A JUST, SOCIALLY INCLUSIVE AND ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY FOR ALL
Digital media are fundamentally transforming the societal governance, business and models of value creation, social relations in families and communities, personal behaviors and understanding. At the same time, European countries face severe challenges, such as climate and demographic change; and through the Covid-19 pandemic health and economic crises.
ICNM follows the vision that digital and interactive media based on smart content, combined with the aspiration to high quality in terms of informational value and respect for human rights, are key to meet these challenges and to provide the right solutions. Digital solutions have the power to engage citizens, transform data into information and information into knowledge to provide the futures we want.
Inter-sectoral, transnational and cross-cultural cooperations enable citizens to understand each other, be more empathatic and act in solidarity. Through the creation of equal opportunities for citizens from different cultural, regional, religious and socio-economic backgrounds to work together and thus better understand shared values and cultural differences, ICNM aims to reduce stereotypes, discrimination and to build mutual trust.
With this approach, ICNM creates genuine communities of high engagement across Europe, bringing together young creatives, professionals, academia and governmental representatives with innovative visionaries and social entrepreneurs dedicated to sustainable digital business. With a clear alignment to foster union values and UN goals of global human rights and sustainable development (UN SDGs), ICNM offers a platform for sharing best practices in digital content improving society with all stakeholders.
ICNM works relentlessly on building diverse, equitable and inclusive ecosystems for entrepreneurs. The focus lies on cooperation as a higher value than competition, social and ecological impact counting more than fast growth and immense profit, and practices of authenticity and transparency.
ICNMs vison is to especially support young entrepreneurs from all EU member countries who do not accept the status quo, and use their creativity and skills to develop solutions serving society and to tackle societal challenges.
ICNM works with national & regional networks and partners in all EU member states and has built a solid and diverse network of social entrepreneurs, start-ups, youth organisations, NGOs, governmental organisations, corporate partners, and academia.
Inter-connecting and inter-sectoral cooperation are core means of ICNM activities and are reflected in the working methods of ICNM in all its projects and programs.
- A EUROPE FIT FOR THE DIGITAL AGE – EUROPEAN YOUNG INNOVATORS AWARD
recognizes the best digital solutions from young European entrepreneurs improving society. The 8 categories reflect the UN SDGs.
ICNM stresses the importance of local content driven solutions and translates the core values of the EU in its award schemes. Analogue to the EU Council and its various committees and sub-organisations, ICNM operates with the principle one country one seat at the table – each country is eligible to submit one solution per award category (ranging from environment, to education, health, citizen engagement, culture or inclusion & empowerment) per year.Each EU member country receives the same visibility and is able to demonstrate the diversity of digital content, as well as different country approaches.This unique process provides a exceptional platform of exchange for good practices, transnational community building and the raising awareness for outstanding entrepreneurial and digital accomplishments. It also fosters transnational cooperation and adoption of good practices.
A special award category for youth innovation invites all young European digital entrepreneurs under the age of 26 to apply through an open call for applications, also providing a less competitive access for young entrepreneurs, while making their voices heard and connecting them with the regional community.
Through the awards, ICNM creates a community of transnational and trans-sectoral collaboration, inclusion and a spirit of fair competition.
- CITIZEN PARTICIPATION & CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT
The award category “Government & Citizen Engagement”, showcases digital tools enabling democratic particpation, transparency and citizen engagement.
Leveraging its vast pan-European network, ICNM has the opportunity to bring together organisations and individuals with complementary expertise from different countries, with the potential to build sustainable learning relationships and enabling a concrete and adaptable knowledge transfer.
- CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT
Environmental protection, green economy, green tech and circular economy are among the most important focus areas of WSA´s activities and events, and are also incorporated with an environmentally friendly design for all activities. Each year, ICNM highlights green tech innovation across Europe, but also collaborates with regional partners (Green Tech Cluster Austria, EIT Climate KIC,..) at ICNM´s events.
ICNM organises jury meetings and processes on local and regional levels, selecting the European Young Innovators.
Through the moderated jury process involving more than 100 jury members from diverse regional and professional backgrounds, the participants experience a democratic, ethics and value based decision-making process.
- GENDER MAINSTREAMING
There are still huge gender gaps especially in the tech industry and startup scene, with regard to women’s presence, visibilty, funding or access. Promoting female entrepreneurship and leadership is one of the main aims in all ICNM’s programs. ICNM develops specific mentoring and education programs, using “Hack the Gender Gap” as a motto, but also integrates this idea in all activities and program phases. All jury groups, panels and programs guarantee gender balanced participation.
Furthermore, ICNM promotes quality digital tools to support girls, e.g. in finding career paths, mentoring and job opportunities, or connecting with peer and support groups related to troubles women are facing. Furthermore, ICNM works with partners and networks to raise awareness of gender issues and to promote gender equity in all other world regions, challenging stereotypes in countries with different values and cultural backgrounds. In ICNM´s perspective, it is important to learn about gender issues in Africa, Asia or the Arab Region in order to show empathy, reduce stereotypes, share union values, while listening to other perspectives. In order to achieve its objectives, ICNM as built strategic partnerships with organisations like “The Female Factor”, “Female Founders”, and regularly cooperates with UN Women.
- MEDIA LITERACY & DISINFORMATION
At various events, ICNM addresses the topic of media literacy and disinformation through social media & fake news. Furthermore, ICNM creates a discourse and quality seal for the content it awards, and an open dialogue at the transnational level.
- EQUALITY, PREVENTING AND COMBATING DISCRIMINATION
Through open activity calls, public events and a low threshold entry to the network, ICNM enables people to join and participate, no matter their socio-economic status, gender, age and disabilities. The Europe-wide exchange fosters particular understanding and acknowlegdement of different living environments, cultures, heritages, believes etc.
ICNM works with strategic partners and NGOs, making sure to reach a diverse audience including marginalized groups.
- RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT UNION VALUES, EUROPEAN LAW & POLICIES
In the framework of this call, ICNM organizes specific initiatives, reports, surveys, and events, inviting and mobilizing its vast European network to raise awareness of union values, European law, European elections in 2024 and EU policies.
- PROMOTE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
The special award category for the WSA Europe “Inclusion & Empowerment” highlights digital solutions empowering people with disabilities, providing them access, support or job opportunities
Best practices from all EU member states not only have the potential to be implemented in other countries, but are also raising awareness and understanding.
By showing inspirational and innovative solutions to problems experienced by persons with disabilities, new audiences learn to associate disabilities with positive attitudes and action.
Furthermore, ICNM partners with the Essl Foundation and their Zero Project – a global award aiming for a world without barriers.