1 February 2022
In 2021, the social media and web presence of International Geneva increased, as well as the number of online meetings, further triggering the engagement of citizens, countries, and communities online.
Meaningful engagement was the echoing message of the 7th Geneva Engage Awards, organised by the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) and DiploFoundation on 1 February 2022. The seventh edition of the awards celebrated the engaging practices and new trends in using digital tools to share the decisions and knowledge developed in Geneva with the world. The Geneva Engage Awards have been introducing and highlighting new digital tools and online channels in an agile spirit since 2015.
‘Following initial Twitter analysis, continuing with Facebook and Instagram, and in 2021 we also introduced online meetings in our surveys. This year, innovation came with the platform for analysis of the Digital Footprint of International Geneva.’ indicated Marco Lotti, the project manager at the GIP.
Click to watch the 7th Geneva Engage Awards!
‘Through the evaluation of its digital footprint, Geneva can think more concretely on how it can contribute to the global public good. First of all, by sharing its rich knowledge emerging from its rich and vibrant ecosystem.’ said Jovan Kurbalija, Director of Diplo and Head of the GIP.
Despite our experience of connections becoming increasingly virtual, geography and local conditions still occupy a crucial role. ‘International Organisations should not hesitate to geotag their posts and content in Geneva. This is not a loss of visibility, rather a concrete way of effectively linking what happens in Geneva with the rest of the world.’ affirmed Matthias Lüfkens of DigiTips / Twiplomacy.
Decisions, policies, and actions developed in Geneva impact societies worldwide. To name a few, the fight against the pandemic led by the World Health Organization (WHO), international trade rules governed by the World Trade Organization (WTO), and humanitarian protection provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other actors headquartered in Geneva.
Geneva is also a place where new ideas and insights are fostered as Alexander Barclay, Delegate for Digital Policy at the State of Geneva indicated: ‘Geneva, a small city at the end of a lake that gathers so many bright minds working for a better world, fits within Switzerland, Europe, and the world.’
The Geneva Engage Awards are given to three categories: permanent missions, international organisations, and NGOs.
LIST OF WINNERS
Receiving this year’s Geneva Engage Award for permanent missions, Ambassador Sheba Crocker, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, underlined that the United States places a very high priority on its multilateral engagement. “Geneva’s organizations play a critical role around the world, saving and improving human lives, and promoting connectivity, development, and economic prosperity,” Ambassador Crocker said. “Our work as communicators is critical to the global public’s understanding of – and support for – the essential work done here.”
The importance of leveraging digital diplomacy for a state’s engagement in multilateralism was also stressed by Ambassador Simon Manley, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in Geneva. ‘Digital diplomacy […] is important for transparency – for the British taxpayer, for audiences in Geneva but also around the world’. The Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in Geneva received the second-place award for the permanent representations category followed by the Permanent Mission of France.
Among international organisations, the winner was the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG) followed by the UNHCR, and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). While receiving the award, Alessandra Vellucci, Director of UN Information Service, explained that ‘‘UNOG’s social media speak about the solutions that the UN family and broader International Geneva bring to today’s global challenges’.
Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance was the winner for the NGO category followed by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and CARE International and World Council of Churches (WCC). James Fulker, Gavi Senior Manager explained that the NGOs’ efforts to engage the global public and to fight vaccine misinformation were supported by social media companies.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was the winner of the Award for effective and innovative online meetings, for developing and deploying the free and open-source service for online meetings ‘Indico’.
The Geneva Engage Awards is more than a ceremony. It is a continuous process to strengthen digital diplomacy in International Geneva and beyond. In 2022, innovation will focus on the future of meetings, the use of AI and data for effective policymaking.
Visit the Geneva Engage Awards page for more information on the methodology, and the list of shortlisted actors for each category!
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