version of appsfordemocracy, called INCA awards.
It is interesting as the continental Europe context is not as mature as the US and UK with regard to web-based social innovations. So the award is a way to raise awareness both towards developers and towards policy-makers about the potential of doing stuff that matters.
At the same time it is risky, as we’re less sure of how many proposals we’re going to receive.
But this is the whole point which makes it interesting. We’re not trying to make the best competition worldwide. We’re trying to make things better here where we are. Web2.0 social innovation is very much an Anglosaxon tradition. We see UK and US leading the way. There is nothing in continental Europe comparable to MySociety and SunlightFoundation.
So either we simply accept that, or as public agencies we try to:
– promote and support the people who are thinking in this way already
– raise awareness and promote this culture towards developers who think still mainly in commercial terms, and towards policy-makers who still think the only way forward is through large government-led projects
The INCA award is one of the first policies to promote web2.0 social innovation in places without a self-sustained flourishing landscape of bottom-up initiatives. It acts on culture. It is a meso-level policy, like Kublai and the Social Innovation Camp.
That is why I animated the “inspiration” section of the website with examples. Inspiration is a great way to raise awareness and accelerate change. And this is the mission of INCA09, just as the mission of the public services 2.0 workshop organised with Lee, Dominic and Justin:
Accelerating change. Bridging gaps.