What is an idea about society

Karliczek: Ideas from the heart of our society point the way for politics and science

As part of the Germany-wide “Society of Ideas” competition, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) awarded 30 ideas prizes for social innovations. The award-winning project ideas range from a cancer counseling app for those affected in rural regions to a culture buddy who brings art into their own homes, to the village mobile to promote media skills. In total, more than 1000 ideas were submitted. The winners include numerous individuals, as well as associations, foundations, companies and university teams. The winning projects receive prize money of 12,500 euros each and develop their idea descriptions into concepts within the next six months. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek explains:

“The trademark of Germany is a 'hands-on society' and there are many good ideas that have the potential to further develop our society. The extraordinarily high participation in the 'Society of Ideas' competition underscores how creative our society is. I am particularly pleased that so many citizens took part and are now also receiving the ideas prize for social innovation. The awarded projects reflect the creativity and sense of responsibility of the citizens.

Especially in times of crisis such as the current pandemic, new solutions and social commitment are required. Because these times confront us with changes from now on and require new approaches in order to meet the sudden challenges.

We included interested citizens in evaluating the individual ideas. The selected projects show which solutions are important to them. These impulses from the middle of society are important signposts for both politics and science. Only with bundled strength can we sustainably improve our coexistence. "

Citizens named the winning ideas as favorites. For three weeks they were able to rate the project ideas online at gesellschaft-der-ideen.de. A total of more than 7700 ratings were submitted.


With the “Society of Ideas” competition launched on May 6, 2020, the BMBF would like to promote the development of social innovations that can contribute to solving societal challenges. The ideas competition represents the first of three phases of the competition. Citizens, institutions, associations, clubs, scientists, companies and others could submit ideas for such social innovations. Interested citizens then had the opportunity to rate the ideas online with regard to their social significance and to name their favorites. The best 30 project ideas have now been awarded and are being developed into concepts. Then ten idea providers can try out their ideas together with scientific partners. The aim of the competition is to find around five practical solutions for specific social challenges of our time. Follow-up funding from the BMBF is planned for the implementation of these solutions.

The entire list of excellent project ideas with brief descriptions can be found below.

Social innovations

Social innovations are new practices or organizational models that solve social challenges in a sustainable manner.
Social innovations change social interaction. As with the terms “social media” and “social networks”, the “social” aspect of social innovations relates to interpersonal interactions. As a result, social innovations occur in all areas of life. In particular, they are not limited to the social sector.
Social innovations can manifest themselves in new products or services as well as in new work and production processes or forms of cooperation. You may or may not be for profit; they can be technology-induced, but can also arise independently of technologies.

List of the 30 winning ideas for social innovations (in alphabetical order):

