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YIC2015 Help and inspiration

For the Young Innovators Challenge 2015 we are looking for great ideas that can be evolved into social innovations that can be scaled up for the mutual benefit of society and the economy. There are three specific arenas within which we are looking for these innovation; health & wellbeing, clean energy and smarter communities.

Social innovation carries the promise of blending enterprising behaviours with outcomes that improve society with possible economic value as well. Social innovation is a growing global phenomenon attracting diverse knowledge sources and intergenerational involvement. The scale of issues that require to be addressed in these three arenas is significant. The potential lies equally in tackling deep seated and apparently intractable problems with fresh and enterprising perspectives as well as using new knowledge and innovations elsewhere to create new services, technologies and products.


Opportunities within the three competition areas:


Healthcare & wellbeing

There are considerable opportunities to improve individual and communities health and wellbeing using social innovation. Long term consistent issues in physiological and psychological health such as addiction, obesity, diabetes and resilience are becoming sources of social innovation solutions. The possibilities for involving people in their own solutions to physical or psychological problems are often at the heart of social innovation ideas. Some successful social innovations in this challenge arena have successfully tackled problems that have for many years seemed difficult to resolve. The potential for collaboration across health providers, public and private, with organisations in the social economy grows globally. Not all of the successful social innovation ideas are technology based although may have a human – technology interface.


Green and sustainable energy resources

Considerable pressure exists to maintain energy flows for growing populations with ever increasing technological use and infrastructural demands. Concerns are evident in the media and think tanks around the world on how we can sustain our use of power from reducing carbon based fuels and energy. Scotland is poised to embrace the potential from renewable sources of energy but much remains to be done. Whilst technological and scientific research continues to offer new opportunities the potential exists to investigate localised power generation and distribution. The challenges remain in Scotland’s rural areas to optimise the capacity of the environment whilst ensuring the energy sources bring benefits locally.


Smarter communities and infrastructure

Urban environments around the world continue to be the centres for innovation and creativity. Larger populations and scarce resources demand innovative solutions to sustainable infrastructure that nurtures and strengthens smarter communities. The potential for considerable collaborative social innovation that blends diverse disciplines and multiple perspectives is high. Many cities in developed and developing nations are actively engaged in how to provide effective environments that combine human ingenuity with technological progress at wider scales than single projects or neighbourhoods. Social innovation is bringing fresh ideas and diverse talent to bear on issues of transportation, education, utility supply and citizen safety.


Supporting documents about social innovation

There is a considerable amount of material now available in both research and practice fields. The issues that currently face communities and nations as societies and economies in the three challenge arenas are well rehearsed. The following downloadable documents will provide you with background to social innovation. They describe the concept and practice as well as illustrating interesting examples in the challenge arenas we have set and also demonstrate the involvement across the commercial, public services and third sector internationally.


Useful links

The following links will provide further initial background information both in terms of the opportunities for social innovation solutions and stories of successful social innovation. It is however an important element of YIC2015 that applicants develop awareness and understanding of what social innovation is and the concept’s potential to develop impactful solutions. These initial links will help, however considerable information is available on the Web. Go Google…!

We’ll be adding further information throughout the process. Keep an eye on the competition Facebook and Twitter channels! You can also join the YIC2015 priority mailing list for the latest updates.