Innovations That Matter

Government funded theatre tickets for Italian teenagers


Italian government launches 18app, a scheme which offers 18 year olds money to spend on cultural activities.

Governments are increasingly turning to technology to improve citizen engagement. In June, we wrote about Mexico City who are trialling a crowdsourced constitution. And in India, the government is encouraging drivers to save their licences and vehicle registration in digital format. Now, Italy has launched 18app, designed to engage young people in cultural activity.

The Italian government has launched an initiative which offers young people the opportunity to register for EUR 500 to spend on cultural activities. Citizens who turn 18 in 2016 can register for the bonus, called SPID (il sistema pubblico di identità digitale). They then have a year to spend the money on anything from dance, theatre, film and concerts to books, museums and monuments. The fund can be accessed via an app, where tickets and other items available to the users can be purchased. The initiative will benefit 575,000 teenagers and will cost the government roughly EUR 290 million.

The scheme was announced as part of a wider government cultural program to match the country’s increased spending on defense and security. It has the benefit of encouraging young people to spend on cultural pursuits. Will more governments around the world begin to use this kind of technology?


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