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digitESSt and digiDieta: new tools to help digitize the social and solidarity economy

The tools are developed by the UOC Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) Dimmons research group (Photo: Matchimpulsa/Cātedra_Oberta)

Carlos Guadián

The tools are being launched as part of the Open Chair created by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona City Council and Barcelona Activa

DigitESSt is an online test which enables organizations to self-diagnose their level of digitization

DigiDieta provides online training capsules which contribute to the digital transformation of businesses

The Barcelona UOC Chair in Digital Economy (Open_Chair), which forms part of the MatchImpulsa programme, has rolled out digitESSt and digiDieta, two tools for self-diagnosis and resources, respectively, for the digitization of organizations in the social and solidarity economy (SSE). The chair, created by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Barcelona City Council and Barcelona Activa, aims to enable institutions and companies in this sector to fully join the digital economy at a time of change in the way we conduct business and consume that has accelerated as a result of the pandemic.

The tools, developed by the UOC Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) Dimmons research group, have been designed based on the research-action project carried out by the group aimed at digitization with a positive social and economic impact for society as a whole. The digitESSt is an online test that provides organizations with a diagnosis of their level of digitization. It is aimed at companies and professionals in the city of Barcelona who are facing the challenge of making the digital transition, consists of nine short series of questions about the organization, and takes around 20 minutes to complete. Those completing the digitESSt can join the UOC's Hubbik incubator, and all the participants can ask for personalized advice from the Barcelona Activa economic development agency. Organizations that complete the various pathways will also receive a certificate. 

Based on the test results, the digiDieta offers complementary online training free of charge to improve the organizations' level of digitization. The free-to-access training programme consists of eight modules: technology, organization, feminism, networking, sustainable food, financing, sustainability, and marketing and communication. Each one contains several lessons with associated resources, and users can take a short achievement test related to the contents. A certificate of completion will be obtained by those finishing each of the proposed pathways. There are also additional external resources to expand skills and knowledge in the various recommended modules.

The annual campaign to encourage organizations to take the digitESSt and to raise awareness of the digiDieta will come to an end on 30 November 2022.

The anonymized aggregated data obtained from these two tools will facilitate a collective diagnosis on the state of digitization of the SSE in Barcelona, which will be published in open access format in the spring of 2023 to promote shared knowledge. This exercise will make it possible to contribute to the consolidation and strengthening of the SSE through public policies.

These two tools are part of the Barcelona 2030 Social and Solidarity Economy Strategy (#ESSBCN2030 Strategy) aimed at responding to the overall challenge of digitizing the SSE, in accordance with the objectives of the Plan to Boost the Social and Solidarity Economy 2021-2023, both documents being implemented by Barcelona City Council. However, they are the result of the work carried out jointly between Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Activa and the UOC within the framework of the agreement to promote digitization in the field of the SSE.



The UOC's research and innovation (R&I) is helping overcome pressing challenges faced by global societies in the 21st century, by studying interactions between technology and human & social sciences with a specific focus on the network society, e-learning and e-health.

The UOC's research is conducted by over 500 researchers and 51 research groups distributed between the university's seven faculties, the E-learning Research programme, and two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eHealth Center (eHC).

The University also cultivates online learning innovations at its eLearning Innovation Center (eLinC), as well as UOC community entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer via the Hubbik platform.

The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open knowledge serve as strategic pillars for the UOC's teaching, research and innovation. More information: #UOC25years

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