Category Archives: Competitions

Competing for Naples – plenty of problems, plenty solutions (submitted by Euclid Network)

By Lucas Fülling

In early 2011 Euclid Network launched its second international social innovation competition – Naples 2.0 –, this time with a completely new focus. The idea of the competition was not to reward existing initiatives but use social innovation as a tool that can be applied to concrete problems in one of the most challenging environments of Europe: Naples to find new ideas to solve those problems. We wanted to drift away from definitions of the concept of social innovation but move forward and see how people can use their creative potential to come up with innovative and sustainable ideas to bring along social change.

Together with our partners UniCredit Foundation and Project Ahead we were exploring particular challenges in Naples where state and market had little success in solving them. They ranged from the use of public assets, to unsustainable business models of civil society organisations, to new methodologies for social problems, as for example the integration of Roma. The challenges were concrete but there was no prescription of how to solve the challenge. This led to a very diversified portfolio of solutions, from ‘Scamping’ – Camping with the Roma in Scampia (a very deprived district of Naples) to sustainable tourism in a confiscated Camorra (Naples’ Mafia).

© Euclid Network

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Hope Institute Social Invention Competition

Social Invention Competitions organised by the Hope Institute are effective participation platforms for citizens to identify social challenges around them, think of solutions to tackle these problems and carry out their own ideas.

CC - Image from wenzday01 from Flickr

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Online competitions: anyone can be a changemaker

Since its founding in 1980, Ashoka, a not-for-profit organisation, has supported social entrepreneurs, “Ashoka fellows”, to realise their goals. Over the last fifteen years, Ashoka has pioneered a new type of online open-source collaborative competition. Changemakers builds on the belief that competitions are an excellent method for sourcing and implementing social innovations and builds on this idea by allowing anyone to view and comment on competition entries that have already been uploaded to their website. 

CC - Image courtesy of Seema K K from Flickr

Competitions as a Platform for Social Innovation

Competitions are being used more and more as a way to tackle social problems. The idea behind a competition is simple yet they remain a powerful instrument to drive innovation and social engagement. They provide unique space to identify innovative practices as well as new talent and skill in the field. They also spark innovation by mobilising creativity as well as human and financial capital to solve social problems.

CC - Image courtesy of Robert Voors from Flickr

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