World Summit Awards

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World Summit Awards
Awarded forDigital content and innovative applications.
Location Austria
First awarded2003; 16 years ago (2003)
Last awarded2018 (2018)

The World Summit Awards (WSA) is an international competition which aims to select and promote the world’s best startup companies in digital content and innovative applications. It has been founded in the framework of the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), mandated by the WSIS Plan of Action, and cooperates with UNESCO and UNIDO.,[1] and is organized by the International Center for New Media (ICNM), Salzburg, Austria.[2]

Combining an ongoing series of international events and activities with a global network of start-ups, social entrepreneurs, mentors, jurors, speakers, experts, government leaders, academia and civil society, the WSA is an international platform for cutting-edge examples on how ICTs can affect society.

WSA emphasizes on its homepage cultural diversity and identity, the creation of varied information content and the digitalization of educational, scientific and cultural heritage. It aims to make the benefits of the new Information Society accessible and meaningful for all humanity, and in particular, to raise public awareness and give deserved public recognition to the highest quality e-Content, produced all over the world. It, as of 2017, involves representatives from 178 countries on each continent.


Every year, five projects are awarded in each the categories[3]. The categories derive from the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), UN Geneva Agenda and the Tunis Action Plan[4] and, as of 2017, are as follows:[5]

  • Government & Citizen Engagement
  • Health & Well Being
  • Learning & Education
  • Environment & Green Energy
  • Culture & Tourism
  • Smart Settlements & Urbanization
  • Business & Commerce
  • Inclusion & Empowerment
  • Young Innovators (For young social entrepreneurs under 30 years of age)

National representatives and pre-selection[edit]

WSA has a network of national representatives that expands over 170 countries.[6] Their task is to scout the national ICT markets for suitable applications due to the evaluation criteria of the WSA.[7] In some countries, the national representatives hold official national pre-selection competitions.

Grand Jury[edit]

A Jury of international experts evaluates and selects the best 5 projects in each category. The jury process is a moderated, democratic vote in two stages,[8] typically held as grand jury events [9] about two month before the winners events and the Congress.

Global Congress[edit]

The WSA hold every year a 3-day congress. The event embraces an e-content related conference program and an award ceremony. The final gala includes the winners award ceremony. [10][11][12]

Global Champions[edit]

At the WSA Congress and accompanying gala ceremony, out of the five winners in each category one global champion is awarded.[13] The selection process relies on a jury process of national experts. On the occasion of the WSIS+10 review held in Paris in February 2013, a special online jury evaluated all 200 winning projects of WSA’s 10-year history and selected eight all-time global champions.[14]


External links[edit]