About CSI EU


Among the most vulnerable to the pandemic are adults and young people with lower skills. An estimated 9 million UK adults still struggle to use the internet and their device independently, thus adapting to working and socialising online has left thousands struggling, while exacerbating the digital divide. Likewise, young people with lower skills are also at risk as the Institute of Student Employers have stated that “many employers report they will be recruiting less entry-level hires as a result of COVID-19”. Thereby, 80% of young people in the UK stated the pandemic has worsened their mental health. Therefore, COVID has accelerated the need for providing young adults with the transversal skills and learning paths to keep them motivated, relevant and employable in times of social upheaval and economic crisis.

Moreover, culture has never felt more urgent and socially valuable than during the pandemic confinement phase, with cultural, creative and arts organisations reaching out to new (and old) audiences via digital channels, and the sentiment of solidarity finding expression in concrete actions to help people affected by the pandemic. In many ways these Cultural innovators from the creative & arts organisations displayed what could be achieved. CSI EU seeks to learn from and build on that experience by engaging young adults to come together to develop social innovation projects in the cultural, arts and creative space for the development of their personal and professional life, the good of their local communities and to help build solidarity, resilience and improved mental health in the face of unprecedented times.


While COVID-19 continues to spread fear, anxiety and economic downturn across the world, it also heralds a new era of innovations, with humanity as the epicentre. Culture-based social innovation offers a silver lining for the strengthening of local economies and wellbeing.


Therefore, CSI EU will empower adults and young people most affected by COVID to become confident cultural social innovators and design innovative (digital) solutions to challenges posed by the crisis. To do so, we will modernise youth and adult education curricula and practice. Specific objectives are:

1) Increase awareness & commitment to CSI at all levels in the adult education and youth sector by evidencing its contribution to empowerment, integration and competence development.

2) Strengthen capacity of adult/youth orgs to teach CSI by improving the knowledge and digital skills of adult/youth educators and providing practical resources to teach CSI in nonformal scenarios.

3) Maximize the number of adults and young people learning and carrying out CSI projects by sharing our model via a CSI hackathon.

Project Activities

The first tangible results of the project will be the intellectual outputs:

IO1: CULTURAL SOCIAL INNOVATION GUIDE will map the various best practice examples of cultural social innovation, as well as the approaches, methods and tools used to carry out these projects. The Guide will raise awareness and commitment to introducing CSI into the education of adults and young people, it will aim to inspire and cultivate the creativity skills that is essential in the culture-based social innovation process, aided with the use of digital tools.

IO2: THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION TOOLBOX will contain a range of measures, tools, techniques and practical guidance for Adult and Youth Educators wishing to incorporate social innovation activities into their teaching strategies, with a particular focus on increasing their confidence in using digital tools. The toolbox will accelerate digital transformation and use of digital means to adapt to the way creative products, cultural goods and events are created, managed, disseminated, accessed and consumed

IO3: CULTURAL SOCIAL INNOVTAION HACKATHON AND GUIDE Intensive 1- or 2-day cultural social innovation trainings for both adult/youth educators and young adults on how to carry out/develop CSI projects. The guide makes a clear case of the relevance of a Hackathon for adult and youth educators to implement this new pedagogic approach, and provide a step by step guide on how to organise a hackathon.