Knowledge Sharing for Social Innovation: The Dutch Tilburg Regional Case

On October 21st, I gave a guest lecture at Rutgers University, USA, having been invited by the Communication Department, the MCIS Program, and the Collaborative for Knowledge, Innovation and Design.  Below my slides. A video recording of my presentation, and an interview by the School of Communication and Information with my host, Mark Aakhus, are still to follow.

Download slides here


Social innovation as a process is about multiple stakeholders working together on joint, economically and socially sustainable solutions for wicked societal problems. Social innovation both co-creates value for individual stakeholders involved, and contributes to the common good. It has been an important theme in the the Dutch city of Tilburg and the surrounding region of Midden-Brabant for years. A successful regional social innovation ecosystem exists. Knowledge sharing about the innovations remains a bottleneck, however. Two initiatives to increase regional social innovation knowledge sharing capacity are presented: the social innovation storytelling architecture and the Tilburg public library prototype KnowledgeCloud for catalyzing knowledge sharing across regional themes of interest.

Digital storytelling tools

I am currently attending an interesting session at the E-Campaigning Forum on digital storytelling. Stories are very powerful ways of motivating people to take action, to reflect on the implications of policies, to make abstract concepts concrete and so on.

In this age of Web 2.0 and user-created multimedia content, the old linear textual technologies for supporting storytelling like discussion forums are being complemented by a multitude of innovtive tools supporting new forms of content, interactivity and user involvement. Here are some telling examples of this new wave of tools. They still need to find their niche in the Internet landscape, but it is already becoming very clear that they provide powerful incentives for people to become more (inter)active and engaged.

  • Animoto: automatically generates professionally produced videos using their own patent-pending technology and high-end motion design. Each video is a fully customized orchestration of user-selected images and music. Produced on a widescreen format, Animoto videos have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer.
  • Viddler:
    • Use webcam to record directly to website
    • Tag specific moment within video
    • Post comments to specific moments within the video
    • Have complete control over who sees video
  • JibJab: allows one to put one’s face on video and share it.
  • SproutBuilder: Sprout is a quick and easy way for beginner and pro users to create living content including websites, widgets, banners, videos, music, photos, RSS feeds, calendars and more.
  • Living Cultural Storybases: Nurturing the oral heritage of minority cultures in a digital world.

Good reference source:

  • NFP2: what happens when not-for-profits, social media and people meet