World Summit Award

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The World Summit Award (WSA) along with the World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) is a global initiative to which aims to select and promote the world’s best in digital content and innovative applications. It is organised by the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), mandated by the WSIS Plan of Action and executed in collaboration with UNESCO, UNIDO and UN GAID.[1]

The World Summit Awards award e-Content that contributes to a true knowledge society and promotes it at a global congress. The WSA is a nomination based award that works with an international expert network.[2] The experts task is to scout the national ICT markets for suitable applications due to the evaluation criteria of the WSA.[3] Submissions are free of charge.[4]

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 2014, involves representatives from 174 countries on each continent.[5]

The World Summit Award (WSA) is organised by the International Center for New Media (ICNM), Salzburg, Austria.[6]


Yearly, five projects are awarded in each of eight categories,[7] summing up to a total of 40 awardees. The eight categories derive from the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)UN Geneva Agenda and the Tunis Action Plan[8] and, as of 2013, are as follows:[9]

  • e-Government & Open Data
  • e-Health & Environment
  • e-Learning & Science
  • e-Entertainment & Games
  • e-Culture & Tourism
  • e-Media & Journalism
  • e-Business & Commerce
  • e-Inclusion & Empowerment

World Summit Youth Award[edit]

The World Summit Youth Award is a category of the World Summit Award. Its participant must be under 30 years of age.[10]

Categories of applications are as follows:

  • Fight Poverty, Hunger and Disease
  • Education for All
  • Women Empowerment
  • Go Green, Climate Change
  • Digital Generation
  • Innovation for SDGs (Open Category)

Selection and nomination process[edit]

Every two years, held alternately with the World Summit Award Mobile,[11] the WSA awards 40 projects in eight different categories. Furthermore, at the biannual global congress, eight global champions are awarded. The selection and nomination process relies on an expert-network that expands over 170 countries.[12]

National pre-selection[edit]

The selection and nomination process relies on an expert-network that expands over 170 countries.[13] Each expert is allowed to nominate one project in eight categories.[14] Nominations for the WSA are provided by the national experts, who represent the global WSA nationally. This way a global selection is insured. Project developers will be connected to their national experts by the WSA office.[15] In some countries WSA experts hold official national awards for the WSA pre-selections. These contests for national pre-selection are currently held in 17 different countries.[16]

Grand Jury[edit]

A Jury of international experts evaluates and selects the best 5 projects in each category.[17] The jury process is a moderated, democratic vote in two stages,[18] typically held as grand jury events[19] about two month before the winners events and the WSA Congress.

The biannual WSA grand jury is a tree-day event held in different location:[20]

  • 2003: Dubai
  • 2005: Kingdom of Bahrain
  • 2007: Croatia
  • 2009: India
  • 2011: Hong Kong
  • 2013: Estonia[21]

WSA Global Congress[edit]

The World Summit Awards 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. From the years 2003 to 2013, the WSA global congress was held in:[22][23][24]

  • Switzerland
  • Tunisia
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Egypt
  • Sri Lanka

World Summit Award Global Champions[edit]

At the WSA Congress and accompanying gala ceremony, out of the five winners in each category one global champion is awarded.[25] The selection process relies on a jury process of national experts.[26] 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.[27][28]

Recent Awardees[edit]


See also[edit]


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General references[edit]