Social Innovation Workshop 7+1 tips


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We once again invited future Hungarian SozialMarie applicants to come together for ‘think sessions’. The result: 7 + 1 tips for a successful application!

We once again invited future Hungarian SozialMarie applicants to come together for ‘think sessions’. However, this time, like everything, we had to organize them a bit differently – online. But at least the online workshops provided an opportunity to participate for all those who may not have chosen to travel to Budapest for a short event like this.

The Social Innovation Workshops, held twice in December, were moderated by János Czafrangó, former active patron of SozialMarie and Zsófia Tornóczi, our Hungarian coordinator. The aim was to develop a better understanding of the application process and the SozialMarie Social Innovation Criteria so that they can be adapted to individual projects. And as usual at such events, we have all grown – by getting to know unique projects and sharing tips for successfully presenting the projects’ socially innovative elements.

Here are 7 + 1 ideas/suggestions for 2021 applicants:

1. Think about the identity, the fingerprint, the uniqueness of your project! Each project is different, but we often feel like we’ve heard it before. What makes your project unique? What distinguishes it from other similar great projects?

2. Present your project in a way that is recognizable! When you present your project, do it in a way that after reading a few sentences, one will recognize immediately that it is your project.

3. Don’t try to grab too much! As a social innovator, you certainly undertake a wide variety of activities and can relate to many areas. It is important to present this in the application – but at the same time, we encourage you to be as specific as possible and to focus on your main area(s).

4. Remember, SozialMarie is an award! We cannot emphasize enough that SozialMarie is a prize for results already achieved, which means the application is actually an entry to be among the best.

5. Start with the challenge and your solution! When you are filling out the application form, we recommend that you formulate the challenge and your solution to it first. Then, it is worth thinking about the project in terms of the social innovation criteria, and only then continue with a detailed description of the project’s implementation. At "criteria for social innovation" you will find a guide with specific questions that can be used as the basis of your application material.

6. Results measured in numbers are important, but don't be fixated on them! If your innovation is sustainable and exemplary / a model for others, don’t be discouraged by small numbers in your results.

7. You can be outstanding in only ONE social innovation criterion! It is not necessary to meet all criteria perfectly – a project can be more effective in one area or another so focus on your expertize.

+1. Check out the previous winners and nominees! It is worth browsing the database of to have a look at previous candidates and winners. On the one hand, this will give you an idea of the type of projects SozialMarie awards, and on the other hand, you will get to see how previously recognized projects presented their innovations.

Good luck with your application!

Text: Zsófia Tornóczi