As many will already be aware, late last year, the Cybersecurity tech Accord launched the Apps 4 Digital Peace contest in partnership with the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the UN Envoy on Youth. This exciting and first-of-its-kind youth competition is open to teams of up to 5 individuals, under 32 years of age, from around the world proposing technology-based solutions to peace and security challenges online. Awards for finalists in the competition include cash prizes of up to $15,000 and an opportunity to present proposals alongside the UN General Assembly this September. Today, we are announcing a 3-month extension of the first deadline for the contest, which was supposed to be on April 30th. Entries will now be accepted until the final deadline on July 30th, 2020.
Obviously, A LOT has changed in the months since we first announced this contest, as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended daily lives in countries around the world – requiring many to shelter in place, and increasingly to work and learn from home. We hope, wherever you are in the world, that you are taking precautions and staying safe during these strange and difficult times. This unprecedented disruption has unfairly limited the ability of many to participate in the Apps 4 Digital Peace contest, and we hope this extension allows teams of young technologists and policy experts the time they need to come together and put forward innovative and exciting ideas to be heard by leading members of the technology community and representatives from the United Nations.
Truly, the current health crisis further underscores just how essential it is to take peace and security challenges online seriously. At a time when so many around the world are leveraging digital platforms to stay connected while social distancing, and hospitals and healthcare organizations are relying on safe networks to operate, the security and resilience of the Internet has never been more important. Troublingly, even in these difficult times, there continue to be reports of widespread cyberattacks, in particular against hospitals and healthcare organizations when they are needed most. Apps 4 Digital Peace provides a unique opportunity for young leaders and innovators to demonstrate the creative ideas that will help protect the Internet of tomorrow.
Thank you to those of you who have already registered and submitted project proposals to the contest, and we look forward to receiving many more in the weeks ahead. Especially with so many schools and universities having closed their doors, we hope this contest can provide a welcome opportunity for creativity and collaboration, even during isolation. So pull your teams together and get brainstorming!
Further information on the contest is available below, and if you have any questions please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What: Apps 4 Digital Peace is a youth contest seeking proposals for technology-based solutions to peace and security challenges online. Entries may try and address issues including “escalating cyber threats,” “implementing international rules, norms and laws in cyberspace,” and “protecting human rights online” through new technologies, like phone apps or new devices.
- Who: Teams of up to 5 individuals, under the age of 32 years-old.
- When: Final deadline for submitting proposals is July 30th. Finalists will be invited to present before a panel of judges alongside the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2020.
- Why: To support the United Nation’s efforts to promote international security online by reinforcing expectations of responsible state behavior in cyberspace. The first-place team will receive $15,000, second-place will receive $10,000, and third-place will receive $5,000 in prize money.
- How: Submit your proposals through the online form HERE
A complete description of the rules of the contest, including how to submit entries, is available HERE.