Mission statement: four principles underlying the Civic Innovation Platform
What the Civic Innovation Platform (CIP) stands for
Our goal is the human-centric use of AI for the benefit of the common good. In this regard, the Civic Innovation Platform (CIP) seeks socially minded technology design that incorporates impetus provided by (civil) society, promotes cooperation and collaboration across all parts of society, and takes account of and integrates society’s various resources.
To this end, the Civic Innovation Platform provides an innovation infrastructure that enables partners from different sectors – such as the public sector, business, the scientific community as well as civil society actors – to discuss ideas aligning with their own interests and to work jointly on developing and implementing these ideas.
On the path towards an ecosystem for AI providing benefits for the common good, the Policy Lab Digital, Work & Society project of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is exploring how and with what tools socially minded technology design can be achieved via the Civic Innovation Platform. In doing so, it is focusing on all phases of the innovation process – from the seed idea to the plan and beyond this to implementation and transfer. Collaboration and networking are at the core of the holistic funding principle.
At a glance – what the Civic Innovation Platform (CIP) project stands for
Innovation: developing new ideas
How can technological progress be turned into social progress? Innovation research tells us that this is not done by a lone genius working on their own, tapping their inspiration from within. Rather, it comes from the fertile exchange between different people with their own unique knowledge, experience, and skill sets. However, for new ideas to arise in society, commitment is not sufficient on its own. Rather, depending on the phase reached by the innovation process, you also need an infrastructure, resources, visibility, and scope for experimentation, for example. It is with this in mind that the Civic Innovation Platform is aiming to create favourable underlying conditions for social innovation based on AI technologies.
Collaboration: creating links
One key prerequisite for this is to network actors from the public sector, society, the research community and business. The platform is targeted at anyone interested in AI applications that benefit the common good who wishes to work with others on specific projects. Our goal is to support networking as well as collaboration between a wide variety of different disciplines, sectors, and areas on a sustained basis as a means of opening up scope for the development of civil society and for the deployment of AI. To this end, we offer financial support, discourse and learning programmes that address different steps along the development process, which we will systematically develop and expand with the support of our partners.
Empowerment: conceptual and financial support for engagement
The Civic Innovation Platform recognises knowledge, commitment, and inventiveness. This applies equally to actors who have few resources but still wish to render their creativity visible and usable. This calls for financial as well as conceptual support. All actors have an opportunity of contributing their input: CIP promotes good ideas in the early and development phases as well as long-term project work.
Beyond that, we also support projects and plans together with our partners from civil society, the research community, business, and the public sector beyond a purely financial dimension. Mutual sharing among all parties is encouraged and promoted via online and offline workshops. Learning opportunities convey beneficial knowledge that can also be used beyond the funding programme. In this connection, the focus is always on sustainability, open access, transparency, data management and data protection, diversity, and interdisciplinarity.
Inspiration: learning from each other
In many areas, we are not yet able to fully imagine and implement possible AI applications. Our platform shows good examples of how to do so, documenting the progress made by projects on an ongoing basis. This also includes the possibility of the “successful failure” of good ideas. After all, the realisation that a basic idea is not viable or does not yield the desired benefits may still be a valid outcome.