There are over 200 incubators in Europe, whose at least half of them are aimed to support startups with a social impact. ECSI intends to get EU citizens closer to these initiatives, reducing the gap between existing social innovations fertilizing within the incubators and the challenges that citizens face with in their everyday life. In doing so, the project entails a participatory approach including a call for solutions, innovative actions such as city workshops and urban games.
Barcelona, Berlin, Milan
A social innovation produces a real impact when it tackles problems which are felt as urgent from a given community and that is why it has become a top priority for European cities. In order to support innovative ideas to grow and become sustainable, many initiatives have spread out across Europe, such as incubators specifically devoted to social innovation. But often these initiatives are created without seeking the involvement of the community where they are expected to produce an impact.
The aim of the project is to involve European citizens - and in particular those of three cities, Barcelona, Berlin and Milan – in a participatory transnational approach with the intent to seek solutions for making social innovation incubators closer and more careful to community’s needs. The ambition is to produce recommendations for an integrated European vision on the role of social innovation incubators in Europe, useful for those organizations willing to work on this theme.
3 main activities are planned:
1) Launch of an EU-wide call for ideas aimed to receive proposals on how to get social innovation incubators closer to their community.
2) On-the-field activities to be held in Barcelona, Berlin and Milan aimed to raise awareness on the issues tackled by the project, including:
- Organization of Incognito, a one-day urban game for families and young people, that through interaction and exploration of urban areas build up a shared narrative that trigger active citizenship.
- Three City Workshops aimed to involve citizens in a discussion on how support project ideas having an impact in their own community.
3) Final Event to be held at FabriQ, the social innovation incubator promoted by the City of Milan and co-managed by FGB, aimed to present project results.
The main target group of the project are citizens involved in the project (online and offline), who will be endowed with tools and information in order to play a more active role to solve community challenges. Other stakeholders which will benefit from activities and results of the project are: cities and private organizations interested in social innovation, which will receive important feedback and data on how to launch a social innovation incubator with the support of the community.
Actions foreseen in the project are very heterogeneous, but all linked by a strong participation of the European citizens. The urban games (Incognito) will offer a funny and engaging activity for exploring the districts where they are experimented, involving families and young people for collecting precious information on the main urban challenges. Partnership is also unconventional linking different actors from 3 European countries with the common goal of producing a real impact on citizens.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
In order to ensure sustainability to the project, the following expenses are foreseen: Staff costs: 35,650 Eur (including project management, implementation and dissemination); Travels to Barcelona, Milan and Berlin: 8,000 Eur Online dissemination activities (website + social media): 1,500 Eur; Organization of 3 City Workshops and Urban Games (logistics): 4,500 Eur; Organization of Final Event (logistics): 3,000 Eur; Project visual image (e.g. logo) and editing of final handbook: 1,500 Eur
We are willing to receive feedback on how to scale up our project and involve other European cities in the participatory approach used in the project. So, please feel free to share your ideas on how to make sure that a lot of European citizens can really have an impact!