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Interview with MITWIN.NET

Reduce youth unemployment by job sharing among young and older employees: MITWIN.NET proposes an intergenerational professional network to facilitate contact between people in order to share a job post and knowledge, with the main goal of reducing the high rate of youth unemployment. MITWIN.NET proposes that older workers share a job with younger people, allowing those approaching retirement to share knowledge and skills with those starting out in the job market. This should ease both entry and exit from the job market and address youth unemployment.

What were your reasons for entering the European Social Innovation Competition?

I love innovation, I like doing different things. I feel comfortable thinking up different ways to make things or address problems. The European Social Innovation Competition provided the opportunity to face the big challenge of making an idea a reality.

What did you learn throughout the experience of being involved in the European Social Innovation Competition?

I learnt many things throughout the whole process of being involved in the competition, but the most important I believe is that I have got to know myself better and can now more easily identify my strengths and weaknesses.

How has MITWIN.NET developed since entering the competition last year?

From the beginning of the competition we have been working to develop and improve every aspect related to the idea. We have been trying to take everything we have learned in this process and apply it to our social innovation to improve it. While we have made progress, we are aware of that we still have a huge amount of work to do.

At present our main goal is to find an institution that wants to partner with Mitwin.net and help us to start the development of a small pilot project to test the idea.

What advice would you give to someone considering entering the competition?

My advice for anyone considering entering the competition is to do it, but bear in mind that it will be a challenge. It will be a long journey, you will have good days and bad days and you will be tired. However, you will get to know yourself and your social innovation better and it will definitely be a great adventure. If you can, don’t do it alone.

What is your impression of social innovation across Europe? 

It seems as though it is a relatively new topic and it seems that not all countries are developing social innovation at the same pace. However, initiatives such as the European Social Innovation Competition and the new programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), launching in 2014, mean that this will be a better known topic and much more developed in every country across Europe in the future.

Profile

My name is Lola and I am from Spain. I am a psychologist and specialise in Gerontology and Innovation. My last work was related to the system for disabled people in Spain (Sistema Nacional de Dependencia). In October 2012, I began working on MITWIN.net. In my spare time, I work on a website called www.labombilladeedison.com (The Edison light bulb) where I talk about people, experiences, books and events related to innovation and creativity.