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Full Title 

Collective enHanced Environment for Social Tasks

Started on 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Engineering Ingegneria Informatica SpA www.eng.it
Embedded thumbnail for CHEST
Embedded thumbnail for CHEST
Embedded thumbnail for CHEST
Generating and funding ideas for social innovation

CHEST will invest 2.5 Million Euro via three open funding rounds in seed finance for highly innovative digital based technologies, concepts and systems that address a specific societal challenge. CHEST also supports social entrepreneurs and innovators in sharing and exchanging ideas by creating an online forum where anyone (social entrepreneurs, innovators, citizens, interest groups) can propose an IT-based idea for solving societal challenges and discuss it with others.

Why is our project important? 

We are facing a number of societal challenges in Europe (think for example about climate change, unemployment, mobility or education) and in the world. As a response to these challenges, social innovation initiatives are popping up around Europe, proposing a lot of ideas for new sustainable, social beneficial and environmental friendly solutions for improving the way we live and work. However, the societal success of these new solutions will depend upon the involvement of citizens and of all those other parties interested in social innovation (researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, institutes, policy makers) and upon the ability to join forces to multiply initiatives accross Europe and accross social networks. Furthermore, finding funding is a critical barrier for many social innovation ideas on their way to become concrete projects.

With a budget of 2.5 Million, CHEST provides the opportunity for innovative social innovation ideas to be funded and to be realised. The applicants will only be selected by CHEST after an evaluation by the crowd, as well as by independent experts. The project has already funded 35project ideas at Call 1, each receiving up to €6K in seed finance. Furthermore, 5 projects have been selected for support under Call 2and will now join the CHEST project as Consortium partners.

By adapting new Internet instruments and social media, the CHEST project combines these two by creating an online environment, i.e. the platform where every one of these actors and current initiatives can be involved in order to debate social innovation, generate and exchange new initiatives, develop good practices and encourage collaboration among different actors and current initiatives. The CHEST platform will thus increase the likehood that ideas will grow into viable added value social initiatives.  The CHEST platform will also be a solution that is not restricted to one domain, but will be usable in other innovative area’s where a need is felt to work collaboratively accross different actors by sharing ideas, experiences and potentials.  f you are a social entrepreneurs, an innovator or a citizen and you have a specific idea addressing a specific social challenge or you want to contribute to idea-generation with other social innovators, then visit the chest website and see how to apply or how to contribute to the ongoing discussion about the proposed ideas.

What are our goals? 

  • To facilitate the generation of community derived ideas that address societal challenges, supporting knowledge exchange, the development of best practice, discussion and collaborative activity.
  • To invite social entrepreneurs from across Europe to submit their ideas through three open funding calls for proposals, which will then be evaluated by both the crowd community and external independent evaluators, with the highest rated proposals each receiving support for continued development and realisation.
  • To transform the selected ideas into viable added value social initiatives.
  • communicate the results of the project across the EU and to engage with key communities, investors and incubators active with an interest in digital social innovation to ensure the sustainability of the programme with the potential to facilitate crowd funding to finance future projects and ideas

Initiatives, tools and services we have already launched 

Analysis of the CHEST online crowd
Online communities have been playing an increasingly important role in supporting grassroots initiatives in the area of social innovation and sustainability. It is crucial for almost all Digital Social Innovations to build a vibrant community. In collaboration with the CAPS-project CATALYST we were able to analyze the CHEST online crowd using the cutting-edge tool Edgesense.
Edgesense is a social network analytics tool augmenting online conversations (such as the commenting on and the voting of ideas on the CHEST platform for ideas) with network analytics aiming to foster collective intelligence processes. It allows network managers to take a step back from their networks and assess the overall structure of the interactions going on between the users of the community as well as the evolution of these interactions over time. Through Edgesense we were able assess the underlying structure of the CHEST online crowd and the relations between single members or groups as well as their communications (in form of comments and voting). It enables the identification of key members of the crowd which have the potential to act as important multipliers within the Social Innovation community.
The results of the analysis are available to all CHEST beneficiaries in order to support their community building activities. 

Initiatives, tools and services we are still working on 

The CHEST Partners are pleased to announce that five projects have been selected under Call 2. Each winning applicant will now join the CHEST consortium as a partner. The winning projects are as follows:

We live in a complex world. Social networks and human interconnectedness condition the way we live. Onodo, the open network analysis and visualization platform developed by Civio, will help anyone to better understand complex networks about any issue having an impact on our communities.
The project, as proposed by Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, will adopt a partnership approach to create a suite of interactive digital resources, aimed at promoting the mental health and wellbeing of young people – amajor public health challenge area across Europe.  Development work will be undertaken in Greater Glasgow and Clyde area of Scotland, with young people involved throughout as active collaborators.  The work will also see the development of a toolkit for youth-related workers and their agencies, bringing together resources and learning which will be shared across Europe.
The project, as proposed by the Florence based Magenta Software Lab , will conduct an extensive traffic measurement campaign in the Florence metropolitan area. Magenta will ask people to use their technology to set up traffic monitoring points from their windows, balcony or other vantage points to lay out a network of sensors of unprecedented coverage for this area, effectively setting up an integrated and participatory traffic monitoring initiative. At the end of the campaign, Magenta will release the collected data in order to promote the diffusion of actual information through social media or mobile applications, that will help to steer the public toward better, more sustainable mobility modes.
Computer Reuse, a socio-environmental cycle - http://www.ereuse.org/
Reusing working computers is significantly more sustainable than recycling or disposal. In addition it can deliver wider economic and social benefits. The donation of reusable Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) can support social digital exclusion programmes, encouraging the creation of local employment and reducing electronics waste. The Computer Re-use initiative proposed by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya aims at creating an ‘open community’ around the reuse of digital devices. This includes the development of an integrated set of software tools and online web sites to support the lifecycle of digital devices: from registration and labelling of new devices, preparation (data clean-up, pre-install), matching demand and offer, tracking reuse.
greenApes: Citizen Engagement for Sustainable Lifestyles - https://www.greenapes.com/en
Within the scope of the project, greenApes will initiate across 2 European cities, a ground-breaking project which is based around rewarding eco-citizens. Through the greenApes web platform and mobile apps, citizens will have the opportunity to easily find sustainable consumption options, share eco-behaviours, inspire peers and earn points for their positive impact. Points will grant access to special deals in local venues offering eco-products and services.

Who will benefit from our project? 

  • Higher education institutions,foundations, SMEs, NGOs and individuals that have an innovative digital based idea and are willing to receive financial support to realize it.
  • Venture capital firms, business incubations, creativity networks, idea management companies and crowdsourcing software providers that would like to propose their ideas, get financial support, assess and discuss the ideas selected for funding.
  • Other organizations with an interest in addressing societal challenges, which would like to develop their innovative ideas and be evaluated by the community, i.a. the social entrepreneurs.

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