Accelerate social innovation

Throughout the country, social innovators are developing ideas and solutions to combat vulnerability. Major corporations are ill equipped to identify and assess these people championing new ideas. Neither are they able to support such projects to materialise and grow.

EDF forms partnerships with social innovation incubators to rapidly find and put in place innovative business models to respond to the challenges that are ignored by society to combat vulnerability and energy poverty in particular.

It was with this in mind that EDF initiated a partnership in 2017 with Ashoka. Based in France, the organisation has built up the world’s leading network of social entrepreneurs.

The partnership involves jointly organising and financing calls for solutions, run by a regional group of incubators led by Ashoka, to identify entrepreneurs working to create a positive impact on society. Once the group has selected a handful of proposals, the partnership supports those entrepreneurs in developing their ideas.

The supported projects

L’Échappée des copropriétés

One of the first projects supported by EDF was put forward by the non‑profit organisation l’Échappée des copropriétés in Toulouse. Their idea involved facilitating the renovation of fragile or deteriorated commonhold properties by engaging with and mobilising the people living in these homes.

It is in such situations, where people keep coming up against obstacles and find themselves at a standstill, that l’Échappée des copropriétés will get involved to tackle the root causes by developing, supporting or putting at residents’ disposal easily accessible tools and methods to recreate a sense of ownership and enhance dialogue. The programme may also be used to complement existing State aid schemes.

JIB solution

EDF also supports JIB, a provider of turnkey solutions that enable people with reduced mobility or physical disabilities and, by extension, the elderly, to live at home independently. The company’s solution involves a highly user friendly smartphone application that is connected to different systems and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as turning lights and portable heaters on and off, opening and closing shutters and motorised doors, and using the intercom.

The JIB solution, which is recognised by key disability organisations in France, enables users to control their home environment easily and even helps them regain independence. The service is available for an affordable subscription fee (the basic offer starts at €10) and is supplemented by a hotline to relevant organisations.

About Ashoka

Ashoka envisions a world in which everyone is a changemaker: a world where all citizens are powerful and contribute to change in positive ways.