The approaches can be as diverse as a voice-controlled vocabulary trainer, a digital mentor for young people who have just arrived in Germany, or an app that helps to reduce administrative work at daycare centers.
The joint initiative brings together leading players from both the German digital economy and civil society. “Especially in the educational field, digitization can achieve great things and significantly simplify the work of socially engaged individuals. To this end, we at Amazon want to make a contribution by opening our doors, sharing our technical know-how, and providing financial support,” said Ralf Kleber, Country Manager of Amazon.de. Within "digital.engagiert", Stifterverband contributes its extensive experience with civil society projects and its broad network in the social sector.
The initiative seeks to support ideas that aim at digitizing civil society programs and thus boost the impact of their work. Dorothee Bär, patron of the initiative and Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery says: “Digital progress makes it easier for volunteers to get involved and to win new supporters. It is important that associations make the most out of the opportunities provided by digital technologies and use them for good purposes – especially in order to reach young people more effectively.”
While many things in our private and work spheres are already digitized, civil society engagement in Germany could use a digital update – and thus benefit from the efficiency gains offered by digital technologies. Especially in rural areas, demographic change and migration to cities make it increasingly difficult to attract volunteers to local associations and to effectively strengthen public welfare. Digital approaches can help finding like-minded people and make civil society engagement more effective – especially in the education sector, so as to ensure that tomorrow's opportunities are accessible to everyone.
In its new round, "digital.engagiert" will therefore support projects that complement or completely rethink educational opportunities in a digital way.
After a two-month application period, a prestigious jury made up of decision-makers from Germany’s digital economy and civil society will select a total of 12 project ideas. At that point and for a duration of six months, selected teams will be supported from the idea’s planning all the way to implementation. All participants will receive customized advice and support from coaches – assigned to them by "digital.engagiert"– and benefit from an extensive learning and training program with other experts – from experienced social entrepreneurs to programmers and experts from the education sector. As the initiative’s technology partner, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will offer credit codes to participants that require a cloud infrastructure for their digital solutions.
In addition to the coaching program, participants will receive financial support in the amount of at least EUR 10,000 per project and access to an inspiring and extensive network, including cross-mentoring and exchanges with first round participants. At the end of the program, a closing ceremony will recognize the work and progress of all participants. The jury will select three winning project teams, which will receive an additional cash award totaling EUR 30,000. In so doing, the initiative seeks to ensure that their ideas can be further implemented in the most effective way.