Innovating Justice Awards 2014: online voting in full swing!

At HiiL Innovating Justice, we come across hundreds of practical justice solutions every year that can really make a difference: justice change makers who are busy building much faster and cheaper contract negotiation or conflict resolution procedures, more effective protection mechanisms of citizen’s rights or more participative, accountable and transparent governments. And that’s the kind of innovation we encourage with our annual Innovating Justice Awards.

The Innovating Justice Awards 2014 are part of the Innovating Justice Hub – a global network that maps, connects, teaches and strengthens justice innovation. Out of the 112 applications we received, 65 were selected as nominees. We received applications ranging from mobile and software apps to community-based training, mediation and legal support. Each nominee was chosen based on its uniqueness and its potential for positive impact.

The nominees are divided into three categories: the Living Wage Innovation Challenge in association with The C&A Foundation, Innovative Ideas and Successful Innovations. The Living Wage Innovation Challenge aims to support the top submissions in furthering their impact, targeting them to challenges in the garment industry, and making them more financially sustainable. The Innovative Ideas category aims to help the winners internationalise and improve their product, gain new valuable partnerships and unlock new funding. Participants in this category are new ventures with a strong potential of delivering concrete justice results. Finally, the winners in the Successful Innovation category will receive recognition as top innovators and, through the network, access to scale-up and funding opportunities. Participants in this category have created innovative justice initiatives that are already making a difference.

Three finalists from each category will be chosen from the online voting round, which will be announced on 22 September. A further three wildcards will be selected, which will be announced on 29 September. After these six innovators are chosen they will be presented to a jury. The jury will select the three overall finalists for every category who will be invited to attend the Innovating Justice Forum on the 25 and 26 November at the Peace Palace, The Hague.

Individuals and organisations can win global recognition and support to further develop and scale-up their innovation. We have a 100.000 EUR investment budget to support the top submissions in the Living Wage Innovation Challenge in furthering their impact, targeting them to challenges in the garment industry, and making them more financially sustainable. The winner in the Innovative Ideas category will benefit from a cash investment of EUR 20.000 to take their innovative idea to the next level.

The first day of voting was a success with over 1,100 votes registered! Each day this number increases as well as competition for the top spots. It’s wonderful to see how many great innovations succeed. But we also see many of them fail. Justice innovators are often isolated in rigid systems and often lack the necessary skills, connections and support. Effective innovations need to be integrated in existing systems much faster and successful practices need much more exposure around the world so that they can really make a difference.