Addressing the information pollution crisis with the power of open source
The Digital Public Goods Alliance and the United Nations Development Programme are collaborating to discover and promote open-source solutions and concepts that can help tackle the urgent global challenge of information pollution. They will showcase this at the Nobel Prize Summit “Truth, Trust and Hope,” hosted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation. Submissions are being accepted until 02 April.
The threat of online mis- and disinformation is one of the greatest challenges facing democracy, human rights, and social cohesion today. In response, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation will host the Nobel Prize Summit “Truth, Trust and Hope” on 24-26 May 2023, which will mobilise the many stakeholders globally that recognise, and are taking action to combat, the existential threat of this issue head on.
In collaboration with the Summit, the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have joined forces, with support from Omidyar Network and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, to launch a campaign to source digital public goods that can help combat information pollution and restore information integrity. This global initiative will identify and promote existing open-source digital solutions, as well as concepts for future solutions, that can be scaled to tackle the problem of mis- and disinformation at its roots.
The individuals, organisations, and teams behind selected digital public goods and concepts will receive financial support ranging from $5000 – $10000 USD and have their work highlighted at the Nobel Prize Summit with an aim to enhance their visibility, uptake, and ultimately, their impact. Beyond the Summit, concepts and solutions with particular impact potential will be offered opportunities to network with others, including funders, that can support further development. Leveraging UNDP’s Digital X, existing solutions will also be provided the opportunity to join their Solutions Catalogue to help facilitate further implementation and uptake.
“To ensure greater information integrity globally, it is imperative that we take advantage of technology and make it a force for good. Digital public goods provide an opportunity for actors across the globe to harness existing innovations and combat the vast challenges posed by mis- and disinformation.”– Vidar Helgesen, Nobel Foundation, CEO
At the heart of this campaign is the belief and vision that technology can be a powerful catalyst for positive change globally. Digital public goods, with their open-source nature, offer a unique opportunity to empower stakeholders all over the world to tackle the challenges posed by mis- and disinformation. With transparency on how they have been built, including how privacy and other best practice features have been integrated, digital public goods can be a trustworthy tool for action at scale, helping to restore truth and rebuild trust.
Selection process and advisory panel
An expert advisory panel, comprised of experienced professionals with a proven track record in combating information pollution in various regions, will be convened to evaluate and select the most promising submissions. This panel is co-chaired by Alice Munyua, Senior Director, Africa Mradi, Mozilla Corporation and Nicole Tisdale, Principal, Advocacy Blueprints and former Director, The White House National Security Council.
The panel members are: Alex Krasodomski, Senior Research Associate, Digital Society Initiative at Chatham House, Alicia Wanless, Director of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Linda Bonyo, Founder & CEO, Lawyers Hub Africa; Marci Harris, Founder & Executive Director, POPVOX Foundation; Nien-hê Hsieh, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration & Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; R. Marie Santini, Director, NetLab, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Ryan Merkley, Managing Director, Aspen Digital.
This sourcing campaign will identify and highlight upcoming and existing open-source digital solutions that can become essential tools for addressing information pollution at scale through their relevance, adoptability, and adaptability. The campaign will invite submissions for the two following categories:
- Early concepts for open-source digital solutions; and
- Existing open-source digital solutions, including solutions that have already been verified as digital public goods.
The DPGA and UNDP invite applications from individuals (including technologists, students, researchers) and teams (including research teams, academia) as well as organisations that meet the following criteria:
- The applicant must be the creator, or a central part of the team that created or manages the digital solution or concept; and
- The digital solution or concept must:
- Include open-source software;
- Use one of the approved open licences; and
- Not include or have a dependency on proprietary content or data.
Applications from all regions are strongly encouraged.
FAQ and Inquiries
Please visit the FAQ site for an overview of common questions.
Additional questions can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Digital Public Goods for Information Integrity by 20 March at midnight. All answers will be provided publicly on the FAQ site by 24 March.
- 15 February – Call for submissions opens
- 20 March – Opportunity for questions closes
- 2 April – Call for submissions closes
- 24 April – Successful submissions selected
- 24-26 May – Nobel Prize Summit