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Open Social Innovation in Action

In this video Amelie will present some case studies of how Open Social Innovation can function in the real world.

What would an experiment look like in which all actors in a society – citizens, civil society, social enterprises, companies, foundations, and public administration – participate together in an Open Social Innovation process?


ProjectTogether is a Berlin-based non-profit organization that creates innovation programmes to solve social challenges. The organization facilitates broad participation processes in order to solve problems bottom-up, combining the wealth of ideas of civil society with the implementation power of institutions and companies. ProjectTogether was founded by Philipp von der Wippel in 2016. Learn more about ProjectTogether’s origins and Philipps motivation behind it in this Ted Talk.

In the spirit of Open Social Innovation, ProjectTogether’s various programmes have brought together citizens, public administration, the private sector and academia to jointly develop solutions to social challenges. These experiments show that it is possible to achieve broad participation of different social sectors in social innovation processes, but also reveal weaknesses and trigger learning processes.

There are several reasons why ProjectTogether is in a unique starting position to build the operating system for coordinated action with Open Social Innovation:

● ProjectTogether is the point of contact for social innovation processes

● It builds trust in the public sector at all federal levels

● Processes are digitally supported and scalable right from the start

● ProjectTogether is driven by a young team with a great passion for the mission

● As an independent actor, ProjectTogether can act quickly, challenge the status quo, and at the same time work together with all stakeholders

In this module, two of ProjectTogethers Open Social Innovation platforms are explored in greater detail: #WirvsVirus and the Farm-Food-Climate challenge. A brief introduction is given in the videos and in the text below.



The #WirvsVirus hackathon (engl.: #WevsVirus) was created in response to the social, economic, and public health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and was launched by a consortium of civil society organizations. The hackathon and the subsequent implementation program were supported by the German federal government. The hackathon, held virtually from March 20 to 22, 2020, was the largest hackathon worldwide. In total, the #WirvsVirus Hackathon involved around 28,000 citizens*, who developed around 1,500 ideas within 48 hours.

Some of the #wirvsvirus Initiatives

UDO is a chatbot for applying for short-term work which was integrated by the Federal Employment Agency on their website just two weeks after the hackathon. The chatbot digitally guides employers through the short-term work process. The free service has been available since March 22, 2020 at In addition to important background information on short-term work, affected companies can display the work stoppage directly on the website.

Gewaltfrei in die Zukunft (engl.: nonviolent into the future) is an innovation project against domestic violence in the form of a non-profit app. The app is intended to be a tool initially for adult women affected by intimate partner violence. Special attention will be paid to mothers as a target group. In addition to providing information and opportunities for reflection, the app is intended to show those who want to leave a violent relationship appropriate ways to act safely.

The pilot project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The Ministry of the Interior of Lower Saxony and the Hannover Region were providing considerable resources for the development and testing of the app.

DEalog is the central information platform fed from official sources for people in information-intensive crisis situations in Germany. It provides information that is relevant to citizens and reliable in relation to warning and hazard messages that have already been communicated.

#wirvsvirus Alliances

Digitalisation for a functioning public health system

The Innovationsverbund öffentliche Gesundheit (engl.: Innovation association for public health), short InÖG emerged during the #wirvsvirus implementation programme from many initiatives and individuals who have collectively dedicated themselves to the innovation of our healthcare system. Since then, they have accompanied and initiated projects themselves. InÖG contributed, for example, to the improvement of the public health department software SORMAS for Corona management. In addition it offers decision-makers in public administration in the health sector as well as all interested parties an overview of the open source projects that have emerged from and cooperated with InÖG.

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