October 26, 2023

Judging The Impact

Digital Innovation and social impact are very broad areas. So how do you compare apples with pears, fairly and transparently? And how do you compare projects that are for commercial, societal or community benefit from the public, private and civil society sectors? The Digital Prosperity Award judges have this mandate, so, come take journey into the role of a Digital Prosperity judge – and on the way, pick up some tips on how to win!


Unique and Important Awards Demand a range of Unique and Important Insight

The Digital Prosperity Awards lay claim to be a wholly new kind of award, distinct by combining the focus on digital with the need to show its impact on driving prosperity for people. This unique perspective requires both a breadth of insight and a commonality of approach, with common criteria across the diverse categories and range of entrants.

The judges come from senior roles across business, government and civil society, to ensure they have the stature and experience to make the right decisions, to know what should by demonstrated and what makes for strong impact. The combination of judges together across these backgrounds, together with common set criteria, ensure no privilege, preference or perspective dominates the process or confers undue benefits to selected entries.

Furthermore, judges have been invited from Member States, ensuring there is a real intuitive understanding of the issues at hand as they are on the ground – especially important given that one of the two flagship prizes is exclusively for Member State entrants. Likewise, judges have been invited from all around the world, to ensure that their knowledge of global best practice, and applicability of the entrants are relevant to worldwide issues. This process will also help in later years as the awards’ international profile grows across the globe.


The Essence of Fair and Transparent Evaluation

The Digital Cooperation Organization and their aims to help spread digital prosperity for all, and the goal of the Awards, to find those initiatives that are truly impactful and transformative.

So, in order to uphold the principles of fairness, transparency and universality, the judging criteria have been meticulously designed. Each criterion accentuates vital facets that contribute to the impact and scalability of a project, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation. Additionally there is an understanding that for many, or most entrants, English is a second or third language, and whilst it is the language of business, care has been taken to keep it clear and simple, for the widest understanding. 

Creativity and Innovation

Innovation forms the bedrock of progress, particularly in the digital realm. The judging process focuses on assessing the project or company’s ability to utilize technology creatively and devise ingenious solutions to prominent issues. Several critical aspects make up what aspects of creativity and innovation are most relevant and impactful:

  • Creative Problem-Solving: Evidencing a creative solution to a significant issue that positively influences the digital economy.
  • Effective Technology Utilization: Demonstrating the development and implementation of innovative technology optimized for delivering effective results and facilitating product innovation.
  • Integration of Emerging Technologies: Providing evidence of successful integration of emerging technologies, such as AI or blockchain, to streamline operations and enhance efficiency.


Demonstrated Performance and Impact

Tangible and measurable impacts on lives and proven performance are vital indicators of a project’s success. The evaluation process emphasizes:

  • Track Record of Success: Evaluating evidence of a track record of success backed by statistics and data demonstrating solution performance.
  • Measurable Impact: Assessing digital tools and cooperation that clearly demonstrate the impact of the product or project.
  • Digital Growth: Recognizing clear evidence of digital growth within the relevant industry.


Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Projects need to embody a commitment to societal betterment and sustainability. The judging process ensures that projects consider:

  • Positive Societal Impact: Providing evidence that shared knowledge and experience have created a positive impact on society.
  • Environmental Responsibility: Addressing the environmental impact and adhering to regulations of social responsibility and sustainability.
  • Inclusion and Awareness: Demonstrating inclusion and elevated awareness of societal issues at the heart of the project.​ ​


Collaboration and Feasibility at Scale

The potential for scalability and further reach is a pivotal factor in assessing a project’s long-term impact. The evaluation looks for:

  • Scalability Plan: Evaluating evidence of a well-considered plan for scaling the solution to reach more people, even if the work is currently small-scale.
  • Leadership Strategy: Analyzing goals for the coming years with clear plans for growth and leadership in the industry.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Evaluating evidence of collaboration and plans for further international partnerships to enhance the solution’s reach.


Voices from the Judging Panel

So now we know what the judges are looking for, now it’s time to hear from a couple of them! ​​


Songyee Yoon, President and Chief Strategy Officer at NCSOFT, shares her perspective: “As a judge, my aim is to play a guiding role in fulfilling this mission by recognizing and encouraging innovations that align with it. Moreover, I firmly believe that awards have the power to cultivate a robust innovation ecosystem that drives economic and societal progress.”

When commentating on what she is particularly looking to see ad how she will approach the role, Songyee added: “I will assess the extent to which the innovation is implemented in a sustainable manner, fostering a positive feedback loop. Furthermore, I will prioritize initiatives that have been thoughtfully designed with the interests of multiple stakeholders in mind, ensuring that no group is inadvertently marginalized. It is imperative to avoid unintentional disparities that could render the introduction of the innovation unsustainable and potentially harmful to society.”


Warren Knight, Digital Leader at Think Digital First, offers his invaluable advice to aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs: “I would say, embrace genuine problems your community/customers face, using technology as a heartfelt solution that helps save time and gives real-time feedback. Fail fast and learn quickly, see failure as an opportunity to grow. And last but not least, prioritize values and ethics; it’ll be your guiding light in an ever-changing digital world and always remember the human touch, ensuring your innovation truly resonates.”

When asked about the qualities and strategies distinguish successful digital transformations, Warren commented that: “From what I’ve seen, successful digital transformations prioritize three key elements, clear vision and stakeholder buy-in, agile adaptability to change, and continuous skill development and learning, remembering it’s a human first approach to digital change.”

Judging Up, a Final Assessment 

So to summarise, the Digital Prosperity Awards strive to celebrate and support digital prosperity projects that have a transformative effect on society and the economy and its to our judges and judging process we trust to find the most outstanding and most worthy winners. 

A thorough, fair and transparent evaluation process, ultimately encourages innovation that benefits us all, fostering a world where digital advancements lead to lasting prosperity and positive change.

This is the last blog post about the awards that we are making prior to the entry deadline, and so we want to wish everybody entering good luck. The awards are likely the culmination of extensive hard work and sacrifices by all the entrants, as well as the spark of innovation and commitment to the greater good that underpin your work. We promise to consider every angle and you can be sure that whoever wins will be worthy of the prize.

Have you entered yet? Enter your project today or nominate a worthy winner via our website.