Harnessing Technological Change: European Social Innovation

Today the WikiHouse Foundation was named one of 30 semi-finalists as part of the 2017 European Social Innovation competition. WikiHouse was selected out of almost 800 applications across the EU and Horizon 2020 countries. This year’s competition saw the judges choose entries with the potential to address the growing gap between those with the skills and opportunities to take advantage of technological progress and those without, who might face wage stagnation or job losses.

Our objective is to get the tools and knowledge to design and build sustainable homes and neighbourhoods into the hands of every business, citizen and community on earth. Our strategy is to digitise and open up the housing supply chain: that is, to create new digital infrastructure that restructures the way that we invest-in, design, manufacture, assemble, operate and disassemble buildings that grows a new sustainable development economy. This will begin with a working MVP with an inbuilt revenue model, allowing it to continuously scale through partnerships.

With over 40 countries participating there has been a wide variety of solutions exploring innovations in tools, services and models to allow all members of society to acquire the appropriate skills and seize the opportunities of the digital revolution. You can see the full 2017 Competition announcement and list of 30 semi-finalists here.

All those involved in the WikiHouse project, from the core team to the Contributors, have seen digitisations transformative effect on the labour market. With the Competition’s aim geared towards rebooting equality and shaping future society by inspiring fresh, energetic approaches to digital inclusion, collaborative economy, connectivity and skills development, our objectives are perfectly aligned. From the 3rd-5th of July we will be in Madrid, attending workshops and visiting other examples of successful social innovation projects in Spain. Following this, 10 finalists will be selected by the jury and the three most effective projects will each be awarded with a prize of €50,000 at the awards ceremony in Brussels in October 2016.

More and more people are being priced out of home ownership. Even if you are lucky enough to own your own home, you will most likely have to face taking on a large amount of debt, a huge driver of inequality. We believe in a future where housing exists without debt. At the same time this goes hand in hand with a focus on building homes for people, not profit. By making the self-build process easier, more affordable, and less risky for individuals, communities, and organisations, we have the potential to establish a new normal.

To find out more about the Social Innovation Competition; visit them here and follow them on Twitter.