The World Summit Awards (WSA) is a non-profit organization that selects and promotes digital innovation aiming to improve society. The organization combines a series of international events with a global network of start-ups, social entrepreneurs, government leaders, academics, and civil society leaders. Founded in 2003, it closely cooperates with the United Nations agencies and is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The key event of the World Summit Awards is the annual Global Congress, where 45 winning teams of local competitions pitch their solutions. The best companies are named WSA Global Champion in one of nine categories.
The latest Global Congress took place in Vienna in March 2020. Forty-five social technology entrepreneurs from all over the world gathered at the Erste Campus to present their solutions. There were nine pitching sessions around themes like health and wellbeing, learning and education, culture and tourism, and others. Over a hundred jury members evaluated the pitches and selected winners.
Combining evaluations of 45 presentations from multiple jury members across multiple criteria can be a tedious and time-consuming process.
“In the past, we used to use pen and paper,” explains Nora Wolloch, Executive Manager at the WSA. “The process was tedious, time-consuming, and a waste of paper. A digital solution eliminates all these problems; it also inspires trust.”
This year the WSA team decided to use Innovote, a web-based evaluation service. Here is how it worked.
Jury members received their Innovote login details before the event. Then, at the Global Congress, they could see a URL displayed at each pitching session, leading them to that session’s online evaluation form. Using their own phones, they logged in and rated the five startups participating in the session on a scale from 1 to 5 on several criteria. They repeated the process at every session they attended. Their username and password worked for all sessions.
“For the jury members, it was incredibly easy,” says Wolloch. “There was not a single question about how to log in or how to use the app.”
Innovote stored all the evaluations. Jury members later got together to discuss the results and decide on winners. Conference organizers downloaded the evaluation results and presented them on slides. These ratings formed the basis for discussion and helped the jury select the winners.
“According to the post-event evaluations, 95% of jury members found the voting experience and the handling of the app very easy.”
Just as the user experience was easy and intuitive, so was the backend. “It was a perfect experience!”, says Wolloch. “It took about 20 minutes to set everything up, and Innovote was there to support me if I had questions”.
The WSA had used a different software solution for last year’s conference. The other software took about 4 hours to set up for the event. Wolloch explains, “What made it so easy for us to set up Innovote is that you could clone an event, so logos, participants, and other details could be easily copied from one pitching session to the next.”
And when it came time to download the results from the different pitching sessions, they were there all in one place, accessible via one login. The software the team had used previously required them to log in ten times to download results from ten pitching sessions.
“It’s the third voting tool we’ve tried, and it’s by far the most efficient, affordable, and easy to use, both for jury members and for the administrators,” says Wolloch. “I can’t imagine a better experience.
We will definitely use it again”.