The new Digital Social Award—under the patronage of the German Foundation for Civic Engagement and Volunteer Work (DSEE), the WHU Center for Non-Profit Management and Digital Social Impact, and ZiviZ – Zivilgesellschaft in Zahlen—is exactly what it says on the tin: It honors new digital ideas and solutions that tackle societal issues and promote society as a whole. At the first ever Digital Social Award ceremony, held on August 31 at the Siemenstadt Mosaikhalle in Berlin, the judges were certainly spoiled for choice. With a total of120 applicants jumping into the ring to represent their digitally and socially minded projects, it was no easy feat to determine the Top 12.
Dr. Peter Kreutter, Director of the WHU Center for Non-Profit Management and Digital Social Impact, sat on the judge’s panel and was blown away by the initial response. He played a hand in honoring three initiatives in the “Education & Culture” category. In first place, walking away with a full €5,000 to help them on their mission, was the German chapter of Technovation Girls. This organization is part of a global network of nonprofits aiming to empower young women by having them learn and become proficient in code—such that they can build mobile apps designed to address some of the world’s most severe problems. In the runners up positions were the Hamburg-based Hacker School and Silicon Visual’s MINT-learning platform Virtueller Makerspace. Sabine Reuss, Vice President and Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Capgemini in Germany, explained, “Above all else, we were very impressed by these winning projects in terms of their digital creativity and high level of commitment.”
The Digital Social Award was initiated by Siemens, Orange Business Services, Capgemini, and AfB green & social IT to shine a spotlight on how society and digitalization can synchronize to benefit the greater good. In the future, it hopes to feature more ideas and projects that advocate inclusion, diversity, and gender equality and that target underrepresented groups, such as people with migratory backgrounds, people living with disabilities, women, the LGBTQ+ community, children, and senior citizens. Above all, the projects should offer a solution intended to help and improve society or simplify everyday life.
A full list of this year’s winners, as well as further information about the award and ceremony, can be found on the Digital Social Award homepage (in German).