The ConSozial congress trade fair is the leading event for the social economy in Germany. The Social Innovation Award focuses on the innovative strength of the sector. At the anniversary event, the start-up JUHI emerged as the winner - with a newly developed app that organises everyday help for people in need of care.
45 per cent of people in need of care are unaware of their entitlements, and four out of five have not fully utilised them in 2021. The start-up provides a remedy with an app that is primarily used by young people to provide support. JUHI also builds a bridge between the generations. An expert jury selected ten nominees from the numerous submissions, of which JUHI was chosen as the winner this year by a jury decision and online voting. We asked Beate Fischer, member of the jury and head of ConSozial, about it.
Ms Fischer, what was the intention behind the founding of ConSozial and what significance does the trade fair have today?
ConSozial was founded in 1999 by the organiser, the Bavarian State Ministry for Family, Labour and Social Affairs, with the intention of bringing together players from the social economy in German-speaking countries in Nuremberg in order to focus on the challenges facing this sector. The aim was to promote trusting and profitable cooperation between the state, independent and public welfare organisations and commercial enterprises. To this day, and now for the 24th time, ConSozial has successfully developed into the leading trade and congress fair for the social economy and firmly occupies two days of the annual schedule. Especially in these times of great challenges, it is the platform for the social scene to exchange ideas, address problems and find solutions.
Especially in a society that is drifting apart, the social sector is systemically relevant - which people does NürnbergMesse bring together at this event?
All the players in the social scene, including politicians, social entrepreneurs, commercial enterprises, social organisations and associations as well as independent and public welfare organisations. This diversity is also reflected in the structure of ConSozial. An important part of the event is the Board of Trustees, which provides impetus for the further development of ConSozial, as well as the Programme Committee, which is responsible for planning the topics and selecting the speakers for the congress duo. The target visitor groups therefore include a broad spectrum of professionals from the social sector who are concerned with the current challenges and developments in this area.
The Social Innovation Prize has been awarded for the third time. What is it about and what is the procedure?
Highlighting and recognising the innovative strength of the social sector - that's what the Social Innovation Award is all about. It offers start-ups a special and unique platform to publicise themselves in the social scene and gain new customers or, of course, partners. We are looking for innovative social projects from newcomers, which can be submitted via the website. After the submission deadline, a panel of experts will evaluate all submitted projects and select ten nominated companies. The winner will be decided by a public online vote and a separate jury meeting at which the nominees will present their projects in person. The award ceremony will take place directly at ConSozial, in the Innovation Park, and will be conducted by the Head of Office of the State Ministry for Family, Labour and Social Affairs.
What surprises you most about the projects submitted and the people behind the social innovations?
The diversity of ideas submitted - it reflects the ConSozial claim: Uniquely diverse. Impressive projects and surprising solutions are submitted in all areas. What is also fascinating is the authenticity of the start-ups and their courage to bring innovations for the social economy to the market that are relevant to society. This pioneering spirit and dedication to social innovation are inspiring and indispensable in today's world.