New media and technologies are undeniably powerful tools, which have the potential to play a key role in tackling the challenges of the 21st century. The recently launched Create UNAOC 2012 competition is an opportunity for developers across the world to produce innovative apps and mobile games to promote intercultural dialogue, in a bid to avoid global conflicts and tension.
Both individual and team applicants – beginners and experts alike – are being invited to submit their ideas for a unique design, drawing on their own cultural resources and experiences. The five winning app or game concepts will be funded through to development with a US $5,000 grant and launched at the February 2013 United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Forum in Vienna, Austria (27-28 February 2013). Afterwards they will be made available for download and shared with the world.
The app and game ideas submitted can be specifically targeted at promoting particular issues, such as gender equality, youth development, migrant integration and better religious and cultural understanding. Alternatively, they might facilitate dialogue between different, or even opposing, cultures and civilisations.
The competition is the brainchild of the UNAOC, organized with MIT Education Arcade and the Learning Games Network, and has a number of global partners, including Global Voices. UNAOC Media Literacy and Education Project Manager Jordi Torrent explains the thinking behind the project:
As we explore new ways to engage citizens of the world in the UNAOC’s charter work, our jurors and partners help to expand our understanding of new media and reach young people and producers who are pursuing exciting new projects that can be used to effectively support intercultural dialogue.