Our Finnish member, Deaconess Foundation, in collaboration with Diak University got the shared first prize on the European Social Innovation Competition alongside projects from The Netherlands and Austria.

The “Skills for Tomorrow – Shaping a green and digital future” Challenge Prize was awarded to the Finnish consortium for their collaborative project “Zekki – What’s up?”. The initiative consists of a digital service in Finland that matches young people with various support services on an online wellbeing self-assessment quiz.

During the online awards ceremony, Valentina Superti – Director for Ecosystems II: Tourism & proximity, DG GROW – praised the winners for demonstrating that “Europe has an immense resource of innovative potential. It will allow us to resolve the many challenges that we face as a society. I would like to congratulate the participants, and our worthy winners, for their enthusiasm, their vision, and their contributions to Europe’s green and digital future.”

The European Social Innovation Competition is a competition run by the European Commission, with support from the European Innovation Council across all EU Member States and Horizon Europe associated countries. Now in its 9th year, the Competition acts as a beacon for social innovators in Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators that are shaping society for the better.

Our members strive to provide quality services and Eurodiaconia has been actively engaged in the EU debate on the quality of social services since 2005. With the EU facing rising demand for social services, pressures on funding of social services and changing public expectations of services, we will continue to work to encourage cooperation between our members, exchanging best practices and experiences to improve the provision and delivery of social services across Europe.