EVENTS | World Summit Awards – Innovation Days 2018


The World Summit Awards

The World Summit Awards (WSA) promote social entrepreneurship in the digital sector worldwide. As a contribution to the United Nations “World Summit on the Information Society”, the WSA honours the most innovative digital applications and solutions.

In a 2-step jury process the WSA identifies 40 innovations to be awarded and internationally recognized. The winners are invited to the WSA World Congress where they can pitch their ideas in front of an international audience of investors, corporates and other visitors. Furthermore, they are promoted through the WSA channels and its partner worldwide. In addition to the WSA, 5-10 “WSA Young Innovators” (social entrepreneurs under 30 y/o) are invited to the congress.

Cooperation with Make-IT in Africa

The WSA has been a member of the BMZ Make-IT Alliance since 11.06.2018. The Declaration of Intent was signed at CeBIT 2018 (Hanover) together with PStS Dr. Maria Flachsbarth (BMZ) and the Chairman of the WSA Board of Directors, Prof. Dr. Peter Bruck.

The cooperation has the following objectives:
– Identification and promotion of digital innovations from developing and emerging countries, especially from African countries, which are currently underrepresented among the WSA submissions and winners;
– to convey a new image of Africa as a “location for innovation” and as a “continent of opportunity


For the first time, the World Summit Awards (WSA) held its Innovation Days in Accra. From November 3rd-7th, 2018, a renowned international Grand Jury out of more than hundred shortlisted nominations selected the world’s 40 most important digital innovation with a high social impact. The WSA Grand Jury Meeting was hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supported by “Make-IT in Africa”.

Impressions from the WSA Grand Jury Meeting 2018 in Accra.

Copyright by WSA & GCNet

Application and selection process
WSA winners 2018
Digital Innovation made in Africa
Application and selection process

Since April, companies, associations, organisations and start-ups worldwide have been able to apply for the WSA. Candidates’ digital solutions can be submitted in any language, business form and/or platform as long as they solve problems at local level in one of the 8 competition categories; are already on the market (no beta versions or prototypes allowed); are nominated by a national WSA expert; are no more than 2 years old or have undergone a fundamental change/expansion during this time.

The most important digital innovations will be awarded in 8 different categories:

  1. state and civic engagement
  2. health and well-being
  3. education and learning
  4. environment & green energy
  5. culture & tourism
  6. intelligently networked cities / regions
  7. economy & trade
  8. inclusion & self-determination

In Phase 1, 70-80 international jurors (representatives of international companies, foundations, associations and governmental organizations with an affinity for digital applications to achieve SDGs) evaluate the applications and select approximately 16-20 solutions for the shortlist per category.

In Phase 2, the Grand Jury (up to 20 jurors) evaluates the shortlist at the WSA Grand Jury Meeting and selects the 40 most important innovations in a 3-day selection process. The submitted applications are evaluated according to 7 main criteria: content, functionality, design, technology, (technical) innovation, social impact, alignment with UN and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WSA winners 2018

The winners of this year’s WSA are invited to the WSA World Congress in Vienna to pitch their ideas to investors, corporates and other visitors.

Digital Innovation made in Africa

2017, the WSA had a special focus on digital innovation from Africa. Therefore, the WSA Grand Jury and Make-IT collaborated to select solutions which play a special role in the African context – as showcases for digital innovation with social impact.

Selected African Tech Start-ups which have participated in the World Summit Awards (WSA) in 2015 and 2016 have been included in the exhibition “Digital Innovation Made in Africa“. The exhibition has been launched jointly by BMZ, WSA and Make-IT in Africa on October 27th. Almost 100 visitors attended the opening event. The exhibition will be shown in the foyer of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) until November 22nd.

Furthermore, the Grand Jury has selected the following digital lead innovations for 2017. These will be further promoted by WSA and Make-IT both online and on selected events in 2018.

African WSA Winners

Carrot Technologies Limited

Leti Arts


Implementing Partner