we are what we create together

GIG is the global network of social and tech innovators

Meet the Members

Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) is a vibrant, diverse community of innovation hubs, makerspaces, hackerspaces, and other grassroot innovation community spaces and initiatives, as well as individual innovators, makers, technologists, and changemakers. GIG is pursuing a new vision for global cooperation based on equality, openness and sharing. We aim to enable more diversity in the production of technology and global innovation processes, and support open and sustainable solutions.


GIG contributes to creating and using open, inclusive and sustainable technologies, meaningful connections between innovators with a positive impact on the policies and frameworks for grassroots innovation.

To achieve this, GIG supports research in innovation and development, digital rights and technology ecosystem questions carried out by local experts and international teams.

Open Innovation

GIG believes in harnessing the powers of grassroots innovation for societal change. In particular, we believe in involving the people affected in policymaking and technology design processes. Through our Open Innovation projects, we bring together different actors and perspectives to work on open solutions for social and economic development.

Critical Making LogoIn Critical Making we want to add scientific insights into the potentials of the maker movement for critical, socially responsible making, and show how these communities can offer new opportunities for young makers of all genders to contribute to an open society via open innovation. Thus, we will study grassroots innovation processes taking place in maker spaces, hackerspaces, fablabs, etc. and online spaces and relate them to RRI practices. More specifically, we will search for and analyse existing innovation and co-design processes taking place in these open spaces to find out in how far they reflect or contradict RRI principles.

Read more about Critical Making!

“Young Innovators: Using Digital Media to Inform about Regular and Irregular Migration Issues” was a six month pilot project GIG conducted with Kumasi Hive and Impact Hub Accra in partnership with Wikimedia Ghana User Group. It aimed at improving the information base on migration and travel.

Read more about the project!

In March 2019, Mozilla started its Reimagine Open project to revisit the ways Mozilla practices open to imagine better futures for our digital lives. In the following months, over 20,000 people from around 160 countries answered Mozilla’s survey and four focus groups were hosted in Europe and North America. Several GIG members supported Mozilla‘s Reimagine Open project by hosting Focus Groups in their hubs in 2019.

Read more about it!

Open Health

One goal of digitization should be to make medical care more participatory and to involve patients in the development of solutions. New technologies open up new possibilities to involve the user or the patient, as well as new innovative actors, not only in the collection of data. GIG works toward open health systems through our supported projects.

Careables LogoBottom-up digital social innovations are on the rise, including in healthcare. Access to the Internet, open source information and digital tools empower citizens, including patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals, to improve the self-management of their disease or to develop aids that support them in coping with daily hindrances of physical limitations. A growing number of grassroots solutions saw the light of day: from open source hand prosthetics, 3D printed writing tools to support kids with physical limitations, to add-ons for wheelchairs, and everything in between. However, these initiatives are still scattered.

Read more about Careables!

GIG together with Egyptian NGO Masr Bela Marad (MBM), which translates as “Egypt without illness”, and with support by a donation of Siemens AG and Siemens Energy AG set up a smart clinic in Shubra El Khema, Cairo. The clinic is providing high-quality care for around 15,000 patients yearly in an area lacking access to healthcare. The clinic is an example of participatory and inclusive development, where all partners are working together for a common for goal – to improve access to health at a time when it is needed more than ever. Our aim is to establish the Careables programme in the Smart Clinic, to train engineers, makers and designers together with doctors and nurses to improve the access to medical devices for all people.

Read more about it!

Citizen Social Science

Citizen Social Science combines equal collaboration between citizen groups (co-researchers) that are sharing a social concern and academic researchers. Such an approach enables addressing pressing social issues from the bottom up, embedded in their social contexts, with robust research methods. In GIG, we aim to co-create socially robust knowledge.

CoAct LogoThe CoAct project aims to position and demonstrate the scientific relevance and social impact of citizen social science, which connotes a radically participatory approach where citizens are considered in-the-field experts and co-researchers. The different Research and Innovation (R&I) actions that will be developed within the project will engage citizens and local civil society groups sharing a social concern as co-researchers and place them at the center of an open, inclusive and transparent Research and Innovation (R&I) cycle.

Read more about CoAct!

Global Innovation Gatherings

As a global community GIG knows of the power of convening like-minded innovators from around the world to work on digital innovation and digital rights-based policy topics. As Wau Holland, the founder of the Chaos Computer Club once said about their annual congress, some digital things are best done in person.

the logo of dots. the impact summitClimate change, economic inequality and political divisions are only becoming more pressing challenges in the whole world. As a network of networks, hubs and individuals, we want to jointly implement change through concrete and tangible projects. We use the power of a gathering to cocreate and implement long-term projects that offer collaborative solutions to systemic problems in different localities.

Read more about DOTS and check out our DOTS 2020 Playlist on YouTube!

The Global Innovation Gathering evolved from a sub-conference iside re:publica, bringing together innovation hub managers, makers, hackers and entrepreneurs from across the world. GIG has become a central part of the conference programme, showcasing tech innovation and maker projects from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

GIG@re:publica 2013-2021 Playlists