Winners announced in first-ever Apps 4 Digital Peace Competition

September 21st, 2020

The United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, and Cybersecurity Tech Accord are proud to announce the first-ever Apps 4 Digital Peace competition winners: AllSafe, Maktab and Cyber Teens. The Young innovators developed original technology-based solutions to increase the stability of our online environment and limit the use of the internet as a domain of conflict.

First Place ($15,000)

FSociety presented a community-driven platform, AllSafe, to democratize cybersecurity and increase capacity for vulnerable users on a global scale. The technology will contribute to digital peace by empowering vulnerable internet users to understand cyber threats, and proactively adopt safe behaviors to prevent, reduce and mitigate against cyber threats.

The winners, FSociety, presented a community-driven platform, AllSafe, to democratize cybersecurity and increase capacity for vulnerable users on a global scale.

Second Place ($10,000)

Maktab presented a social awareness and e-learning platform to provide learning opportunities for students while educating them on safe online practices. The application combines e-learning, social networking, emotional intelligence and game theory to help students access educational materials and interact with peers while learning the necessary skills to address potential cyber threats.

Third Place ($5,000)

Cyber Teens presented an all-in-one platform that helps teenage victims fight cyber bullying. The application includes multiple features such as reporting complaints of cyber bullying and harassment, verification by cyber experts, and resolution in partnership with local police, administration and NGOs.

  • Address existing and potential cyber threats
  • Ensure respect for international law in cyberspace
  • Ensure respect for human rights in cyberspace
  • Promote adherence to voluntary norms, rules and principles
  • Foster confidence building

The Apps 4 Digital Peace contest seeks to complement the continued work of UN working groups addressing these same issues, as well as important conversations held during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly to further promote an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful online world. The contest also demonstrates the UNODA and the Envoy on Youth’s ongoing efforts to involve young people in the dialogue on disarmament, ensuring that the next generation has a say in their online future, as well as Cybersecurity Tech Accord’s shared commitment and collective action to address critical cybersecurity challenges.

The competition invited young innovators to develop original technology-based solutions to increase the stability of our online environment and limit the use of the internet as a domain of conflict.

Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, addressed the competition’s finalists and judges, and the online audience as the opening keynote speaker, commending the submissions for their impressive and innovative designs. The High Representative stressed the vital role of the youth in working towards our collective goal for digital security, stating that “increasing youth participation, and creating space for young people to make meaningful, substantive contributions to international and digital security will allow the international community to make great strides for peace as a whole”. “The Digital Apps 4 Peace Competition is the case and point”, she added. She concluded by emphasizing the necessity to equip young people with the knowledge and skills they require, and to allow them the freedom to innovate to change the world for the better.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations,

I am convinced that we are at an important turning point.

We are at the dawn of a new era for youth, and of youth.”

 – Izumi Nakamitsu, UN High Representative.

“This competition helped stimulate new thinking from the next generation of technology and policy pioneers to help build capacities and address threats to create a more stable cyber ecosystem,” said Annalaura Gallo, Cybersecurity Tech Accord Secretariat. “We’re pleased that the competition garnered a global and diverse number of submissions from young innovators who brought different ideas and perspectives that contribute to and influence the work of the UN cyber dialogues.”

“It’s important that we use every opportunity to encourage responsible cybersecurity practices by governments worldwide as well as individual online users,” added Marina Kaljurand, Member of the European Parliament and Former Chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, “The response from young innovators interested in this competition and engaged in solutions that address thorny issues of digital and cyber peace gives me hope for a safe online future.”

The esteemed panel of judges included: Richard Marko, CEO of ESET, Damir “Gaus” Rajnovic, Cybersecurity Manager (EU) at Panasonic Alex Stamos, cybersecurity expert and Director at the Stanford Internet Observatory, Liis Vihul, CEO of Cyber Law International, Jayathma Wickramanyake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and Kim Zetter, Award Winning Investigative Journalist.

The winners were chosen from among a group of five finalists, who each presented their technologies during the virtual awards ceremony to an esteemed panel of judges, including:

  • Richard Marko, CEO of ESET
  • Damir “Gaus” Rajnovic, Cybersecurity Manager (EU) at Panasonic
  • Alex Stamos, cybersecurity expert and Director at the Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Liis Vihul, CEO of Cyber Law International
  • Jayathma Wickramanyake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
  • Kim Zetter, Award Winning Investigative Journalist

The winning teams will receive mentoring from Cybersecurity Tech Accord signatory companies, and an invitation to present at the Cybersecurity Tech Accord annual meeting during the RSA 2021 Conference.

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