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Success stories from digital change-makers

   2019 ITU Innovation Challengers sharing their success storiesImpact stories highlight how innovators, policy-makers, ecosystem builders, academics and international partners are engaging with ITU's community of practice to address specific challenges using a whole-ecosystem approach to digital transformation.  ​

From navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution to scaling up their projects to developing customized blueprint for their ecosystems, these impact stories offer case studies from stakeholders who have engaged with the Digital Innovation Ecosystem Thematic Priority.​​​​​​

Be inspired by the actual videos from the winners



​Learn how Moldova used the blueprint from the country review to address ecosystem gaps in order to accelerate their digital transformation agenda.
"ITU's  flagship projects recommendations will serve as a reference tool to help guide and support innovation with aim to make Moldova attractive as a potential hub for emerging technologies. These new approaches to policy making became the basis for the new Strategy for fostering the digital innovation ecosystem currently being developed in the country" ~ Vitalie Tarlev, former Deputy Minister of Information Technology and Communications, Republic of Moldova​. Read more.​
Learn how South Africa wants to navigate technological revolution and leapfrog the fourth industrial revolution using a whole-ecosystem Digital Transformation Centre.
“One of the key benefits of its multi-stakeholder and multi-sector approach is that our department found a mechanism to deliver our mandate in digital transformation across the country. We believe this center will help South Africa navigate the impact of current and future technological revolutions." ~Tinyiko Ngobeni,  South Africa · ‎Deputy Director General, ‎Dept of Telecommunications and Postal Services.​
Outcome: The center is in development and planned to be operation in late 2021. Read more. ​


Learn how the ITU Innovation Challenges helped Denis Ogwang of WaterKit changed his mindset about scaling up his digital innovation solution to help deliver clean water for all.
“From the forum, the sharing and training that we went through, I was able to think of how I could model WaterKi-t into what business that can be self-sustainable that can live beyond me and my dream."  ~ Denis Ogwang, Technical Lead, WateriKit.
Outcome: Through his water monitoring system, Denis from Uganda is on his way to achieving Goal 6 of the SDGs (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all). Through his WaterKit mobile app, he is now able to deliver clean water for all. Read more.
Learn how Silvia Dusa, ITU Innovation Challenges' Mentor, boosted her career with an engagement with ITU Digital Innovation community.
 “A lot has changed in the five years since I participated in my first innovation challenge during the Young Innovator competition and event in 2015. I was introduced to new ideas, new people, and new ways of thinking that have shaped my life and work in ways I could not have imagined". ~ Silvia Dusa, Ecosystem builder, Employee Experience, Innovation, Diversity & Inclusion​. Read more.

Ecosystem builder

​Learn how SmartXchange — a business incubator in Durban, South Africa— being recognized as an ecosystem good practice helped them access more resources and expand their network.
“SmartXchange applied to the ITU Innovation Challenges and won an ecosystem best practice award. This global recognition was picked up by our local press, which promoted us in our community. When SmartXchange subsequently applied for a grant of ZAR 20 million from SEFA to amplify its work in the townships, the approval was swift. We learned from this experience and applied for an additional ZAR 120 million for wholesale financing for innovators, and we are currently applying to be an accredited fund manager."  ~Jonathan Naidoo, CEO, SmartExhang-e.
Outcome: SmartXchange secured ZAR 120 million in State funding to commercialise top innovations in the country.


Learn how the UN office for South-South Cooperation wants to scale up COVID-19 recovery solutions in Southern countries using an ecosystem approach.
"The project will leverage ITU innovation challenges, global innovation forum and sustainable ecosystem development and trainings and UNOSSC’s Global South-South Development Centre (GSSDC) Network institutions, expertise and capacity development opportunities, to deliver on the desired outcome.​" ~ Quote from project document. Read more.​
Learn how Busan Metropolitan City turned the spotlight on smart cities for young global innovators by sponsoring the Young ICT Leaders Forums (YILF) and Challenges. 
"Participants learned through a four-day journey empowering them with knowledge, skills, and means to be champions in their communities, to scale their solutions and create sustainability." ~ Quote from YILF outcome report. Read more from YILF 2018 and YILF 2019​ outcome reports.​