Rural Inspiration Awards (RIA) 2022: The Future is Youth

Rural Inspiration Awards
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Successful stories can inspire more people to replicate similar initiatives elsewhere and unlock the potential of the EAFRD/EAGF to help rural areas meet the wide range of economic, environmental and social challenges of the 21st century. For this to happen, though, key information about the projects has to be collected and shared effectively.

The theme of this year's Rural Inspiration Awards (RIA) 2022 was 'The Future is Youth' inspired jointly by 2022 being the European Year of Youth, the long-term vision for rural areas, and the Rural Pact, developed by the European Commission. RIA 2022 seeks to promote the importance of European youth to build a better future – greener, resilient, more socially inclusive, innovative, and digital. 

In this edition, we received 111 entries from 24 Member States for the four thematic categories: Green Futures, Digital Futures, Resilient Futures, and Socially Inclusive & Innovative Futures. The jury nominated a winner per thematic category and 7400 people from all around Europe decided the winner of the Popular Vote on Youth through online voting. Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Maciej Golubiewski, announced the five winners at the Award Ceremony of the Rural Inspiration Awards 2022 which took place during the EU CAP Network Launch Event.

Meet the winners:

Green futures winner

Digital futures winner

Resilient futures winner



Broadband 4 Our Community


Red cow breed


Socially inclusive & innovative futures winner

Popular vote winner

Centre for Social Inclusion


The most pessimistic town in Finland


24 Shortlisted projects per thematic category

Green Futures: Projects or initiatives addressing or mitigating climate change, demonstrating sustainability and contributing to the green recovery which signal or demonstrate a step change or a more widely transferrable approach.

Digital Futures: Projects which show a sustainable approach which advances the benefits of digitalisation in farming and rural communities, whether about improving digital and broadband infrastructure, provision of digital services, uptake of new technology or in improving digital skills or knowledge.

Resilient Futures: Projects which demonstrate their contribution to strengthening the resilience of Rural Europe. This category can cover a wide range of community, value chain and business initiatives including the broader definition of sustainable and future-proof projects.


Socially Inclusive & Innovative Futures: Projects which demonstrate the ability to address social aspects in an innovative manner that contribute to the inclusiveness of rural society and support rural entrepreneurs.

Popular Vote: In addition to the thematic categories, a Popular Vote Award was awarded and decided via an online voting system.

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