Prize competitions are used to leverage innovative solutions from unexpected sources. An experimental pilot project, Naples 2.0 applied this method to social problems to ascertain whether this approach could work in such a challenging environment as Naples – an international symbol of state and market failure.
Social innovators were invited to apply from June 2011 – September 2011, after six concrete challenges had been identified. These were chosen when Project Ahead consulted local civil society organisations, who acknowledged a number of challenges which were based on unused social assets, unsustainable business models for civil society organisations and the search for new methodologies. Successful solutions would need to be sustainable, innovative and feasible to be implemented. Specifically, the challenges were as follows.
The winners were awarded at the award ceremony in Naples 21-23 September 2011. Find the agenda here.
The process was divided into three steps:
Ideas to solve the problems were submitted from all over the world and applicants from all sectors. An international jury selected the winners based on the criteria of: level of innovation; feasibility; sustainability; clarity; and understanding of the context.
The winners received a grant to turn the ideas into a business plan with the support of the organisers. The business plans were assessed based on the criteria of: sustainability; efficiency; and impact.
The selected business plans received the funding for the start-up phase.
The implementation phase, drawing to a close in early 2013, is all about providing support for the winners to ensure the best possible results. During this time, the Euclid Network team and the international task force support the seven winners, awarded with the prize money, in producing a solid business plan.
Click here to read more about the winning projects and their progress and outcomes.
The goals of the competition were threefold:
1. Awareness: To turn Naples from symbol of both State’s and Market’s failure into symbol of social innovation’s success.
2. Politics:To make Naples a model for implementing social innovation agenda in other regions and countries, within the EU and beyond, especially in Central Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean (regions displaying a similar set of challenges).
3. To develop a culture of civil engagement, social innovation and social entrepreneurship, through working in partnership across borders and boundaries with new technologies.
Simultaneously, a national competition was run, open to Italian speaking students who provided their ideas to the challenges outlined, including their local knowledge of the country and culture. Read more here.