Previous Winners' Events

World Summit Multimedia Festival 2011, Graz, Austria

After four days of presentations, workshops, networking and fun the World Summit Multimedia Festival ended with a "Global Huddle" for all Awardees, the WSYA team and representatives of Intel, Telfree and the Internet Society. The young entrepreneurs and producers shared their impressions from the Festival and told what they learned from each other. All agreed: The experience to share knowledge, to cooperate and network, and to create ideas for further projects was most inspiring to them. The attending representatives of business and IT assured the WSYA Winners and Runners-up their full support.

Workshops on Friday and Saturday offered the young producers the chance to develop common strategies to reach the MDGs by 2015 and to give their own projects a drive. The highlight of the Festival that was held in Austria for the first time was the Awarding Gala on November 12th in Dom im Berg, an impressive location built into the famous Schlossberg in Graz. 18 Winners and 15 Runners-up were honoured by representatives of the United Nations, the digital industry and civil society, such as the vice president of the Austrian UNESCO Commission, Barbara Stelzl-Marx, Telfree CEO Walter Betschel and Martina Roth from Intel.

High-ranking UN-Diplomat Thomas Stelzer was amazed by the young entrepreneurs’ commitment and thanked them for thinking outside the box. “Together we can put the puzzle together and succeed in implementing the MDGs until 2015.” Walter Betschel, founder and CEO of the South African company Telfree, gave valuable advice from his business experience: “You don’t need millions of Dollars for change. You only need fresh brains, energy and enthusiasm to move things. Now put your running shoes on and start running – and don’t stop until you are there!"

The Winners’ and Runners-Up’s enthusiasm and energy could not be overseen during the four day Festival between 10th and 13th November. James Poisant, CEO of WITSA, underscored their engagement: “The challenge which our generation faces is to fulfil the promises of the digital age. When I see these young people I know this task is in good hands.“

Over 700 applicants from 99 countries had applied for the World Summit Youth Award in 2011. Learn more about the Winners and check out the pictures from the festival on Facebook! All Winners’ videos are available at

Winners' Event 2010, New York City, USA

The results and winning youth projects of WSYA 2010 were presented at the WINNERS EVENTS in New York City from 18 to 22, September 2010, alongside the UN Millennium Review Summit. To honour the winners' truly remarkable projects they had the chance to network with each other and meet MDG experts and representatives of media, governments and international organisations.

Several events gave the winners the chance to get to know each other, to network and learn about their different initiatives:

Stand-Up NYC
Sunday morning the winners, who all feel at home in the digital world, met on the patio of the hotel to show that and to discuss in what way they can illustrate their wishes and aspirations for the Millennium Development Goals. They prepared posters and banners to raise their voice at the "Stand-Up NYC" Event in front of the Lincoln Center to join millions of people world-wide using this date to remind government leaders of what they have promised to reach by 2015.

Rocking the MDGs 
At the famous Hard Rock Cafe in New York the winners had the chance to present their projects. Each category (Fight Poverty, Hunger and Disease; Education for all; Power 2 Women; Create Your Culture; Go Green; Pursue Truth) was presented by a Panel Chair, who moderated a short question and answer round for the respective category. Furthermore, the winners could learn about the different organisations and sponsors, which make the World Summit Youth Award possible. The event at the Hard Rock Cafe was sponsored by Telfree.

Winners' Ceremony
Opened by WSA-Chair Prof. Peter A. Bruck and moderated by Jennifer Corriero (TakingITGlobal) and Alex Hung (Crossover International), the Winners' Ceremony on Monday was the stately moment for winners to officially receive their certificates and a symbolical trophy. The greatest gain for the winners is however the multitude of contacts and chances that opened up due to the different events they could experience and personalities they could met. 

Discussion with senior level Bloomberg employees
After taking a tour through the modern headquarters of Bloomberg LP, the WSYA winners had the chance to met with Bloomberg's heads for TV, Internet and mobile media. The winners could learn about the media approach of Bloomberg as well as start an interesting discussion about the question whether the future internet will be shaped by free or by paid content and what implications this will have for projects like theirs.

Amphitheatre with High Level Representatives
How to bridge the digital divide - this was one of the topics discussed at the WSYA Amphitheatre. For this High Level event the WSYA did sucessfully invite Ivo Ivanovski, Minister of Information Society in Macedonia, as well as Ramon Alberto Garza Garcia, President/CEO of Indigo Brainmedia and Jose Zamora, Program Associate at the Knight Foundation, which aims at supporting independent quality journalism. Ivanovski and Garza Garcia also hold leading positions in the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development, a key partner of the World Summit Award.

Meeting of Minds at headquarters of advertising company Wunderman
On Tuesday, a selection of winners had the chance to present their projects to senior employees of the international advertising company Wunderman. This first time event proved fruitful for both sides. The agency had the chance to learn about new projects, while the winners got extremly usefull feedback on how to improve websites and design, how to get an even clearer target group focus and approach potential sponsors. 

Workshops with WSA Network Members
How to structure a young NGO? How to use social media to support your cause? What are the benchmarks? What works best? At the WSYA Network Workshops the winners and runners-up could learn and discuss these questions with selected Network Members from the e-Content sector and former WSYA winners.

Meeting the United Nation Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID)
Before leaving New York on Tuesday morning or heading out to explore the city for a few days, the WSYA Winners had the chance to meet representatives of the United Nation Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID) and discuss in what way their projects and the UN organisation can create win-win-situations. All in all the WSYA Winners Event's were a unique chance for young creative and committed people from countries ranging from the US, Mexico and Azerbaijan to Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Bringing together these bright minds will hopefully lead to even more efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals in as many communities as possible by 2015.

Earlier WSYA Winners' Events

The 2005 Winners Event was held in conjunction with the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis. Beside the WSYA festivities, the Winners had the chance to attend the WSIS as official WSYA delegates. The 2009 Gala took place in Monterrey, Mexico, with the great support of INDIGO BRAIN MEDIA and the Knight Foundation. Participants from over 50 countries, among them ministers, UN representatives and e-content experts, attended the four-day event.