Winners announced in first-ever Apps 4 Digital Peace Competition

Young innovators developed original technology-based solutions to increase the stability of our online environment and limit the use of the internet as a domain of conflict. 

New York, 21 September 2020 – The Cybersecurity Tech Accord, United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), and the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth are proud to announce the first-ever Apps 4 Digital Peace competition winners: FSociety, Maktab and Cyber Teens.  

First Place ($15,000)

FSociety presented a community-driven platform, AllSafe, to democratize cybersecurity and increase capacity for vulnerable users on a global scale. The technology will contribute to digital peace by empowering vulnerable internet users to understand cyber threats, and proactively adopt safe behaviors to prevent, reduce and mitigate against cyber threats.   

Second Place ($10,000)

Maktab presented a social awareness and e-learning platform to provide learning opportunities for students while educating them on safe online practices. The application combines e-learning, social networking, emotional intelligence and game theory to help students access educational materials and interact with peers while learning the necessary skills to address potential cyber threats.

Third Place ($5,000)

Cyber Teens presented an all-in-one platform that helps teenage victims fight cyber bullying. The application includes multiple features such as reporting complaints of cyber bullying and harassment, verification by cyber experts, and resolution in partnership with local police, administration and NGOs.  

In total, Apps 4 Digital Peace awarded $30,000 to the top three winners. Among the contest entries from around the world, these submissions from young innovators best reflected the competition’s goal of finding technology-based solutions that contribute to peace and security online by tackling one or more of the following areas: 

  • Address existing and potential cyber threats 
  • Ensure respect for international law in cyberspace 
  • Ensure respect for human rights in cyberspace 
  • Promote adherence to voluntary norms, rules and principles 
  • Foster confidence building 

The Apps 4 Digital Peace contest seeks to complement the continued work of UN working groups addressing these same issues, as well as important conversations held during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly to further promote an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful online world. The contest also demonstrates the Cybersecurity Tech Accord’s shared commitment and collective action to address critical cybersecurity challenges, as well as UNODA and the Envoy on Youth’s ongoing efforts to involve young people in the dialogue on disarmament, ensuring that the next generation has a say in their online future.  

“This competition helped stimulate new thinking from the next generation of technology and policy pioneers to help build capacities and address threats to create a more stable cyber ecosystem,” said Annalaura Gallo, Cybersecurity Tech Accord Secretariat. “We’re pleased that the competition garnered a global and diverse number of submissions from young innovators who brought different ideas and perspectives that contribute to and influence the work of the UN cyber dialogues.” 

“It’s important that we use every opportunity to encourage responsible cybersecurity practices by governments worldwide as well as individual online users,” added Marina Kaljurand, Member of the European Parliament and Former Chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, “The response from young innovators interested in this competition and engaged in solutions that address thorny issues of digital and cyber peace gives me hope for a safe online future.”  

The winners were chosen from among a group of five finalists, who each presented their technologies during the virtual awards ceremony to an esteemed panel of judges, including: 

  • Richard Marko, CEO of ESET 
  • Damir “Gaus” Rajnovic, Cybersecurity Manager (EU) at Panasonic 
  • Alex Stamos, Cybersecurity Expert and Director at the Stanford Internet Observatory 
  • Liis Vihul, CEO of Cyber Law International  
  • Jayathma Wickramanyake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth 
  • Kim Zetter, Award Winning Investigative Journalist 

The winning teams will receive mentoring from Cybersecurity Tech Accord signatory companies, and an invitation to present at the Cybersecurity Tech Accord annual meeting during the RSA 2021 Conference. 

To watch the virtual awards ceremony, click here.


About the Cybersecurity Tech Accord: In April 2018, 34 global technology and security companies signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, a watershed agreement and public commitment to protect and empower civilians online. Since then, this initiative has become the largest industry-led effort of its kind, with 145 signatory companies across the world pledging to improve the security, stability and resilience of cyberspace. This growth in numbers alone demonstrates the importance of this initiative, and the growing awareness across the technology industry that action is needed. More information about our initiatives can be found here.  

About the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA): UNODA supports multilateral efforts aimed at achieving the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. The Office also works to address the humanitarian impact of major conventional weapons and emerging weapon technologies. More information about our initiatives can be found here.  

About the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth: In 2017, the UN Secretary-General appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his Special Envoy on Youth and as the youngest senior official in the history of the organization. Ms. Wickramanayake’s mandate is to harmonize the UN system efforts on youth development, enhance the UN response to youth needs, advocate for the development needs and rights of young people, as well as to bring the work of the United Nations on youth closer to them. The Envoy on Youth also acts as the advisor to and the representative of the Secretary-General on youth related matters. For more information, follow @UNYouthEnvoy on social media and visit our website here.  

Annalaura Gallo 
Cybersecurity Tech Accord 
[email protected]