Social Computing

Publications | Events

The impact of Social Computing or Web 2.0 on the EU Economy and Society

Social Computing has exhibited a prolific and unexpected growth since its genesis in the early years of this decade and, since 2005, it has achieved unprecedented levels of EU and global usage. Current estimates indicate more than 130 million Europeans are involved in Social Computing and are interacting in a broad spectrum of commercial, leisure and social domains. Beyond the initial wave of people "getting involved", Social Computing is now expected to have major impacts on society and the economy.

In 2007, the JRC initiated a project on Social Computing as part of the JRC Exploratory Research Scheme.  At the time, available evidence was largely anecdotal and generally not comparable. Hence the objective of our research was to provide robust, evidence-based, scientific analysis to support EU policy makers.  The research examined the EU position in terms of creation and adoption of Social Computing and identified relevant, emerging technological and socio-economic trends. After an initial study, the scope of the work was expanded and co-financed by the European Commission’s Directorates General for Education and Culture, Information Society and Media, and Enterprise and Industry.

IPTS Reports on Social Computing (2008-2009):


Scientific Publications:

Related Events:

Results from JRC- IPTS on Social Computing have been presented at the following events:

  • 2010: Technical Seminar on ICT in Social Security (22-23 June 2010 in Beirut, Lebanon)
  • 2010: EUROCITIES Knowledge Society Forum 'Spring Event 2010', 24-26 March 2010 in Tallinn, Estonia. IPTS participated with a presentation on IPTS Exploratory Research on emerging ICT-enabled governance models in EU cities (EXPGOV) (here).
  • 2010: The Future of Information Society and Challenges for Good Governance - 11th Bled Forum on Europe Foresight Conference, 11-12 March 2010 in Bled, Slovenia. IPTS participated with a presentation on " The Impact of Social Computing: Challenges and Opportunities for Europe".
  • 2009: 'Major Findings' Workshop on Socio-economic implications of Social Computing. 12-13 November 2009 in Brussels. The presentations can be found here.
  • 2009: Seminar on Technologies for the Quality of Life of Elderly Citizens, on 15 June, held at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.  IPTS was invited by the Spanish Chapter of the 'Club de Roma' to make a presentation on 'Active Ageing, Health and Web 2.0' (here).
  • 2009: Conference on 'Sanidad 2.0: Innovación y Redes Sociales en el Sector Salud', on 11 June, held at Deusto University Library, Bilbao, Spain.  IPTS was invited by the Basque Regional Government, Deusto Business School and Innobasque to present the studies carried out on the opportunities provided by Social Computing for biomedical research on rare diseases (here).
  • 2009: Club Gertech Workshop 'IV Jornada Formativa sobre Innovación y Tecnología para la Gerencia Sanitaria', on 9 June, held at IPTS, Seville, Spain.  IPTS made a presentation the results of the studies on Social Computing applied to the health sector (here).
  • 2008: Inforsalud 2008 - XI National Congress, organised by the Spanish Society of Health Informatics, and held in Madrid on 16 - 17 April, 2008. IPTS was invited to present the results of the current studies on Web 2.0 and health. The presentation can be found here.
  • 2007: International Conference 'Social Inclusion and Healthcare Provision in European Regions', organised by the ENRICH Network and Regione Umbria, held in Perugia, Italy on 30 November. The key presentation at the plenary: 'Social Computing for Health in an Ageing Context' can be found here
  • 2007. 'New Patterns of Innovation in Public eServices'. Presentation at a parallel session of the eChallenges Conference held in Den Haag, the Netherlands, on 26 October 2007. This presentation shows how new innovation models (typical of web2.0) are applicable and applied in public services, and the implications that arise from these. It can be found here.
  • 2007. 'The Elephant and the Mice: Will Web 2.0 change Public Services?'. Presentation at the final plenary session of the eChallengegs Conference held in Den Haag, the Netherlands, on 26 October 2007. This presentation analyzes dark scenarios of web2.0 for public services, built by stretching existing cases and weak signals. It can be found here.
  • 2007. 'Potential Impact of Social Computing (Web 2.0) on eHealth' - plenary presentation at the 4th IAVANTE International Symposium 'Improving Health through Education' held on 22-23 October in Granada, Spain at the Advanced Multifunctional Centre for Simulation and Technological Innovation (CMAT), at the Health Sciences Technology Park. The presentation can be found here.
  • 2007. 'Web 2.0 for eGovernment: Why and How?' Tutorial held at the Ministerial Conference on eGovernment ( in Lisbon, Portugal. The presentation can be found here.
  • 2007. 'Web 2.0: What's in it for eGovernment and eParticipation?' - presentation at the eParticipation Workshop, Brussels, 26 February 2007. The presentation can be found here.