European Social Innovation Competition

The European Social Innovation Competition promotes and supports social innovation in Europe. This year, the competition will take place for the seventh time and has the theme ‘Challenging Plastic Waste’.


All of this year's Semi-Finalists

Maker: Ivan Fois


All of this year's Semi-Finalists
2013 - 2021

The European Social Innovation Competition is an initiative of the DG Growth of the European Commission, and is organised by Kennisland in cooperation with Nesta, Ashoka, ENoLL en Scholz & Friends. The first edition of the competition was launched on the 1st of October 2013 in Lisbon, in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos++Diogo VasconcelosDiogo was one of the forerunners in Europe in the field of social innovation. Read more. The competition promotes and supports social innovation in Europe and provides a platform for leading European innovators to support new initiatives, help them develop further and learn from each other.

The Competition

The goal of the European Social Innovation Competition is to help social innovation initiatives develop further and realise their potential. Out of all the applications, thirty semi-finalists will be chosen by a jury. They will participate in the Social Innovation Academy in a European city. During this three-day programme, participants will have coaching sessions and workshops and will be able to learn from colleagues from other countries. Of these semi-finalists the jury will choose ten finalists, of which three projects will eventually receive a price of € 50,000 each at the award ceremony in Brussels. In the spirit of continuous progress, all the semi-finalists of the last edition have a chance to win an additional impact prize of € 50,000 one year later. This prize is based on the impact they have realised since their participation in the Social Innovation Academy.

2019: Challenging Plastic Waste

The competition has a different socially relevant theme each year. Last year, the theme was RE:THINK LOCAL and in 2017 Equality Rebooted. This year, the competition’s focus is on innovative projects, products, services, business models and collaborations that tackle plastic wastePlastic waste is everywhere and it pollutes our oceans and nature. That’s why this year, we are looking for the most innovative approaches to reducing plastic waste and improving the reuse and recycling of plastic at a systemic level..

Millions of tonnes of plastic waste are generated each year. In the EU, 27.1 million tonnes of post-consumer plastic were collected in 2016. The European Strategy for Plastics aims at addressing the plastic waste challenge through measures such as ensuring that all plastic packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2030. Successfully tackling plastic waste requires a systemic approach, including a rethink of supply chains, re-design of materials and products, new uses for plastic waste and recycled plastics, or changing consumer and business habits. That is why this year we are not only looking for new solutions for the design, production and use of plastic, but also for the collection, sorting and recycling of our plastic waste!

Social Innovation Academy

Kennisland is responsible for the substantive organisation of the Social Innovation Academy that took place in Turin this year.Kennisland is responsible for the substantive organisation of the Social Innovation Academy that took place in Turin this year. This academy consists of a three-day programme that is aimed at improving or further developing the participants initiatives. The thirty semi-finalists++2019 semi-finalistsView the profiles of the semi-finalists here. will form a learning network and receive instruments and inspiration by participating in workshops, interactive discussions and sessions with experts and other participants.

In these three days, the participants will be working on a range of aspects relevant to their projects. This will, for instance, include trainings in the pitching of ideas, developing a business plan, forming new collaborative partnerships and working on a good team interaction. During interactive sessions with experts, participants will receive feedback on their ideas and approaches. In addition to these content-related meetings, the programme also has an important local aspect. Participants will pay visits to local initiatives, where they will get to know Turin’s social innovation climate and have an opportunity to improve and grow their network.

More information

You can find more information about the competition here. You can also follow the competition on Twitter via @EUSocialInnov and #diogochallenge.

See how it goes at the competition? You can find photo’s here.

Deze tekst heeft een Creative Commons Naamsvermelding-licentie (CC BY) en is gekopieerd van de Kennisland-website. Ga voor de volledige versie met afbeeldingen, streamers en noten naar

This text has a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) and has been copied from the Kennisland website. For a full version with images, streamers and notes go to