What is Social Tech ?
For a “digital permaculture” – generative ecosystems based on the Social and Digital Economy: consolidating and deploying “Social Tech” in Europe
The Social Solidarity Economy must move into the digital age: it is a question of preserving our intangible social heritage, which is at the heart of the European model and cohesion, but also of accelerating the social and ecological transition. Rather than Schumpeterian creative destruction, let us consider the digital “upcycling” of the social economy as a species essential to the survival of the European social and solidarity ecosystem. Like all economic actors, SSE actors must lead a profound change in their organisation, integrate a culture of innovation at all levels, and upgrade their teams. It is time for SSE to embrace Tech not as an end in itself, but as a means to improve, sustain and strengthen its models, jobs, influence and impact on the final beneficiaries.
In order to “encapacitate” the social and solidarity economy in the digital world, it is necessary to draw knowledge from the technological market models, share it, digest it and finally transform it into commons oriented towards the social and environmental impact.
In the long term, to be able to generate all the value resulting from the crossroads between the social economy and the digital economy, and to encourage its start-up, it is necessary to reconsider the production of value not only economically but also socially and environmentally (measured in terms of collective savings) in order to be able to put in place a system of remuneration for citizen value. This is a necessary condition for ‘transinvestment’ (D. Kleiner and B. Gottlied, 2016). This means overhauling national accounting systems to include this value. Civil society would become productive through the participation of citizens in the collaborative creation of collective value. Before we can generalise this new accounting and these “commons”, we need to be able to prototype them at European level, by creating centres of competitiveness around Services of General Interest (SGI) and the Commons (water management, sustainable food, energy, digital, postal and telecom networks, etc.).