International Social Innovation Competition: Naples 2.0

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altIn 2011, Euclid Network, UniCredit Foundation and Project Ahead ran a prize competition which drew social innovators from around the world to take part. The first prize competition to be employed in the social sector, it called upon participants to present innovative solutions for six persistent, concrete social challenges in Naples, Italy, which both state and market had been unable to address. The project was originally planned as an experiment to take social innovation beyond its usual circles, and a prompt for citizens to rediscover their collective agency – their capacity to act together to solve problems – and has since proved to be a replicable and scalable model, inspiring the EU’s Social Innovation Prize Competition. With funding from UniCredit Foundation, the winners received a grant and mentoring support to transform their ideas into business plans. The Naples competition has inspired other competitions including the European Investment Bank Institute's Social Innovation Tournament and the EU Social Innovation Prize Competition in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos.

Read more about the Naples competition here, or about the pilot as a replicable model here.




Duration: 1/3/2011 – 03/6/2013

Participation: 500 expressions of interest from 39 countries, with 200 submitted ideas. Outreach of 500,000 people internationally.

Winners: 7 prizes: 3 x EUR 10,000; 4 x EUR 7,500. Total of EUR 520, 000 committed in private investment.

Media coverage: Included The Guardian, Forbes and Bloomberg's Business Week. Booklet on Naples 2.0 released by the European Commission. Funded by - UniCredit Foundation; CSV - Centro di Servizi per il Volontariato Napoli


7 winners were chosen at an awards ceremony in September 2011; as the jury did not find an appropriate winner for challenge 6, it was decided that the money would be used to award two more winners for challenges 2 and 3 where several excellent projects were proposed. After a one and a half year implementation phase two start-ups and a brand new publication are to be launched at the closing seminar.

The competition has not only produced two projects on course to successfully complete the currently on-going implementation phase. Others have used their head start to grow their projects in new directions and expand into new regions (read more here), and the competition proved a catalyst for countless connections and the development of partnerships.

Find more about the challenges and interviews with the winners below, or click here for more information about the competition’s outcomes and results.

An event to launch the official press release and revisit the competition to asses its outcomes will take place in Naples on the 21st-22nd March. Click here for more information.


For more information, contact Luisa at

Profile of the winners and their projects

Challenge 1: "Turning a confiscated villa into a financially sustainable Social Business”

Winners: Margherita Cittadino, Italy, Naples.

Green Urban Centre: Born in Naples and a graduate in Civil Engineering, Margherita's idea consisted of creating a “green urban centre" focusing on the concept of social economy and environmental sustainability to provide training courses to improve the knowledge of a sustainable life style.This innovative space will accelerate the co-creation for people empowerment and it can be a stimulus for community participation and inclusion. There will also be an ‘urban green festival’ in the villa and private gardens in Naples. Have a look at Margherita's website.

Challenge 2: "Making an abandoned Roman bath accessible and sustainable"

Winners: The Roots Discovery Consortium led by Fondazione Confprofessioni, Italy; Jan Herder USA, Vermont

1. Roots Discovery: The idea behind the winning project of Sara Ceraso with her working team was to rediscover the city memory and the relationship between the city and its residents. The aim of the project is to involve the citizens in rediscovering the area’s historical roots by means of projects for the development and promotion of the sites of historical, archaeological interest characterizing the birth and the evolution of this area of Naples. Their website may give you some inspirations.

2. Jan Herder: With 23 years experience in experiential learning to empower students in a technological and creative environment, Jan Herder's idea combines social media, virtual worlds and augmented reality with ecological sustainability to preserve, enhance and develop the baths. It also involves participant empowerment, social media, emerging technologies and creative economy techniques. Check out Jan's project on his website.

Challenge 3: "Creating a sustainable business plan for a volunteering organisation"

Winners: Mirjana Tomic and Dejana Popovic, Serbia (KULANGO); Mylene Jonker, Jonas Piet, Vincenzo di Maria, The Netherlands.

1. REMAKE Festival: Mirjana Tomic and Dejana Popovic are both active members of the Citizens’ Association Kula, an NGO that promotes an interactive model of education for youngsters in Serbia. Their winning project consists of developing a creative process with the younger population in the field of culture and art with the aim to demonstrate and display techniques to create new value for existing objects in the environment.

2. Gioconomics (Mylene Jonker, Jonas Piet, Vincenzo di Maria):With a strong background in design as a ‘human-centered innovation process’, this winning team applied its experience to develop a methodology that starts from a ‘standard’ volunteering approach to a ‘co-creation’ approach. In the current model Gioco asks a small group of active members for their time. In this project’s co-created or Wiki-way, all members are seen as users and contributors. They will reach audiences beyond their local network and draw in many more resources. Definitely have a look at Gioconomic's fantastic Blog.

Challenge 4: "Creating a sustainable business model for a non-profit organisation that works with school dropouts"

Winners: Immersive Labs (Domenico Zungri), with partners IDC Consortium (Pierre-Julien Barraud) and Fondazione Mondo Digitale (Professor Alfonso Molina), Italy.

Immersive Labs supported by Fondazione Mondo Digitale and IDC Consortium promotes Immersive Technologies, and the interaction between Social and Technological Innovation. Their winning idea is to engage with drop-outs through Immersive Interactive Technologies, by providing them with first, basic training and the objective of a concrete production output within the first year of activity. Find out more about their project on their new website.

Challenge 5: "Creating an innovative new method for inclusion of the young Roma population"

Winners: Barbara Pierro and Marco Marino, Italy.

La Kumpania: Chi Rom e…Chi No, is non-profit association that is active in promoting social inclusion and overcoming racial discrimination and stereotypes against Roma. Their winning idea is to develop entrepreneurial activities in the field of catering of a group of jobless Roma and Italian women. The aim of the project is to overcome discrimination against the Roma through the construction of a process of social, cultural and work emancipation, based on the knowledge of the cuisine and Roma traditions. Click here for a PDF about La Kumpania; their blog holds some great information as well. La Kumpania
will spin off Chi Rom e Chi No in May, with the support of Naples City Council, UniCredit Foundation and Euclid Network.


UniCredit Foundation


Project Ahead


CSV - Centro di Servizi per il Volontariato Napoli


Promos Ricerche



University Frederico II - Faculty of Political Sciences


European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry


Fondazione Cannavaro Ferrara






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