With ever more complex challenges including climate change, financial crises, demographic change, resource depletion and new global conflicts new solutions need to be found. State and market are trying to solve those problems where possible, however, in some cases, they fuel the challenge, instead of solving it.
New ways need to be found to engage citizens in a bottom-up, needs-driven and result oriented approach. Social innovation - broadly speaking new ways, products, or processes to existing social and societal problems - can help to achieve small or large scale socially sustainable solutions for problems that neither market nor state were able to solve. This is because social innovation puts society in the centre and organises citizens, state and market in new ways.
To fully take advantage of the power of social innovation, Euclid Network developed two social innovation prize competitions. The first one "This is European Social Innovation" and the second one "International Social Innovation Competition - Naples 2.0". Those competitions had the potential to mobilise citizens from across Europe and the world, working in partnership with local organisations to come up with new ideas for persisting social challenges.
Together with partners, Euclid Network is planning on exporting the concept of social innovation competitions to different places and contexts. Below you find an overview of what has been done so far and what is in the pipe-line.
A recognition prize that awarded 10 large-scale successful examples of socially innovative initiatives, with the aim of raising the profile of social innovation across Europe and creating an impact beyond the established social innovation community.
A call on social innovators from around the world to submit their solutions for 6 concrete challenges in Naples. Seven winners - out of 500 registrations and 200 submitted applications - were selected to implement their idea. Together with the European Commission a booklet about the competition was published.
Re-empowering citizens in London
Starting off as a response to the London riots - re-empowering citizens to create stronger communities - this project is still under development.
Tackling unemployment in Spain
Together with partners in Spain, Euclid Network is advising on creating a competition with the aim to come up with solutions to tackle Spain's growing unemployment crisis.
Social Innovation Zone - Athens
Together with our local partners we are developing the concept of a social innovaiton zone in Athens, building on the concept of special (social) economic zones.
We are supporting Social Enterprise Tunisia to develop and run their social business competition to give more visibility and momentum to social entrepreneurship in Tunisia.
The European Commission launched this challenge prize in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, its aim being to find the best social innovation solutions to help people move towards new types of work. The competition includes a strong mentoring component for shortlisted entries, with the three best project proposals are each to be awarded with a prize of €20,000 in May 2013. Click here for more information.