The global final of IE University’s global initiative in partnership with the U.S. State Department took place in Washington, D.C. on March 28, 2023.
The Tech4Democracy Global Final, a competition for startups developing technologies that reinforce democratic principles and values, was held on March 28 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on the sidelines of President Biden’s Summit for Democracy. This event is the culmination of Tech4Democracy, a global IE University initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and with the strategic support of Microsoft.
The event was a special showcase of the world’s top democracy-affirming technology startups and the final installment in the 6-part competition. EVoting, a startup from Chile that provides electronic voting systems using cryptography, was crowned the global democracy-affirming champion. The other four finalists were Atlos (United States), Citibeats (Spain), FloodGates (Ghana) and Right2Vote (India). As part of Tech4Democracy, IE University had hosted tech startups competitions in five continents: Africa (at the University of Cape Town), Asia-Pacific (with ORF and in conjunction with the Raisina Dialogue during the G20 in New Delhi), Europe (at IE University in Madrid), North America (at Stanford University in Silicon Valley) and South America (at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá).
The event counted with the participation of the United States’ Acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden, who delivered a keynote on the importance of a safe digital space and outlined some of the pillars of the Biden’s administration new National Cybersecurity Strategy.
The jury panel assessing the startups was composed of public policy experts, leading members of the investor community and former government officials. The judges were Lilian Coral, Senior Director of Technology and Democracy Programs at New America; Alex Engler, Fellow in Governance Studies at the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings; Emily Frye, Director of Cyber Integration at MITRE; Alec Ross, author and former Senior Advisor for Innovation to the U.S. Secretary of State; and Sheel Tyle, Founder & CEO of Amplo.
Irene Blázquez, Director of the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University, stressed that “We should strive to make the responsible management of technology our ultimate goal and advance democratic values and principles through technology.”
Ginny Badanes, Senior Director of the Democracy Forward initiative at Microsoft, delivered closing remarks and handed over the award to Mario Novoa, Co-founder of EVoting.
The CGC will be participating in a number of Summit for Democracy events during the week, where the winner of the competition will be announced.
Photos © Paul Morigi/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace