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European Commission selects Scribeasy among top 30 ideas to harness technological change

Scribeasy: Transforming struggling writers to proud imaginative learners, selected as semi-finalist in European Social Innovation Competition 2017 to harness technological change

2017 European Social Innovation Competition ‘Equality Rebooted’ to award three €50,000 prizes for the best ideas to spread the benefits of technological change in Europe 

Today Scribeasy: Transforming struggling writers to proud imaginative learners has been selected out of almost 800 applications in the 2017 edition of the European Social Innovation Competition, Equality Rebooted. Open to applicants across European Union and Horizon 2020 countries, this year’s competition saw the judges choose entries with the potential to address the growing gap between those with the skills and opportunities to take advantage of technological progress and those without, who might face wage stagnation or job losses.

Scribeasy helps tackle the practice of writing, the subject which leads to underperformance most in school curricula. 65% of people are multi-sensory learners, and no child should be shut out of life-long opportunities because they lack confidence in writing. Scribeasy deploys cloud-based technology to offer the creative tools and versatile and inspiring resources that cut through different learning styles to help to break down barriers to writing.

Applications from 40 European Union and Horizon 2020 countries highlight the vast spread of Europeans coming up with innovations in tools, services and models to allow all members of society to acquire the appropriate skills and seize the opportunities of the digital revolution. See the full 2017 Competition announcement and list of 30 semi-finalists here.

In response to digitalisation’s transformative effect on the labour market, the 2017 Competition aims to ‘reboot’ equality and shape future society by inspiring fresh, energetic approaches to digital inclusion, collaborative economy, connectivity and skills development. Along with 29 other semi-finalists, Scribeasy will be invited to the social innovation mentoring academy to progress their ideas with tailored support and workshop sessions.

The social innovation academy is to be held from 3-5 July 2017 in Madrid, where semi-finalists will take part in workshops and visit examples of successful social innovation projects in Spain. Following the academy, 10 finalists will be selected by the jury and the three most effective projects will each be awarded a prize of €50,000 at the awards ceremony in Brussels in October 2017.

Amanda Duncan, Founder of Scribeasy, said: “Scribeasy is a technology designed to bring impact for children who struggle with writing. This will enhance the outcomes around improving equality and helping the young have more control in shaping their future and the roles they play in our society. 

“Making the shortlist for the 2017 Competition connects us with the EU – that’s 500 million people, 7.3% of the world’s population. Scribeasy grew from making connections between teaching, personal experiences, and the desire to help my young son with his literacy. There was a link between children who struggle or feel disengaged around writing, and teaching adults who need creative confidence and thinking strategies to help spark ideas and gain mileage around working with new information. The ability to think creatively is a life skill that affects how we respond to life – for example, do challenges defeat us or does a problem become an opportunity?

“Scribeasy stimulates the mind like a toy (not a game). It instils a sense of story responsibility where the individual creates their learning context; it builds up connectivity and awareness around how different choices can define different outcomes. Feedback like ‘I didn’t think I was this clever’ from struggling boys indicates how quickly Scribeasy can shift a user’s self-esteem and long-term engagement with writing and creative thinking.”

Scribeasy has taken over two years of devotion in order to offer a remarkable teaching and learning resource. A writing workflow that gathers code for meaningful and incentivising metrics. The investment has been financial and labour intensive, with over 50 writing workshops, and the building of a beta iOS app that achieved tens of thousands of global downloads in under a year, with active daily users sharing stories written at home and in school. 

But Scribeasy has only just begun. With all the advantages of being cloud-based, the technology can start to embrace the mission as a community tool that contributes holistic and educational outcomes. This includes bridging gaps between museums and objects to inspire writing, creating writing activities for schools and youth groups, and building an international story sharing and liking community. 

Organised since 2012 in memory of Portuguese politician and social innovator Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition will help the most innovative ideas to turn into real and sustainable projects. 

For full details please visit the European Commission’s website

Follow the competition on Twitter: @EUSocialInnov #diogochallenge

About the European Social Innovation Competition

The European Social Innovation Competition, launched in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all European countries, now in its fifth year. The theme of the 2017 Competition is Equality Rebooted and seeks to find innovations in tools, services, and models that can close the gap and allow everyone to seize the opportunities offered by technological change.

The competition is supported by Nesta, Kennisland, Shipyard, Impact Hub and Matter&Co.

About Scribeasy

Scribeasy is an educational service and product created by Artsmiths Ltd. The Scribeasy concept draws upon careers and expertise as a creative maker including VFX production and teaching (at degree level, FurtherEd, Secondary and SEN), a first class degree, and a Masters from the Royal College of Art.

For more information on Scribeasy please visit the website or contact info@scribeasy.com.