PRESS RELEASE (French version)
The 8th Geneva Engage Awards
Sharing Geneva’s knowledge and data in the era of AI
WMO Building, Geneva and Online
1 February 2023
Engaging communities. Engaging people. Engaging ideas.
At a time of deep changes in communication thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), Diplo’s 8th Geneva Engage Awards have rewarded organisations and institutions that embrace the latest technologies without forgetting their core missions and core public. The award ceremony was held on 1 February at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Headquarters.
The WMO received the Geneva Engage Award for excellence in online meetings, reflecting the ‘urgent need for engaging communities and citizens in the climate debate,’ emphasised by WMO’s Secretary General Petteri Taalas.
‘Don’t communicate about people without people’ was the message from Beatrice Frey-Obolsky of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR won first place in the International Organisations category, followed by the UN Office at Geneva and World Health Organization (WHO).
The US Permanent Mission to International Organizations in Geneva received the Geneva Engage Award for Permanent Representations to the UN. ‘Geneva Engage is a testament to everyone present on how much Geneva matters (on the international scene),’ stated Nick Griffith, Public Affairs Counsellor at the US Permanent Mission.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) was the winner in the NGOs category, followed by The New Humanitarian and the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Accepting a Geneva Engage Award for the fourth time, Marianne Ejdersten, Director of Communications at the WCC, spoke about the core of their mandate – peace – referring to Geneva as ‘the city of peace, hosting more than 200 organisations working for a better world’.
This year, the Geneva Engage Awards introduced a new award to motivate and recognise the efforts of Geneva actors to enhance their websites’ accessibility to persons with disabilities and raise awareness about this issue. The first-ever Accessibility Award was given to the International AIDS Society for its excellent implementation of website accessibility.
Last year’s winners were the US Mission in Geneva in the Permanent Representations category, the UN Office in Geneva in the International Organisations category, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in the NGOs category. You can see all our winners since 2015 here.
Launched eight years ago, the Geneva Engage Awards is an initiative of Diplo and the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), supported by the Canton and its International Geneva Arm. By awarding Geneva-based organisations for their outstanding online engagement and outreach, the award highlights, time and again, the importance of connecting International Geneva to its local and global audience.
Alluding to the 100th anniversary of the 1923 Geneva Declaration of the rights of the child, Cantonal Delegate to International Geneva Olivier Coutau noted that all the shortlisted organisations for the 8th Geneva Engage Awards ‘work for children in one way or another’. He saw it as a confirmation that ‘children are at the heart of international Geneva’s priorities’.
Director of Diplo and Head of the GIP, Jovan Kurbalija, presented Diplo’s cutting-edge platforms: X-ray of Data and Knowledge, and Global Digital Footprint. ‘Currently, out of 92 million links to Geneva websites, only 0.49% point to each other. To unlock all expertise and experience in Geneva, he noted that ‘more digital and knowledge interweaving is required’.
Marco Lotti, Project Manager at the GIP, noted, ‘International Geneva is rich in actors, processes, and expertise, but that does not mean much if it is not effectively communicated’. The online engagement between Geneva and the world is highly relevant today as decisions and policies developed in Geneva impact societies worldwide, from health (WHO) to trade (WTO), human rights (UNHRC), technology (ITU, ISO, IEC), and humanitarian issues (UNHCR and ICRC).
In 2023, the Geneva Engage Awards will focus on the impact of AI on communication and work in Geneva. The Geneva Engage Awards event is more than a ceremony. It is a continuous process to strengthen digital diplomacy in Geneva and beyond.
The next follow-up event will be an online debate on 7 February.
Visit the Geneva Engage Awards page for more information on the methodology and video recording from the event.
On Diplo’s research and apps, visit X-ray for Data and Knowledge and Global Digital Footprint.
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