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Young minds changing the world

13 May 2009

Armando Siahaan

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This year’s World Summit Youth Award winners will present their Internet-based projects to government and business leaders during the United Nations Global Forum on Information and Communications in June.

Fifteen youth-led projects that use the Internet to bring the world closer to reaching the United Nations Millennium Development Goals were recognized last month and named winners of the awards.

The competition involves people under the age of 30 who are actively engaged in making the world a better place through digital and mobile content, ranging from interactive Web sites, smartphone applications and online gaming.

“While many leaders of the world fight the banking and economic crisis, young people fight the everyday crises in their communities and show that the Millennium Development Goals must be acted on concretely,” Peter A. Bruck, chairman of the Austrian-based World Summit Award, said in a press release.

This year, there were more than 600 entries from more than 100 countries that underwent a three-round adjudication process by a panel of 20 jurors with expertise in the realm of youth engagement, new media and social entrepreneurship.

There were five main categories in which the contestants competed, and there were three winners from each category. Austrian duo Andreas Jakl and Gerald Madlmayr won an award in the Fight Poverty, Hunger & Disease! category. Their project, called Mobile Doctor, is a mobile application that assists people in developing countries to instantly find nearby hospitals or medical assistance.

A winner in the education category, Alternatives: Finding New Possibilities for Youth, is a Nepal-based interactive website run by a group of young social entrepreneurs aiming to empower Nepalese youth to bring change to the country. Its has so far put on training sessions in leadership, tourism and media for the youth in rural areas.

In the category dedicated to empowering women, Gholamzadeh Hamid Reza, a 27-year-old Iranian man, came up with an online magazine titled Dokhtiran: e-Magazine on Women’s Rights. Iran has received much international criticism for its treatment of women; the objective of the e-magazine is to inform women of their basic rights and to critically discuss judicial, cultural, political and educational rules affecting their lives.

The US-based smartphone application 'The Extraordinaries' won an award in the cultural creation category for promoting the culture of volunteering. Founded by Jacob Colker and Ben Rigby, the crowd-sourcing application allows smartphone users to spend a few minutes micro-volunteering. So far, they have been able to help immigrants improve their English, translate subtitles for human rights videos and help Cornell University collect data on urban birds.

In the going green category, three Dutch youths were recognized for their online computer game called “The Guardian of Eden.” The game is about a boy tasked with restoring the natural balance of the earth, and aims to educate children about environmental responsibility.

Bruck said, “The winning projects show how the world can be made a better place when the Millennium Development Goals do not remain just a government or a distant UN agenda.”

List of Winners

Fight Poverty, Hunger & Disease!  
“Lil’ MDGs: Kids Making Changes,” Dylan Mahalingam

“Remote Patient Monitoring System with Focus on Antenatal Care,” Ajay Kumar Tanwani

“Mobile Doctor,”
Andreas Jakl, Gerald Madlmayr, Austria  

Education for All!
“Everything on HIV and AIDS in Iran,” Morteza Mishir Sinaei, Iran

“Alternatives: Finding New Possibilities for Youth,” Sanjeev Raj Neupane, Nepal

“Voices of Africa for Sustainable Development,” Crystal Kigoni, Kenya

Power 2 Women!
“Dokhtiran: e-Magazine on Women’s Rights,” Gholamzadeh Hamid Reza, Iran

“The Sisters 4 Peace Network,” Sejal Hathi, USA

“Empower Women and Meet Millennium Challenges,” George Onyango, Kenya

Create Your Culture!
“Roots & Routes TV,” Aileen Wessely, Germany

“Savvy Chavvy,” Christy McAleese, Britain

“The Extraordinaries,” Jacob Colker, USA

Go Green!
“Sewer Tourism,” Andrew Mutua, Kenya  

“Greenlighted,” Vladimir Dubovskiy, USA

“Guardian of Eden,” Ricardo Quirante Martinez, Netherlands

Global Goals 2030
festival ECONOMIA trento
Helpi - your personal safety app
» Online climate conference
Online,  November 5, 2012.
» Open Knowledge Festival 2012
Helsinki, Finland,  September 17,2012.
» ITU Green Standards Week
39, quai du Président Roosevelt 92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux, France,  September 17

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