Bonus Cultura – 18app

Based on the idea that cultural consumption is important both for enriching yourself as a person and strengthening the fabric of our society, in 2016 the Italian government introduced a 500€ cultural bonus for all 18-year-old people living in Italy. Young people can spend it on cultural items and activities such as going to theatres, concerts and museums, buying books, etc. They have to register online and then spend the money through the dedicated website 18app.it, accessible from any device. This was promoted through an extensive online campaign on social media by the government.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Bonus Cultura represents a welcome for those who reach the age of 18 and a reminder of how crucial culture is, both for personal enrichment and for strengthening the social fabric of the country.
The initiative has been welcomed by 18-year-old citizens, who face a difficult economic landscape when they leave school: high unemployment, a lack of secure, long-term contracts and an economy that has performed dismally for a decade. Every 18-year-old has been entitled to claim 500€ and spend it on culturally enriching pursuits such as going to theatres, concerts and museums, visiting archaeological sites, and buying books.
Young people who turn 18 can access the fund by registering through their unique digital identity (SPID), and then spend the money, through the dedicated website 18app.it, accessible from any device. They have six months to register and one year to spend all the credit. The process is entirely made online: each user can create vouchers which can be used to make purchases. The vouchers can be printed or downloaded to smartphones and tablets for making in-store purchases and can also be used to shop online.
Giving each teenager 500€ to spend on culture means investing in their future and allowing them to participate directly to their county cultural and social life. In order to make the initiative well-known and to make the users a pro-active part of it, a social media campaign has been made on Facebook and Instagram. For the first time ever, the Italian government decided to choose social media as the main medium to talk to citizens and the results are outstanding.

The official Facebook fan page gives information and collects users feedback also through direct messaging. At the moment, the numbers are the following:
Facebook (18app)
Followers: 49k; Reach: 3,5 mln; Engagement: 12 %; Messages received: 15k
Instagram (18app_official)
Followers: 14k; Reach: 1,4 mln; Engagement: 6 %

Young citizens are not the only one who benefited from the innovation. Also cultural merchants were part of the project since the very beginning: not only big players, but small ones too. The participation of merchants is relevant and the result of the hole project is a measurable growth in cultural consumption.

A mobile native app is about to be released. It is an open source software. The open collaboration has created a network of digital specialists that work together in order to constantly improve the innovation.

The innovation is now at its third edition and a fourth one is already provided for the following year. In the meantime, government has changed twice. The social media campaign is still ongoing and the expected results are even bigger than the present ones. The constant activity on social media, including direct messaging, is extremely helpful and effective in terms of accountability , web reputation, transparency and stakeholder participation. As a result, the users seem to be more trustful towards the government and more involved in its proposals.

Innovation Description

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Year: 2016
Organisation Type: Government
Level of government: National/Federal government

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