Editor   16 Feb 2017   E-Diplomacy

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Geneva, Switzerland, 16 February 2017: The 2017 Geneva Engage Awards have honoured the most effective actors in social media engagement in 2016.

Three winners were distinguished for their effective campaigns, interactive messages, and public engagement, in three categories, during this year’s Geneva Engage Awards held on 8 February:

Mr Thomas Pierce, representing the Permanent Mission of the USA to the UN in Geneva, receiving the Geneva Engage Award 2017 in the Permanent Missions category, from Dr Jovan Kurbalija (left), Mr Salman Bal (second from left), and Mr Olivier Coutau

Introducing the awards, DiploFoundation’s director and head of the Geneva Internet Platform Dr Jovan Kurbalija explained that the work of many Geneva-based organisations has an impact on millions of citizens worldwide. The challenge being addressed by the initiative is how to link Geneva with communities worldwide, through effective use of the Internet, including e-participation tools, social media, and other tools. The aim of the Geneva Engage initiative is to foster effective links between International Geneva and the rest of the world.

Mr Olivier Coutau, Delegate for International Geneva, Republic and State of Geneva, said that International Geneva was not only about Geneva but about the world. With several Geneva-based organisations attracting over a million Twitter followers, social media is an important tool for engagement. The Geneva Engage Awards are also an important contribution to fostering engagement beyond Geneva. Mr Salman Bal, Chief of Political Affairs and Partnerships at the United Nations Office in Geneva, said that e-participation can increase the visibility and inclusiveness of International Geneva. He underlined the key role that e-participation has to play in business decisions and its significant role in facilitating new partnerships.

Explaining the analysis behind the awards, Ms Barbara Rosen Jacobson, coordinator of the Geneva Engage initiative, referred to a series of indicators that looked at the social media activities of organisations based in International Geneva in the three categories, in the period 1 January to 31 December 2016. Other top organisations shortlisted for the award, which deserve a special mention, include:

The event included a panel discussion with representatives from out-of-the-box initiatives. These included the Perception Change Project, which aims to better communicate the work and activities of UN agencies in Geneva; Twiplomacy, an ongoing study of world leaders and international organisations’ use of social media; and GovFaces, which helps enrich conversations between users and their representatives online in special contexts.

The Geneva Engage Awards are an initiative of DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform, and are supported by the Canton of Geneva and Twiplomacy. More events are planned for the 2017 Geneva Engage process. Learn more about the initiative.





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