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A social investment model involving our employees: The Social Challenge

In 2015 we launched a new selection procedure to choose social initiatives for investment purposes called "The Social Challenge". This entailed a participatory process in identifying and selecting social projects developed by non-profit organizations operating within the provinces of Milan and Varese, to which make 6 donations of Euro 10,000 each every year. 2016 and 2017’s editions saw the addition of Special Prizes worth Euro 10,000.

Only projects that are planned to be rolled out in the provinces of Milan and Varese (where respectively the airports of Milan Linate and Malpensa are located) and which relate to social, environmental or cultural topics can qualify. At the heart of the process there are 2,847 SEA employees who are invited annually to:

  • identify non-profit organizations with operational headquarters in the Milan and Varese provinces;
  • acquire - or define along with these entities - a social, environmental or cultural project;
  • present the project to SEA, through which it undergoes an initial selection process by an Evaluation Committee;
  • having passed the selection process successfully, the employee must then promote the project to their colleagues to garnish their support. They then vote for their chosen project by a digital referendum on the Seanet Intranet platform.

Non-profit organizations headquartered in the provinces of Milan or Varese are also invited to submit social projects to SEA's corporate community, which if selected, also undergo the same evaluation and voting process as the projects proposed by the employees themselves.

In 2018, the Evaluation Committee was comprised of 2 SEA representatives and 4 experts from the non-profit arena.

In the project’s first 4 years, we have distributed Euro 260 thousand, financing 26 projects, of which 13 in each of the 2 reference provinces, and involving 22 associations, some winning twice with different projects over the period.

The Social Challenge: figures on the 4 initiatives


2018 edition

The following summarizes 2018’s funded projects and proposing associations.

Winning projects in the Milan area

AssociationProject TitleDescription
Vivi Down Attiviamoci diversamente (Let’s act differently) Engagement of people with intellectual disabilities and Down syndrome in active volunteer roles supported by tutors, for initiatives to combat social exclusion, such as food canteens for the poor and aid for the homeless.
Atlha Ristoro nell’orto (Garden refreshments) Initiative to integrate disabled youths and other individuals at risk of social exclusion in the world of work through sustainable and reproducible entrepreneurial activities with high social values, such as in the food and catering industry.
La Banda degli Onesti   La vera fortuna: conta su di te, non sull’azzardo! (Real luck: learn to count on yourself, not on your cards!) Awareness raising on the subject of pathological gambling through educational initiatives engaging 30 classes in the 3rd year of several upper secondary schools in Milan and the Province of Milan, with specific interventions addressed to teachers, students and parents.

Winning projects in the Varese area

AssociationProject TitleDescription
Amici della Fondazione Giacomo Ascoli Insieme per l'Oncoematologia Pediatrica (Together for Paediatric Onco-hematology) Purchase of tools, equipment and furnishings for the new Giacomo Ascoli Paediatric and Onco-hematology Day Centre in the Leonardo pavilion of the Ponte di Varese Hospital. The project involves the purchase of six paediatric beds complete with mattresses and IV drip stands for three rooms.
Anffas Ticino La strana officina: pedaliamo nel Parco del Ticino (The strange workshop: pedalling in the Ticino Park) Realization of a bicycle maintenance and repair shop along the Ticino Park cycle path. The workshop will provide professional training opportunities for disabled youths.
Amici di Volandia   Safety Course Interactive educational workshop on transport safety for middle and high school children at the Volandia aviation museum (Malpensa). The workshop plans to recreate the entire journey of a passenger up until boarding a plane, with the involvement of security personnel and engaging games on various aspects, such as packing your own suitcase.

In the latest edition, the “The Social Challenge” project has received support from Ciessevì, a regional body coordinating, promoting and supporting third-sector associations in the Lombardy Region in the promotion of the culture of solidarity and of active citizenship. Ciessevì will also work with SEA in future editions, organizing meetings open to other third-sector associations in order to illustrate the project and how it works, and to provide support to associations in the planning and preparation of project proposals. 

The 2018 edition, in collaboration with the association NoiSEA, also awarded an additional prize of Euro 5 thousand entitled “Fare Uguale Raccontare” (Doing equal Telling) to the best communications initiative by “The Social Challenge” participating associations in order to raise public awareness of their activities.