Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. Now in its 8th year, the Competition acts as a beacon for social innovators in Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping society for the better. Each year, the Competition is based around a different issue facing Europe. This year, the theme is Reimagine Fashion.
The consumption of textiles accounts for roughly 5% of the EU’s environmental footprint, and apparel and footwear account for approximately 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Every year, EU citizens buy more than 12kg of clothing each, the production of which contributes 195 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere and uses 46 billion cubic meters of water. It's time to make a change!
The first phase of the competition started recently, with the announcement of the 30 Semi-Finalists. Between May and August, they will receive a comprehensive online package of support from experienced social innovators to further develop their ideas. This includes the Competition’s social innovation academy, a multi-day training event that connects Semi-Finalists to a wider community of European social innovators through a series of dedicated presentations and workshops. This year the academy will take place online, offering the same programme in a collaborative and digital format. Semi-Finalists will also be paired with a local coach for 1-to-1 mentoring and gain access to an online pool of experts for tailored advice on specific aspects of launching a social venture.
The Awards Ceremony will take place in late autumn, where the 3 winners – each receiving a EUR 50,000 cash prize – will be announced.