Foundation Projects

FCA: WSA Grand Jury Meeting 2023-2024

International Center for New Media (ICNM)

The World Summit Awards (WSA) Grand Jury meeting is one of the most important events during the yearly WSA cycle. Around 20 high level experts, representing different stakeholders (government, private sector, academia, startups, civil society) are invited to India to compare, discuss and evaluate the WSA nominations of best practices in digital innovation for the UN SDGs, in a democratic and moderated process. They compare the submissions regarding their local impact, the appropriate use of technology in the local context and select a group of 40 digital solutions, that prove that ICT applications can improve society, promote diversity, human rights and contribute to the achievement of the UN SDGs. 

WSA Grand Jury Meeting Hyderabad

The WSA Grand Jury Meeting took place from February 14-18 2024, in Hyderbad, India, and was hosted by the Digital Empowerment Foundation, T-Hub and the Government of Telangana. A diverse group of 26 international experts from 24 different countries met in Hyderabad to comb through the 136 shortlisted projects over the period of three days, and after careful deliberation selected the final 40 winners of WSA’s 2023 award.

The jurors not only selected the winners, but shared learnings and insights, got to know each other, and explored Hyderabad and its ecosystem. They also attended three events together, all of which offered them the chance to meet key stakeholders in Hyderabad’s impact entrepreneurship ecosystem.

These included:

Futurizing_digital & impact driving social innovation for all – Feb 15

This event was held at T-Hub. It featured a welcome speech by Sri Jayesh Ranjan (IT&E Secretary of Telangana State), Peter Bruck (WSA Chairperson), and Osama Manzar (Founder of the Digital Empowerment Foundation). After the welcome, the jurors, along with other attendees were able to engage in round table discussions with local tech startups and students.

Futurizing_digital - Digital innovations to support sustainable agriculture value chains in India – Feb 16

In collaboration with the EU Delegation to India, this roundtable convened stakeholders from India to explore the potential of digital and circular strategies in addressing connectivity issues faced by smallholder farmers. The discussion aimed to foster sustainability and enhance the value chain in agriculture.

Futurizing_digital - empowerment to overcome digital divides – Feb 17

During this event, the jurors had the opportunity to see the work of WSA’s Grand Jury co-host; the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF). They were taken to one of the DEF‘s 241 digital excellence centers, where they could see first-hand the extraordinary education that these marginalized community members were able to access through the DEF.

“It was an honour being part of the Grand Jury and indeed inspiring to witness so many winners showcasing how technology can uplift communities and advance the UN's global development goals. I was also immensely proud to observe a strong representation of female founders which was truly inspiring.”

Batoul Husseini

“Delighted to be here in the company of fellow jury members from over 23 nationalities, all united by the same mission: to select the most impactful digital projects with the potential to change the world. Together, step by step, we can improve our world and our future.”

Sandra Fazenda de Almeida

Jury Members

  • Mathias Haas, CEO of Supersocial – Austria
  • Rodrigo Assumcão, President of Dataprev – Brazil
  • Carolina Rossi, Serial Entrepreneur and WSA Chile Lead – Chile
  • Liisi Org, CEO at Lattitude59 – Estonia
  • Dorothy Gordon, Consultant at ICT4Development – Ghana
  • Ambika Khurana, Public Policy Director at Netflix – India
  • Osama Manzar, Founder and Director at Digital Empowerment Foundation – India
  • Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, CEO at – Indonesia
  • Ali Hilli, Acting Head of CER Unit at Zain Iraq – Iraq
  • Kareem Hassan, Executive Director at United Nations ESCWA Technology Centre – Jordan
  • Manar Al Hashash, CEO at DotDesign – Kuwait
  • Isabel Holguera-Vera, Startup Advisor at Luxinnovation – Luxembourg
  • Renuka Sena, Ecosystem Builder at PROFICEO – Malaysia
  • Rudy Laddaga Lopez, CCO at Citizens Company – Mexico
  • Zouheir Lakhdissi, CEO and Co-Founder of Dial Technologies – Morocco
  • Connor Sattely, Consultant at Connor Sattely Consulting – Netherlands
  • Mahsa Mccauley, Director at Auckland University of Technology & She Sharp – New Zealand
  • Yemi Keri, Founder at Heckerbella – Nigeria
  • Ryan Gersava, Founder and Chairman at Virtualahan – Philippines
  • Sandra Fazenda Almeida, Executive Director at APCD Business Community – Portugal
  • Reshan Dewapura, Entrepreneur – Sri Lanka
  • Batoul Huysseini, Regional Executive Director of Government Affairs and CSR at SAP – Syria/Turkiye
  • Gloria Mangi, Founder and President at Africa Queens Project – Tanzania
  • Madelynn Martiniere, Managing Partner at Armillaria – USA
  • Peace Oliver Amuge, Africa Regional Strategy Lead at the Association for Progressive Communications – Uganda
  • Ralph Simon, Founder of Mobile Entertainment Forum – United Kingdom

This Foundation Community Assistance funding supported the travel costs for jury members from the region (Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, and other representatives from the Asia Pacific Region.)