European Social Innovation Competition Winners
On 29 May 2013, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, awarded the first Social Innovation prizes for three ground-breaking ideas that seek new ways to create more and better jobs in Europe. The winning projects aim to reduce youth employment by sharing jobs among young and older employees, to extend the reach and quality of small-scale social care and health services via an app, and to improve access to the job market for economically deprived by making their skills widely visible. Not present? Watch the best-of video!.
The following new and outstanding ideas on how to unlock fresh talent and skills to address pressing unmet needs were the winners of this year’s social innovation competition:
Extending the reach and impact of sustainable, small-scale social care and health services: Community Catalysts (United Kingdom) propose connecting talents in business and communities to create jobs for social benefit by helping people to use their creativity to set up sustainable, small-scale social care and health services that people can afford. These micro-enterprises could be offered by a wide range of people, including disabled, older and family carers. Community Catalysts want to extend their current reach and impact through a managed network of professional business and professional mentors supporting community entrepreneurs throughout the UK via an on-line platform.
Improve access to the job market for economically deprived by making their skills widely visible: This can be anything from home-made cheese to carpooling to computer support or any other product or service that can reasonably be provided in a home or small business setting. Economy App (Germany) collects information from users on what they could offer in a local economy and what their economic needs are. The software keeps a record of the value of products and services provided and accepted for every person in this economic network and so no money ever needs to change hands.
Reduce youth unemployment by job sharing among young and older employees: MITWIN.NET (Spain) proposes an intergenerational professional network conceived to facilitate contact between people in order to share a job post and knowledge, with the main goal of reducing the high rate of youth unemployment. MITWIN.NET proposes that older workers share a job with younger people, allowing those approaching retirement to share knowledge with those being incorporated into the job market, easing both entry and exit from the job market and addressing young unemployment.