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Europe’s Youth Shows Digital Creativity for Social Good

The European Youth Award presents the thirteen most innovative digital initiatives in Europe – the winners of this year’s contest. Reducing phantom limb pain of amputees, fighting youth unemployment and monitoring illegal waste dumpsites are three of the aims of Europe’s most engaged social entrepreneurs and top digital talents.

13 projects stood out from over 130 submissions from 49 countries to Europe’s unique contest showcasing smart brains tackling social problems with digital technologies. Prof. Peter A. Bruck, honorary chairman of the International Center for New Media and initiator of the European Youth Award (EYA), has announced the EYA winners 2014 selected by an international expert jury earlier this week.

This year’s competition focused on European challenges and priorities as defined by the EU strategy 2020 and the Council of Europe. How these can be achieved by the creative use of IT and Mobiles, has been demonstrated by Europe’s cunning digital natives. “To know that there are so many young people who are caring to change the future, is awesome! They really inspired me with their innovative projects!” says juror Durica Birovljevi founder and owner of Nomcentar in Serbia.

Among this year’s awardees are two young men from Denmark and Sweden who bundled their forces and developed a virtual arm to reduce phantom limb pain for amputees. Another two friends effectively fight youth unemployment by connecting talented unemployed developers with companies who pay for their services through a freelance platform in the UK.

The winning projects origin from eleven different countries Armenia, Austria (2), Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany (2), Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The young bright minds behind the projects are invited to the EYA Festival in Graz, Austria, from November 19-22, as reward for their great achievements. There they will participate in an interactive conference with international creative thinkers, ICT experts, business and opinion leaders. During this three-days knowledge-event they will present their inspiring high-impact projects in front of a high-level audience. Based on their presentations, the EYA Festival Grand Jury will select one overall winner.

Seven categories for Europe’s societal challenges

The power of technology to improve social and ecological development is reflected in all winning projects. They were submitted and evaluated in seven different categories: Healthy Life, Smart Learning, Connecting Cultures, Go Green, Active Citizenship, Money Matters and Future Living.

All submissions have been scored different points from a technical but also strategic point of view by an international online jury in two rounds. 62 projects have been shortlisted in the first round, 13 selected as final winners of EYA 2014. The complete list can be found on www.eu-youthaward.org.