Applications for the SozialMarie 2021


Vhled do oblasti sociálních inovací

What do the submissions for the SozialMarie tell us about current social trends and problems?

The submissions for the SozialMarie bring innovative answers to social issues and thus they reflect relevant questions in our society. The following assessment is based on 299 submitted projects from Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Most projects deal with structurally disadvantaged people in society. This year, they focus more specifically on participation in all areas – including at school or in the labour market. Projects achieve participation through mentoring, networking, art actions, through advocacy, or self-help. Digital tools are used for networking, but also to match supply and demand, organise rapid assistance, or disseminate news.

The pandemic has been the explicit reason for the emergence of a project in about 7% of the submissions, while the vast majority of projects, almost 80%, have successfully adapted to the new situation.

It is also striking that health, treating and preventing, has clearly gained in importance. Environmental and sustainability issues and combating violence online and offline has also played an increasing role this year. 

Education has also proved to be of striking importance in the SozialMarie 2021 submissions. Learning, including outside educational institutions, and especially on online platforms, has inspired many new project submissions. While some centre on older people, such as introducing them to the Internet, most focus on the education of children and young people (about three-quarters of the educational projects target this group). However, even in education, participation and involvement plays a crucial role. The number of explicitly women-oriented projects is constant; if we add those that work to achieve gender awareness, the number increases to a good 10%.

To summarise: This year's applications for the SozialMarie suggest that education, health, and the desire for more participation are currently central social issues in Austria and its southern and eastern neighbouring countries.