  • Acren - Transparent crowdfunding for climate and environmental protection: Financing platform that connects regional agriculture and supporters directly and securely (MLCrypt GmbH, Bochum)
  • Babsi - Eating at home with strangers: Workshops and cooking courses, mainly in rural areas, bring people together and invite them to participate, e.g. B. Trying traditional, vegetarian and vegan dishes while traveling. (Climate sponsorship tourism GmbH, Berlin)
  • Credible Messenger - mentoring for a life free from punishment: Mentoring program between former prisoners and young people who have committed criminal offenses, for a life free from punishment and better integration into society based on role models. (Tatort Zukunft e.V., Berlin)
  • The digital village mobile: Digital village mobiles promote media literacy in rural regions by bringing young and old together. (Rural adult education (LEB) in Lower Saxony e.V., Hanover)
  • The mobile data laboratory: Low-threshold mobile awareness-raising and educational offers to promote self-determined and competent handling of digital data (Museum for Values, Berlin)
  • Energiewende-o-Mat: Overview platform in the context of the energy transition to promote civic engagement (Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) e.V., Berlin)
  • Game of Rain - Change the world by playing: Card game and online platform that sensitizes children to water consumption (University of Applied Sciences, Coburg)
  • GeneRobot (generation transfer robotics): Together with older people, students develop a (companion) robot in assisted living formats. (Cologne Cobots Lab, TH Cologne)
  • GI Connect - cross-generational and intercultural: An online platform / app supports women with a refugee history on the educational path, e.g. B. through childcare, and offers opportunities for exchange and networking. (Alena Wortmann, Hildesheim)
  • GovShare - Improved knowledge transfer in municipal climate protection: a platform that supports small communities in particular to find proven solutions in the field of climate protection and resource conservation (Philipp Schwarz, Pullach)
  • Good alums: A center for cooperative-sustainable building invites you to workshops, to exchange and to try out new things and brings people of different ages, from town and country, together. (Gut Alaune e.V., Petersberg)
  • hey, momo is listening: a place in public space where everyone is listened to, a listening kiosk against loneliness (hey GmbH, Munich)
  • Integrated system for agriculture with ecological added value: New socio-economic model for regional, ecological and fair organic agriculture that slows global warming and at the same time strengthens the common good (Umweltbüro Nord e.V., Stralsund)
  • Neighborhood stories: (digital) descriptions of places by young people and senior citizens for new and old neighbors (Kiezanker 36, Wrangelkiez Family and Neighborhood Center, Pestalozzi-Fröbel-Haus Berlin)
  • Kulturbuddy - We bring art and culture into the home: A culture buddy brings cultural education into the home of (older) people with restricted mobility. (Gisela Gehrmann, Potsdam)
  • My cancer counseling - cancer counseling app for flexible support of patients and relatives: an app for cancer patients in rural areas, for more participation in society and an improved quality of life (Nathalie Röderer and Dr. Alexander Wünsch, Psychosocial Cancer Advice Center, Tumor Center Freiburg - CCCF, University Hospital Freiburg)
  • Take away gesture: With the takeaway gesture, restaurant visitors can say quickly, easily and without a word: “I want to take my leftover food with me” and thus act sustainably. (Consumer advice center North Rhine-Westphalia e.V., Düsseldorf)
  • Not 2, but 3 - Hermione and her brother Theo with Down syndrome: an educational book for siblings about Down's syndrome (Ira Nemeth, Leipzig)
  • Never seen. Today with a difference - with inclusive city tours: People with disabilities offer themed city tours in Hanover. (DIAKOVERE gGmbH, Hanover)
  • Oldie & Goldie - connected by traveling together: shared travel experiences between young and old, for more points of contact between the generations (Celina Gunkelmann, Frankfurt a. M.)
  • ReliefVR: Virtual Reality application for the treatment of chronic pain (Yevgeniya Nedilko, Frankfurt a. M.)
  • Pop! - Playfully bursting filter bubbles: a game of self-reflection, in which people become aware of their filter bubbles and let them "burst" together (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis, Karlsruhe)
  • PrÄViG - prevention of eating disorders through yoga: Integrated concept for children and adolescents to prevent eating disorders (Yoga for all e.V., Hamburg)
  • Psychisch.fit - digital self-help: An app provides mutual support for online psychological courses. (Timo Stolz, Berlin)
  • SexEd: an education app for the prevention of sexual violence among adolescents (Marie Wocher, Berlin)
  • Vision Period - Menstruation and Menopause: a program for an open approach to menstruation and menopause in the workplace, to remove taboos and for more openness (Fee Leonie Reinoso, Leipzig)
  • Vitamin G for young families - experiencing nature on the playground: Using analog and digital learning impulses, children and young families rediscover nature in their playground. (Working group for nature and environmental education Bundesverband e.V., Frankfurt a. M.)
  • ViVera - Virtual events in geriatric care: Young volunteers enrich the everyday life of senior citizens, digitally and from home. (Devin Kwasniok, University of Vechta)
  • YourReality: With the help of virtual reality, young people can experience how discrimination and bullying feel for those affected. (Julia Wagner, Frankfurt a. M.)
  • LISTENING TOGETHER - listening for all those in need of care: Hearing impaired people have access to optimal care (servicing, maintenance) in the area of ​​hearing aids. (Health Industry Hannover e.V., Hannover)