A digital hybrid society

The rapid development of information and network technologies has deeply intertwined the majority of social activities with the digital landscape. This integration encompasses both real-life situations where individuals engage with digital networks (such as remote work management, interpersonal communication, and online shopping and learning) and activities that have seamlessly transitioned into the digital realm (such as online streaming and multiplayer gaming). As a result, our society has become a digital hybrid society.

Digital Hybridity: Empowering Dynamic Digital Transformation

This passage highlights the impact of digital technologies on shaping social enterprises, given the pervasive influence of digital transformation across society. Social enterprises, together with the social environment and customer communities they serve, are undeniably affected by this significant wave of digitalization. The concept of digital hybridity is particularly relevant as it describes how digital technologies enable social entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, and share resources and knowledge within the already digitized social environment. Leveraging digital platforms provides opportunities to reach a broader audience, expand relationship networks, and garner support for their projects.

Collaboration and Transaction: The Keys to Success

Furthermore, the author emphasizes the role of digital technologies in enhancing the impact of social enterprises. By leveraging digital tools and platforms, social entrepreneurs can enhance their visibility, reach, and operational efficiency in pursuit of their goals. However, it is crucial to view the operational development of social enterprises through the lens of digital hybridity rather than solely focusing on the term “digital transformation.” The latter may suggest a complete assimilation of the organization into the digital world, which is not always accurate. The value creation and delivery processes of social enterprises often involve nuanced aspects that require in-person observations, care, and flexible interactions, which cannot be entirely systematized or digitized. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance by preserving the irreplaceable aspects of on-site realities within the core processes while capitalizing on the support and feedback offered by digital systems and automated functions.

Balancing Real-World Engagement with Digital Networks

Adopting a digital fusion mindset allows each value creation or delivery activity to embrace its unique digitalization model while remaining interconnected within the overall operational system. It is essential to acknowledge that different operational blocks of a social innovation venture may vary in their ability to be detached from real-world processes and transformed into information-based, network-based, and interactive collaborative and sharing models. This notion of digital hybridity allows for flexibility and adaptation to cater to each block’s specific needs and level of digital integration.

The Digital Entrepreneurship Canvas

To assist in evaluating your social enterprise, we recommend utilizing the Digital Entrepreneurship Canvas developed by SeCoStars. This tool can help identify which blocks within your organization can be seamlessly integrated with specific digital tools while preserving the distinctive aspects of your value creation and delivery processes.

Reference: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0040162521007915