Distributed systems are the result of complex, innovative processes in which technological components cannot be separated from social ones. While centralized systems can be developed without considering the social fabric in which they will be implemented, this is impossible when the technological solution in question is a distributed one. Being localized, small, connected and open, these promising social innovations actively contribute to the realization of resilient, distributed socio-technical systems. Distributed systems and social innovation are two sides of an emerging scenario. In the perspective of cosmopolitan localism, small-scale is to be considered an important quality for two sets of reasons. On the one hand, it permits the participating actors to understand and manage complex social-technical systems. Resilience is rather a technical precondition, on the basis of which many different resilient societies may exist, endowed with different social and cultural characteristics.