Three winners of the 2016 European Social Innovation Competition have been announced at the awards ceremony
On Refugee Week 2016, Rachel Pidgeon of Matter & Co argues that a citizen-led movement is our chance to help encourage refugee integration.
The European Social Innovation Competition has announced 30 semi-finalists in this year’s contest: Integrated Futures. The diversity of approaches and the countries they come from demonstrate the dynamic and thoughtful ways in which Europeans are supporting the reception and integration of refugees and migrants.
As part of the organising team of the European Social Innovation Competition we recently visited Berlin to prepare for the Social Innovation Academy that will be hosted for the semi-finalists in July. This intense three-day Academy will consist of workshops, coaching sessions, and site-visits in Berlin. During our visit, there were four issues that were repeatedly voiced by the social innovators on the ground: the need for a Culture of Welcome, empowering newcomers, tailor-made solutions and systemic change.
This is a guest post from Amos Doornbos, board member of Impact HUB King’s Cross. Impact HUB are consortium partners of the European Social Innovation Prize 2016, which this year has the theme ‘Integrated Futures’. As a board member of the Impact HUB King’s Cross not-for-profit arm, I’m excited Impact HUB is a part of European Union Social Innovation Competition looking for innovations in products, technologies, services and models that can support the integration of refugees and migrants.
Social innovation is all about bringing new ideas to bear on complex social challenges. Bright ideas are in especially need in the refugee crisis – what some are calling the biggest social challenge of a generation. Nesta is leading a consortium of partners precisely to bring in some new ideas in this space. Funded by DG Growth, the European Social Innovation Competition was launched on the 25th February to find social innovations to support the integration of migrants and refugees.
Over the last year more than a million refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe. A further three million are expected to arrive in 2016. The unprecedented number of refugees and migrants travelling to the continent undoubtedly represents one of the biggest challenges facing Europe today, not only in terms of their immediate reception, but also in terms of their longer-term integration in society.