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£150k Awarded To European Refugee Projects In EU Social Innovation Competition



£150k Awarded To European Refugee Projects In EU Social Innovation Competition

A €150,000 Integrated Futures prize will be shared among organisations from Germany, Turkey and Spain aimed at addressing integration and reception of refugees and migrants in Europe. Plus 2015 Competition semi-finalist fighting food waste wins additional €50,000 Impact Prize

CUCULA, The Machine to be Another, and Project Virtuous Triangle have been announced as the winners of the 2016 European Social Innovation Competition. Selected from a total of over 1,000 applicants from 36 countries, the projects were each awarded a €50,000 prize at the Awards Ceremony in Brussels on 27 October this year.

This year’s theme ‘Integrated Futures’ sought ideas with the potential to address the reception and integration of refugees and migrants in Europe, enabling them to contribute to the social, economic, cultural and political life of their host countries.

German winner CUCULA is a practical workshop and an educational program created for and together with refugees and migrants in Berlin. It designs, manufactures, produces and sells products based on the concept of the Italian designer Enzo Mari, providing technical qualifications with focus on furniture production. It also runs an education program that includes German language classes, legal advice and additional support with CV writing, job applications, and daily life in Germany.

The Machine to be Another, a cultural diversity and virtual reality experience sharing project from Spain is designed to recreate, replicate, and share experiences so that someone can see themselves in the body and experience of a refugee. It uses a pre-recorded audio ‘narrative’ to create a story, and shares these encounters 360 virtual reality technology. The project aims to create stations of archived narratives from refugees and migrants all around Europe and the world in schools, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions.

Project Virtuous Triangle from Turkey matches primary school children from Syria with young Turkish students, alongside a university age ‘coach student’ for tutoring, mentoring and language sharing. The project helps combat segregation in Turkey and means refugee children are more likely to be able to learn Turkish, attend school, and eventually get a job or open up other future opportunities. The project aims to increase its partnerships including private enterprises, government, schools, and other social innovators to promote community cohesion and solidarity from a young age.

Each of the semi-finalists and finalists have shown amazing potential to make a difference for refugees and migrants arriving and living in Europe.

Inge Missmahl, 2016 Integrated Futures jury member and Managing Director, Ipso Cultural Context said of the Competition and winners:

“It was a true privilege to be a member of the jury in the 2016 European Social Innovation Competition. Each of the semi-finalists and finalists have shown amazing potential to make a difference for refugees and migrants arriving and living in Europe, so selecting three winners was not an easy task.”

“I am proud of all of the projects and their journey throughout the competition, from the coaching and mentoring at the academy, to creating their detailed business plans and strategies to develop and grow their ideas. I congratulate the winners for their achievement, and look forward with inspiration and hope to see the collaborative impact of Integrated Futures.”

In addition to the Integrated Futures winner, the European Social Innovation Competition also awarded a fourth ‘Impact Prize’ of €50,000 to Love Your Waste, a French social enterprise fighting food waste, that demonstrated a significant measurable impact since taking part in the Competition in 2015- ‘New Ways to Grow’.

Love Your Waste works with canteens in companies, schools, and hospitals, collecting biowaste which is transformed into renewable energy. Since April 2015 they have recycled over 137 tonnes of food waste as well as carrying out extensive education programmes to help people understand and prevent waste. The judges were impressed by the double impact of the project – both environmental and social, as well as the organisation’s robust business plans.

Organised since 2012 in memory of Portuguese politician and social innovator Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition runs with a new theme each year, focused on addressing a different issue in Europe.

The three 2016 winners and the 2015 Impact Prize winner were each awarded with a prize of €50,000 at the awards ceremony in Brussels on 27 October.

For full details of the competition please visit:

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How To Make The Shipping Industry Greener




green shipping industry

Each and every year more damage is done to our planet. When businesses are arranging pallet delivery or any other kind of shipping, the environment usually isn’t their number one concern. However, there’s an increasing pressure for the shipping industry to go greener, particularly as our oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is occurring. Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology out there to help with this. Here’s how the freight industry is going greener.

Make Ship Scrapping Cleaner

There are approximately 51,400 merchant ships trading around the world at the moment. Although the act of transporting tonnes of cargo across the ocean every year is very damaging to the environment, the scrapping of container ships is also very harmful. Large container ships contain asbestos, heavy metals and oils which are toxic to both people and the environment during demolition. The EU has regulations in place which ensure that all European ships are disposed of in an appropriate manner at licenced yards and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced guidelines to make recycling of ships safe and environmentally friendly back in 2009, but since then only Norway, Congo and France have agreed to the policy. The IMO needs to ensure that more countries are on board with the scheme, especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which are some of the worst culprits for scrapping, which may mean enforcing the regulations in the near future.

Reduce Emissions

A single large container ship can produce the same amount of emissions as 50 million cars, making international shipping one of the major contributors towards global warming. Stricter emissions regulations are needed to reduce the amount of emissions entering our atmosphere. The sulphur content within ship fuel is largely responsible for the amount of emissions being produced; studies have shown that a reduction in the sulphur content in fuel oil from 35,000 p.p.m to 1,000 p.p.m could reduce the SOx emissions by as much as 97%! The IMO has already begun to ensure that ships with the Emission Control Areas of the globe, such as the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, are using this lower sulphur content fuel, but it needs to be enforced around the world to make a significant difference.

As it’s not currently practical or possible to completely phase-out heavy, conventional fuels around the world, a sulphur scrubber system can be added to the exhaust system of ships to help reduce the amount of sulphur being emitted.

Better Port Management

As more and more ships are travelling around the world, congestion and large volumes of cargo can leave ports in developing countries overwhelmed. Rapidly expanding ports can be very damaging to the surrounding environment, take Shenzhen for example, it’s a collection of some of the busiest ports in China and there has been a 75% reduction in the number of mangroves along the coastline. Destroying valuable ecosystems has a knock-on effect on the rest of the country’s wildlife. Port authorities need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of construction and ensure that further expansion is carried out sustainably.

Some have suggested that instead of expansion, improved port management is needed. If port authorities can work with transport-planning bureaus, they will be able to establish more efficient ways of unloading cargo to reduce the impact on the environment caused by shipping congestion.

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What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?




shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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