What is the European

Social Innovation

Diogo Vasconcelos

Diogo Vasconcelos was a Portuguese leader who focused on fostering innovation to address some of the great societal challenges of our time.

During his career he worked closely with the European Commission and others on issues such as globalisation, sustainability and climate change, urbanisation, democratic participation, public services and healthcare.

Diogo was chairman of the Social Innovation Exchange and also launched the Entrepreneurs Academy among other accomplishments. He passed away in July 2011 at the age of 43. 

To keep Diogo’s ambitions alive, the European Commission established the European Social Innovation Competition to inspire entrepreneurs across the continent to continue developing ideas that tackle the challenges our society faces.

Launched in 2013, the Competition acts as a beacon for social innovators across Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping our society for the better. Each year the Competition addresses a different issue facing Europe.

Previous editions (click & scroll to the right)


Reimagine Fashion

The 8th European Social Innovation Competition Social was looking for ideas and ventures that aimed to improve the environmental and social impact of the European fashion market through the development of new products, services and processes, and innovative business models.


Challenging Plastic Waste

The 7th European Social Innovation Competition focused on ideas that reduce plastic waste and littering through changing and improving existing processes or through introducing brand-new products and initiatives.


Rethink Local

The 6th European Social Innovation Competition focused on place-based approaches to empowering young people in a changing economy.


Equality Rebooted

The 5th European Social Innovation Competition focused on ideas to ensure everyone in Europe benefits from the opportunities created by technological changes.


Integrated Futures

The 4th European Social Innovation Competition focused on projects to support the reception and integration of refugees and migrants in Europe.


New Ways to Grow

The 3rd European Social Innovation Competition focused on sustainable approaches to increasing financial growth and social progress.


More Jobs for Europe

The 2nd European Social Innovation Competition focused on initiatives that create new or better jobs in Europe.


Jobs for the Economically Deprived

The 1st European Social Innovation Competition focused on  developing solutions for creating new opportunities for work, and for better work.