EUROPEAN COMMISSION: encouraging economic growth through social innovation

The European Commission has organised the European Social Innovation Competition since 2012 to encourage economic growth in the EU through social innovation



We are part of a consortium of European experts in social innovation, working together to deliver the European Commission’s European Social Innovation Competition over three years. Our partners are Nesta, Kennisland, Impact Hub and Shipyard.

In 2016, the competition’s focus is on finding innovative solutions to help refugees and migrants integrate into Europe. Our role was to lead the launch event held in Amsterdam and put together a pan-European communications campaign to promote the competition, driving applications from across the contintent. We put together a communications plan using skills from across our different teams combining PR, digital media, design, films and events.



Developing sensitive messaging around a highly inflammatory topic was really important from the outset, our focus was on finding positive solutions and opportunities to promote integration, with the competition’s theme being Integrated Futures. Our design team created a smart and distinctive brand for the project which both kept elements consistent with the previous identity but also made use of a new graphic to represent integration.

Our events team lead a brilliant kick-off event, partnering with the City of Amsterdam, featuring a programme of discussions and workshops that brought together brilliant examples of social innovation in the Netherlands, as well as social entrepreneurs working with refugees from all over Europe. The event was over-subscribed.

We produced two films which sensitively outlined the issues and the role of social innovation in solving societal challenges which was a brilliant tool to explain the competition and a great success on social media, where our increasingly popular Twitter account targeted those working in the social innovation space or with refugees. We also ran a Facebook promotion, sharing the launch film which was watched by 120,000 people across 19 countries – reaching new audiences from Rome to Romania. Additionally, our PR campaign achieved 78 articles and over 5,000 people have signed up to our regular newsletter.

We’re pleased to say that the competition attracted over 1,000 entries in just six weeks. The jury will meet to decide a shortlist of 30 semi-finalists and we look forward to meeting them at the mentoring academy in Berlin in July!