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Europe moves towards 2020 and social problems are lurking everywhere. It’s time to turn strategies into concrete actions and find innovative solutions.

Already a hotbed for joint problem-solving since 2012, #EYA2015 is seeking and rewarding digital creativity in six categories reflecting the goals of the Council of Europe and the EU strategy Europe 2020. Comprising such fields as financial literacy, e-skills and urban development, they directly address Europe’s most pressing issues and ask for YOUR solutions.

To allow maximum creativity, the category descriptions below are not to be seen as exclusive instructions but as general guidelines. All socially-valuable projects that address the basic idea of a category in one way or another are welcome to participate! If you are not sure in which category to submit your project, send us an e-mail – we will happily guide you!

Submission starts Wednesday, March 1.

Healthy Life: fitness | nutrition | healthcare

This category is about physical wellbeing and helping people with health conditions to lead happy, fulfilled lives. Fifty percent of Europeans are overweight, one in five is obese.1 Diseases such as diabetes, hepatitis and metabolic disorders are on the rise. Economic and social barriers frequently hinder access to medical treatment. Healthy Life initiatives promote and support a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. They may, for example, employ smart health devices to treat medical conditions efficiently, raise awareness for neglected diseases and encourage sports and physical exercise among communities.

Smart Learning: education | e-skills | open science

This category is about finding new, creative approaches to education and learning. Many high schools and universities report tremendous drop-out rates and a social education-gap remains reality in most countries. Smart Learning innovations may, for example, provide free-access training courses, foster ICT competence, create scientific understanding, support international knowledge exchange, or open up new capacities for scientific research. This also includes tools that boosting learners’ motivation to study, platforms for open-access education and other solutions for making scientific progress beneficial to all.

Connecting Cultures: arts | games | diversity

This category is for all the unusual, crazy, digital projects that manifest a creative approach to contemporary culture. United in diversity has to be more than just a motto! Projects submitted to Connecting Cultures may combine programming, artistic and musical skills, find ways to preserve customs and traditions, or create awareness for mutual understanding and intercultural communication. The category also comprises infotainment apps, valuable games, interactive exhibitions, performances, animations, e-music and digital art – everything is possible!

Go Green: sustainable energy | mobility | urban development

This category comprises environmentally friendly solutions as well as envisioning pathways to innovative development of our world. Vanishing natural resources, skyrocketing energy consumption, unresolved waste issues and accelerated climate change are among today’s most pressing challenges. Go Green innovations are ecologically beneficial, have a positive impact on our environment or make existent infrastructure more efficient. This can, for example, be achieved by showing new ways to increase energy efficiency, harness renewable resources, reduce CO2 emission through mobility innovations or finding solutions for smart cities, agriculture and sustainable travel.

Active Citizenship: free journalism | open government | social cohesion

This category is about exposing injustice and fighting social exclusion. While individual privacy seems on the decline, multinational deals tend to become more obscure. Many European countries still score high on the Corruption Perceptions Index. Also discrimination due to age, race, gender, ethnicity and sexuality is still an issue in most places. Active Citizenship projects may be honest examples of participatory journalism or fight for transparent policy making and the right to free speech. They may also encourage political participation, create awareness for human rights and support community building.

Money Matters: financial literacy | employment | smart consumerism

This category looks for solutions that enhance economic understanding, fight poverty and help people to make a decent living. Almost one in four European youths is unemployed.2 Also with growing income gaps, many working people struggle to make ends meet. Money Matters wants innovations that create opportunities for social commerce, reduce unemployment or illustrate how money works. This, for example, includes innovative career counseling, responsible spending, fair trade, taxation and banking, crowd funding and microcredits, as well as initiatives that create and support a startup friendly economic environment.