Apps 4 Digital Peace: Frequently Asked Questions


Who can participate?

The Competition is open to teams consisting of one or more members between the ages of 16 and 32 as of July 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM (23:59) GMT.

Do you need to be a cybersecurity expert to participate?

It is desirable that teams bring together expertise from multiple disciplines, from international law and politics to cybersecurity and technology.

Does it matter where you are based?

No, we hope to receive submissions from around the world.

How big should the team be?

Teams should consist of a maximum of five people. Each participant should be a member of only one team.

Am I allowed to have support?

Teams can and are encouraged to seek advice and support from mentors, sponsors, and others.

Focus of competition

What are we looking for?

Concrete and innovative ideas on a technology solution – mobile app, software or hardware product, code or others – that can be applied in the relations between nation states and that can help reduce the malicious use of cyberspace to cause instability.

This initiative has been launched in the context of the United Nations’ work on disarmament in the ICT domain and it is important that the technology solution proposed addresses the topics under discussion at the United Nations at the moment:

  • Addressing existing and potential cyber threats,
  • Ensuring respect for international law in cyberspace,
  • Ensuring respect for human rights in cyberspace,
  • Promoting adherence to voluntary norms, rules and principles,
  • Fostering confidence building, and
  • Enhancing cybersecurity capacity building.

In the discussions between UN member states, these topics have proven difficult to tackle and we hope that the competition will uncover innovative ways to make progress in these areas.

Competition process

How do I register?

Teams and individuals wishing to sign up for the competition should send an email to [email protected].

What should I tell you in the email registration?

You should list your team members and the topic of your submission.

By when do I need to register?

Final deadline for registration is 30th April 2020.

Why do you need me to register?

We plan to communicate with participants directly to elaborate on the process of the actual submission.

When are the final submissions due?

They are due on 30th July 2020.


What is the submission process?

Upon registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to file their submission.

What should the submission include?

The submission should include a detailed description of the proposed technology solution that would help tackle the abovementioned issues, including a short pitch in the form of either a video or essay. The description should include information on:

  • The type of technology that you intend to develop: is it a mobile app, a hardware product, a code?
  • How this technology will work (e.g. main features).
  • Which of the areas mentioned above (confidence building, capacity building, cybersecurity norms, human rights in cyberspace, international law in cyberspace, and threats) will this technology help tackle and how.
  • More generally, how this technology can contribute to the objective of digital peace.

Ultimately, the description of the project should show that the technology solution proposed is feasible and that, if developed, it could contribute to improving cyberspace stability.

Do I need to develop a functioning technical solution?

At the time of the submissions, we do not expect that teams will have already developed these technology solutions.

However, we will certainly welcome prototypes of the proposed product if this is already being developed.


What are the prizes in the competition?

The finalists will receive mentoring from Cybersecurity Tech Accord signatory companies, and an invitation to present at the Cybersecurity Tech Accord annual event at the RSA conference in San Francisco in 2021.

In addition, they will be awarded monetary prizes:

  • $15,000 first prize
  • $10,000 second prize
  • $5,000 third prize.

Results of the competition

Who will the judges be?

Judges will be made up of senior representatives of Cybersecurity Tech Accord signatory companies, as well as United Nations personnel, and external thought leaders in this space.

But who exactly will the judges be?

The judges will be announced in the coming months.

What are the judging criteria?

Teams will be judged on 3 criteria:

  • Innovative use of technology
  • Design and user experience
  • Impact on real world problems

Judges will weigh the criteria equally.

When will I hear about the results?

Teams with the best entries will be notified around 1st August 2020 and invited to present to a panel of judges during the United Nations High Level week (September 2020 in New York).

What will the finalist have to do?

The finalists will be asked to deliver a short pitch – 15 minutes – giving an overview of the work they have done, the evolution of thinking in the development of the submission, and its potential impact on the work of the United Nations in this space.

When will the final results be announced?

The final results will be announced during an event in September 2020.


Participants may request any clarification on the competition up to 5 working days before the deadline of the submission by sending an email to [email protected].