TEXT: ÁNGEL MARTOS
Social innovation is intended for the common good, both in its objectives and in its processes. Its mission is to generate systemic changes to previous ways of doing things that created the very problems that now need to be solved. Finally, it seeks to be sustainable and scalable, with financial as well as social value. These are the winning projects of the 5th edition of the Fundación MAPFRE Social Innovation Awards. We talked to the stars of the show.
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” This is one of the best-known quotes from Henry Ford, the driving force behind contemporary mobility thanks to the motor vehicle. His success, which was not simply that of a product but of an entire business philosophy, is the result of innovation. In other words, the ability to offer disruptive solutions, unthinkable for most people, to present-day problems. But when we add the adjective social, we begin to modify many aspects of this process. Stanford University defines this type of innovation as “A new solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or fair than current solutions and that generates value for society as a whole, rather than just for specific individuals.”
The projects submitted to the Fundación MAPFRE Social Innovation Awards aim to improve people’s lives, particularly in the areas of health and prevention; safe, healthy and sustainable mobility; and the senior economy. In this 5th edition, we received more than 222 entries from entrepreneurs around the world, from which 9 finalists were selected from Spain, Greece, Mexico, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil.
We interviewed the three winners of this 5th edition, a great example of the geography of social talent that Fundación MAPFRE encourages. Ana (Mexico) is an online service that supports caregivers as well as the family members of people with chronic and degenerative diseases. Lysa (Brazil) is the first GPS robot guide dog, designed to provide autonomy, safety and quality of life to visually impaired people. And Kuvu (Spain) is a shared accommodation platform that promotes coexistence between young people and the over-55s.