What does it mean to use internet and mobile to take action on societal issues? How can smart phones, innovative applications or well-designed websites transform society for good? How can technology help create a more equitable society and provide a brighter future for all? The World Summit Youth Award offers answers. It celebrates the work of young people around the world who use digital creativity, social entrepreneurship and societal innovation to address the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.
Fight Poverty, Hunger and Disease
The projects in this category address issues of extreme poverty and hunger, offering solutions for those whose income is less than $1 a day. Onomi – meaning “my child” in the Yoruba language – is a mobile application for mothers and children. The app is the brain child of Dr. Charles Akhimien of Nigeria and is designed to make access to health care and medical expertise easier for mothers. It offers vital information on breast feeding, family planning, food supplementation and dietary options for babies, as well as the home management of illnesses such as diarrhea.
Additional winners in this category include RFIShoe, a virtual mouse application for disabled people and the global winner, Project Annuit Walk which helps visually impaired people walk safely in cities.
Education for All
The projects in this category offer content, platforms and solutions which give girls and boys everywhere in the world access to primary education. SmileUrbo is an interactive role-playing game that encourages players to deliberate issues in order to facilitate development in their community. A project which was created by Aleksandra Zemke from Spain, SmileUrbo provides easy access to interactive educational content.
Zaya ClassCloud, a project from India, is an effective teaching and learning platform which allows teachers to provide high quality digital content to students without the use of the internet. Sterio.me is an interactive audio platform which addresses learning outside of the classroom. Free for educators and learners, sterio.me offers users access to pre-recorded audio lessons which are delivered via SMS message. This project was created by Christopher Pruijsen from the UK.
Power 2 Women
This category highlights content and communities which promote gender equality and empower women. They eliminate gender disparity in education, facilitate access to all levels of political decision making and strengthen women’s contribution to the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Ladybug is an Iranian start-up for a new generation of women who are enthusiastic about technology. Their mission is to maximize women’s participation in startup teams and tech companies. “We believe that the path toward increasing women’s share in internet and mobile based services and products is through raising awareness, training, mentoring and networking. This is the best way to change the role women play in technology from consumers to creators.”
Additional winners in this category include ChatSalud , a project based in Nicaragua which provides youth with sexual and reproductive health information via mobile phone and I Decide / Yo Decido which provides education on sexual and reproductive health to Mayan youth.
Create your Culture
The projects in this category express the aspirations, ideas and values of young people, enabling their participation in decision-making processes. These projects strengthen social justice, promote the spread of knowledge, support multilingualism and create contemporary forms of culture.
CityBugs is a social platform which encourages young people in Armenia to find solutions for critical issues in their local communities. Using the slogan, “Let’s make our city a better place to live” and a participatory approach, every citizen is invited to take responsibility for change by reporting the “bug” in their community and tracking solutions to reported problems.
Additional category winners are Minkay based in Columbia and Online Model United Nations (O-MUN) from Qatar. Minkay is a favor swapping platform which targets under-served communities. It allows users to exchange services for “time”. O-MUN is a non-profit organizations which is run by young people all over the world. It serves as an outlet for young people to express their views about international issues and discuss possible solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
The projects in the Go Green category promote environmental sustainability. Green is the New Gangsta is a project of Free People International. It fuses online and offline action in an effort to spread awareness about important environmental issues and promote and more eco-conscious, ethical lifestyle. In a quizzical turn of phrase, Green is the New Gangsta makes “green” the new currency of cool.
Indonesia Gardening is a non-profit volunteer based movement which mobilizes “urban farmers” with social media. RideIt (rideit.in) is a project of Rahul Mani Jacob based in India. It is an urban social initiative which aims to reduce pollution and fossil-fuel consumption by promoting corporate carpooling and reducing the number of cars on the road.
The Pursue Truth category is dedicated to youth-led journalism and projects which use internet and mobile to report on the issues that are relevant to them. It highlights projects which invite young journalists and citizens to share their news and become active participants in the public interest of their community and country.
The Slum Challenge, a project from Denmark, is a documentary style platform about life in slum areas, home to more than one billion people worldwide. Using gamification, the viewer decides what will happen next. Voice of R is an online platform which was created to raise awareness about important social justice issues in Pakistan and motivate youth to take action. Broken Souvenirs is a project out of Palestine which captures portraits of survivors of war.
To find out more about the World Summit Youth Award and learn how to apply for next year’s contest, click here.