Why are we doing this?
2016 Theme ‘Integrated Futures’
The EU has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of refugees and migrants travelling to the continent, with more than a million new arrivals over the last year. This unprecedented inflow of people, many of whom are vulnerable individuals seeking international protection, presents a challenge across Europe not only in terms of their immediate reception, but also in terms of their longer term integration in society. Innovative and creative approaches are needed to build inclusive communities and realise the potential contribution of refugees and migrants. That’s why this year’s competition is focused on Integrated Futures.
What are we doing?
In 2016, the European Commission was looking for new ideas for products, technologies, services and models that can support the integration of refugees and migrants. Ideas could relate to any aspect of the reception and integration process including, but not limited to:
- Education and Skills Development
- Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Access to Appropriate Housing and Health Services
- Safety and Human Rights
- Community Cohesion and Cultural Diversity
The Competition was open to individuals, groups and organisations across the European Union and in countries participating in the European Horizon 2020 programme. Applications that were led by or were co-created with refugees and migrants were particularly encouraged.
The Competition aimed to help the most innovative ideas turn into real projects and achieve sustainable impact. Thirty of the most promising applications were chosen as semi-finalists and invited to a social innovation mentoring academy in Berlin in July 2016 to progress their ideas.
The three best solutions were awarded a prize of €50,000 at the awards ceremony in Brussels in October 2016.
This is the fourth year in which Nesta has worked as a delivery partner of the European Social Innovation Competition. Organised since 2012 in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition calls all Europeans to come up with solutions to the problems affecting our society. The Competition is run by the European Commission with the support of a consortium of partners including Nesta, Shipyard, Impact Hub, Kennisland and Matter and Co. Nesta's Challenge Prize Centre has been lead partner in prize design and delivery since the Competition programme began in 2012.
Diogo Vasconcelos was a Portuguese leader who focused on fostering new ideas to address some of the great societal challenges of our time. During his career he worked closely with the European Commission and others on issues such as globalisation, sustainability and climate change, urbanisation, democratic participation, public services and healthcare. During his life, Diogo was chairman of the Social Innovation Exchange and also launched the Entrepreneurs Academy, among other accomplishments. He passed away in July 2011 at the age of 43.