WHU General

Digital Social Award Announced Following Successful 2022 Summit

The new Digital Social Award is intended to honor the digital work of non-profits

Digital Social Award Logo

The first half of 2022 has been rather busy for the WHU Center for Non-Profit Management and Digital Social Impact. Following a successful Digital Social Summit, held in hybrid format at the end of March, the Center has recently announced the Digital Social Award, scheduled to make its debut later this fall.

Working in conjunction with the German Foundation for Civic Engagement and Volunteer Work (DSEE) and ZiviZ, the WHU Center for Non-Profit Management and Digital Social Impact will have guardianship of the upcoming Digital Social Award, which will be given out for the first time ever later this fall. The DSA is designed to honor non-profits, unions, and initiatives exhibiting a strong commitment to the betterment of society through digital engagement. Established by Siemens, Capgemini, Orange Business Services, and AfG gGmbH in cooperation with Stiftung Bürgermut, the DSA recognizes efforts made in four areas, each endowed with an €8,000 cash prize: education and culture; sports and health; inclusion and workplace culture; and innovation and future. The hunt for diverse, digital, and socially beneficial initiatives is on, and interested organizations can apply for the award now through the official Siemens homepage until the end of June.

WHU Digital Social Summit 2022 Panel Discussion. Copyright: Sebastian Berger
From left to right: Teresa Sickert, Jan Philipp Schewe, Cathrin Heinrich, and Dr. Peter Kreutter / Copyright: Sebastian Berger

On the stage at this year’s Digital Social Summit, shining in bright blue letters, was the German term for “the day after tomorrow”: übermorgen. It was a clear sign of what was to come. Broadcasted from the “Im Weizmann” civic center in Stuttgart on March 29 and 30, the event saw nearly 1,000 participants from all over the globe attended this year’s proceedings. Their task? To discuss how to best take abstract ideas of a digital future and fit them to a socio-digital agenda. Across 42 sessions, eight hands-on workshops, and numerous panel discussion and keynote speeches, guests tackled the subject from all sides and heard from some of today’s most prominent figures.

Following the opening presentation from Mona Shelle (Dieter Schwarz Foundation) and Simon Klee (Dietmar Hopp Foundation) on the digitalization of funding and administrative processes at their own respective organizations, some 20 foundation representatives led small virtual groups to work on the topics at hand together. One particular highlight was the keynote address given by Dr. Lucy Bernholz, the Director of Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and nonprofit researcher. The presentation, “Digital Civil Society is All of Us,” emphasized that one central task of their efforts must be to protect democracy and humanity and embed them into today’s technology and active organizations.

This year’s event was able to benefit from the relaxed safety restrictions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, with panelists and speakers able to take the stage in person. WHU’s own Peter Kreutter, Managing Director of the Center for Non-Profit Management and Digital Social Impact, together with Jan Philipp Schewe of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, moderated the second workshop discussion on the use of software in foundations. Recaps of this and past events can be found on the official Digital Social Summit YouTube page.

The Digital Social Summit has taken place annually since 2019. The hosts of this year’s event included the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, betterplace academy, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Stiftung Bürgermut, the WHU Foundation, the German Foundation for Civic Engagement and Volunteer Work (DSEE), as well as ZiviZ.