The Fundación MAPFRE Social Innovation Awards are an opportunity to discover projects capable of transforming the world, in terms of digital health, mobility and the insurance industry itself. Social innovation is key to helping resolve the problems of the 21st century.

TEXT: ANTONIO HUERTAS, presidente de Fundación MAPFRE

 

If you have an innovative project, an idea you believe could revolutionize the world and help society overcome its difficulties, this is your opportunity. Fundación MAPFRE wishes to help you develop your project and make it a reality. We are looking for initiatives that can transform three aspects essential to any society, namely health, mobility and road safety, and insurance.

We live in a fast-changing world whose transformation is being spurred on by digitization. This calls for economic and technological capabilities that are not within the reach of every region in the world and, sometimes, not even all those living in the same region. The digital divide is accelerating these differences and so, concerned as we are about the most underprivileged, we in Fundación MAPFRE want to do our bit by promoting new social solutions that can respond to the growing needs generated by this digitization process and, without doubt, also to the problems arising from the resulting increase in inequality. This is the reason for these Fundación MAPFRE Awards and for social innovation being a priority on the agenda of institutions such as ours.

This first edition, which we are promoting together with a magnificent partner in the form of the IE Business School, seeks to discover trends of change, open new markets, both physical and digital, and contribute to the development of social innovation ecosystems interconnecting all the stakeholders, all key to solving society’s problems.

Over the next few months, the Foundation will be contacting the leading social innovation centers and laboratories to promote these Awards and encourage them to put forward powerful nominations for each of the categories. We are looking for dynamic ideas and approaches, and disruptive models, which can most likely be transformed into useful solutions for improving mobility and road safety (mobility), health (e-health) and insurance (insurtech).

In the field of health, for example, the rules of the game are changing, and the challenges are unimaginable. We are heading toward connected medicine, whereby the home will be the most common ‘hospital’ for treating many pathologies. For urban environments, efficacy will be optimized by better management of core health-related issues, such as by using video consultations. But that urban development also opens the door to high-quality medicine for many remote areas of the planet that cannot afford access to traditional medicine facilities. The mobility we know today is also going to change – indeed it is already changing. We need to design, comprehend and adapt to a new connected environment where vehicles will really come to the fore. They will continue transporting people, but there will also continue to be pedestrians or cyclists. This new reality has to be organized and managed so that it can adapt to society, and not the other way around, whenever possible.

“We live in a fast-changing world whose transformation is being spurred on by digitization. This calls for economic and technological capabilities that are not within the reach of every region in the world”, Antonio Huertas

The challenge is greater in those regions of the planet where inequality is greatest. To close these inequality gaps, not only do we need more and better solutions but rather, above all else, those that are new and different. Some Latin American countries are already implementing innovative financial education methodologies, offering tools to overcome the microcredit barrier and enable small local organizations to obtain funds from the community. These are then distributed within the same group in the form of credit, savings and investment to finance their needs.

With the launch of these awards, we are starting up an innovation Got Talent to help develop products and services that meet society’s needs, are sustainable over time, and have the potential to transform the culture of a community, or even a whole city. We are looking for GameChangers, people with initiatives and social awareness who convey passion, ambition and commitment, and are developing projects and strategies to transform their environment, build a better society and make a positive impact on the world. Today we are all called upon to be agents of change and contribute to the transformation of our society.

Join the challenge!

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A world full of brilliant ideas

London, São Paulo, Medellín, Berlin and Mexico City are just some of the cities in which many of the foremost social innovation centers are located. These are areas dedicated to entrepreneurship, openly encouraging participation and integration. These are key to keeping in touch with customers and investors, and being able to launch new proposals, projects or startups which will impact on social, economic, urban, cultural and political life. 

One of the most outstanding is the UNLTD foundation —www.UnLtd.org.uk—which offers support to over 1,000 social entrepreneurs each year through its Global Network Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN). With a presence in nine countries, including Spain, it offers innovators access to training and advice, as well as to a comprehensive network of executives and philanthropists interested in supporting social entrepreneurship projects. Likewise highly active in the British capital are Nesta Impact Investments (www.nesta.org.uk/impact-investments), UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (http://uknabimpactinvesting.org), Social Enterprise UK (www.socialenterprise.org.uk) and the British government’s official web page (www.gov.uk/set-up-a-social-enterprise), which explains how to create a social innovation enterprise and how to obtain financing. 

Brazil has two outstanding innovation centers located in São Paulo. They are the Amani Institute (https://amaniinstitute.org/what-we-do/social-innovation-management), a training center for potential innovators, which offers practical experience in countries such as India, as well as participation in the Social Innovation Management program, which can be combined with professional activities. Also noteworthy in this Brazilian city is the Impact Hub São Paulo, (http://saopaulo.impacthub.com.br), which offers a host of conferences and open days with top-flight entrepreneurs, where experiences can be shared. In Colombia, a striking factor is the growth experienced in the city of Medellin when it comes to promoting social innovation. Truly exemplary is the social innovation center of the ANSPE (National Agency for Overcoming Extreme Poverty) —www.idsocial.co— which provides both technical and financial support for projects whose goal is to offer solutions for the problems affecting the very poorest in the country.