“A €100,000 Idea,” almost sounds like a game show title from the 80s. Actually, it is the eye-catching name of the challenge created by Cooperativa Animazione Valdocco, who have been involved for years in aid work for social exclusion and unrest in Turin, protecting and managing health and education social services.
“We work mostly with the local public administration for our community, offering our professionalism and creativity, and exercising the right to work.”
Paolo Petrucci, President
President Petrucci, how did this challenge come about?
PAOLO: In 2018, the Board of Directors allocated €100,000 to the Valdocco Benefits: with a view to innovation and continuous improvement of the Cooperative, we felt it was important to involve all members by asking them to propose and vote for new ideas for using this budget.
What are the Valdocco Benefits?
PAOLO: The Valdocco Benefits initiative is our way of approaching so-called corporate welfare and it came from a very simple idea: give members access to the best conditions that the cooperative receives from its suppliers (and affiliated suppliers), and also allow access to reduced prices for goods and services produced by us. This can take the form of discount vouchers, leisure activities, support of purchasing power for individual or family well-being. Members are periodically notified of updated list of opportunities to enjoy and, starting this year, we decided to involve them directly by asking for their proposals for new Valdocco Benefits.
What was your aim in this challenge?
PAOLO: The general aim was to use Foxwin and members’ knowledge for continuous improvement and as a promotion of the members’ potential. The objective of this specific challenge was to identify the best way to use the €100,000 budget for the Valdocco Benefits in 2018. From this, the challenge “A €100,000 idea. Propose and choose a new Valdocco Benefit” emerged.
What kind of results were you expecting?
PAOLO: Our intention was to invest the budget in activities more in line with our values and the needs of individual workers. We were hoping to be able to involve our members and stimulate new ideas at the same time.
Were these expectations met?
PAOLO: Lots of members reacted enthusiastically to the initiative, spontaneously creating discussion groups about which ideas to publish on the software. All the ideas were high-quality and earned approval, so much so that by the end of the contest, we had to announce two winners.
What stands out to you the most about this challenge?
PAOLO: The evaluation committee which chose the winning ideas was made up of members for the cooperative’s Board of Directors; when we chose the ideas we didn’t know who had submitted them and thus we were able to be impartial and objective. I was pleasantly surprised by member participation in this first involvement experiment with the Foxwin platform. (The cooperative has 2027 members). I was also struck by the response of relatively new members to the cooperative; many got stuck in, offering their talents and participating in a proactive manner.