European societies are transforming rapidly due to technological change. Trends such as digitalization and automation are changing the way we live and work faster than ever before, reshaping the labour market and wider economy in fundamental ways.
Digital / ICT-based businesses, the creative industries, high-tech manufacturing, and knowledge-intensive services are creating increasing value for the economy, driving and taking advantage of technological progress. Low tech, labour-intensive manufacturing and routine jobs in the service sector are at high risk of disruption.
A gap is growing between these two sides: people with the skills and opportunities to take advantage of technological progress and those who do not. Rising income inequality reflects this gap; with increasing profits going to fewer beneficiaries, and being counterbalanced by wage stagnation or even decline, and job losses.
What does the competition hope to deliver?
The competition seeks to ‘reboot’ equality by inspiring Europeans to provide fresh, energetic approaches to digital inclusion, connectivity, the collaborative economy and skills development shaping the future labour market. Economic growth needs not only to benefit the lucky few, but also to provide opportunities for all. The competition aims to enable inclusive growth by encouraging ideas to equip people with the skills they need to be able to compete in a changing economy. It is our aim that innovators will create business models that allow everyone to equally seize the opportunities offered by technological change.
What kind of ideas is the competition looking for?
The competition is looking for inspiring ideas, large and small, from people all around Europe who believe in building a truly inclusive economy and making the most of skills and technologies to close the gap in our society. The competition is open to entrepreneurs, social innovators, students, designers, makers, tech enthusiasts, educators, and people from diverse backgrounds across Europe.
Ideas could include, but are not limited to:
• New technologies and business models that make the digital economy more inclusive or use collaborative solutions to reduce inequality;
• Innovations that empower disadvantaged people to fully participate in the digital economy and gain revenue from employment or entrepreneurship;
• Initiatives that equip those at risk of being shut out of the labour market with the appropriate skills to shape the knowledge economy, such as creativity, communication or problem-solving;
• Solutions to protect and support low wage/skilled workers in the evolving labour market.