Winners of the Social Innovation on Ageing European Award

Led by the King Baudouin Foundation, this project has mapped and analyzed European social innovations in the field of active and healthy ageing during a whole year of activities (March 2013 – March 2014). With the aim to help policy-makers to get an overview of potential policy needs, AGE contributed to this project both in the pre-selection and final selection of the cases, and in the dissemination of the award, which closed the project and was co-financed by La Caixa Foundation, Erste Foundation and UniCredit Foundation.

On 25 March 2014, the winner of European award has been nominated during a touchy ceremony in Brussels. Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General, was invited as a speaker, dialoguing with Lieve Fransen, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Felix Oldenburg, Ashoka Europe, and Tom Costello, The Atlantic Philantropies. The event highlighted how social innovations are usually small but incremental solutions to big challenges: they bring a great wealth to the local community, provide connections between researches and practices, stimulate cooperation between universities and local authorities, while leveraging the bottom-up approach they contribute to.

“Passion for Life” (Sweden) is the winner of this European contest. It is an exciting low cost, citizen empowerment model being introduced into Denbighshire from Sweden, and provides a framework for older people, enabling them to move from where they are now to where they would like to be in their lives, and not let their age (or anything else) affect them, their independence or their quality of life. “Passion for Life” works on the gap between the current situation and the wished one; Though “Life-Cafés”, participants measure and test changes, as well as they evaluate their performances.
The project was initially piloted in one area but by the end of the project the older people involved began to disseminate the Passion for Life concept using their own social networks and influencing powers. This meant that Passion for Life satellites rapidly spread via the older people and their individual networks across Sweden and through other countries such as America. It was in America that the head of Modernisation at the Trust first heard about it and brought the concept to Denbighshire, and through our discussions the idea to introduce the Denbighshire concept crystallised. There is no better way to demonstrate citizen empowerment than to see then citizens themselves spread a project which they believe in because it has enriched their health and their lives!

The second and third winners are:

A short presentation of the winners is available here.

For more information about the project, the finalists and the award, do not hesitate to

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