The Jury of the World Summit Awards was captivated by the Lithuanian digital “Flight Over the Atlantic”

December 18, 2020


The approaching end of the difficult year of 2020 also brings Lithuanians some good news: Lithuania’s nominated solution “Flight Over the Atlantic” became the winner of this year’s global digital innovation competition World Summit Awards (WSA).

WSA Grand Jury experts representing different regions and countries of the world, after evaluating all the projects that reached the finals of the competition, selected from more than 8,000 nominees from around the world, determined the 5 best digital solutions in each of 8 categories of the competition. This prestigious list in the category “Culture and Tourism” also included the digital solution “Flight Over the Atlantic” created by the joint team of Vytautas the Great War Museum and Kaunas University of Technology, which introduces the legendary flight of Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas in 1933 in an interactive and modern form.

“The competition in the WSA finals is tremendous. Although this year we sent as strong team of interesting, technologically advanced solutions as never before, only one of the winners reached the stage and the success is very gratifying. Both our National Selection Committee and the WSA Grand Jury were simply overcome by the sincerity and visual appeal of the “Flight Over the Atlantic” solution, which promotes love for the history of the homeland,” says Ieva Žilionienė, WSA Lithuanian National Expert and WSA Grand Jury Member. “It’s one of the few WSA-winning solutions this year that is purely national, created in the local language for local audiences, but it was seen as a great example of the direction that should be given to the meaning of museum expositions in different parts of the world, through the engaging presentation of a history and the creation of an emotionally engaging experience”.

The winning team emphasizes that the great result was based on the desire to create something new and successful collaboration between different sectors.

“This award is a great evaluation for our joint team. We are glad that the idea to present one of the most heroic and interesting episodes in the history of Lithuania, the flight of S. Darius and S. Girėnas across the Atlantic, in modern and contemporary ways has received public interest and appreciation from the Grand Competition. We see that our attempt to transfer the values within the museum to a game has been a great success and now this solution not only educates people, but also gives them knowledge about our country’s past and heritage,” says Vytautas the Great War Museum historian, co-author of the game Erika Kisieliūtė.

“We are even more glad that a large team worked on the project, such as historians and museologists of the Vytautas the Great War Museum, who created the content for the historical game, and lecturers and students of the Faculty of Informatics of Kaunas University of Technology, who programmed the solution. It is very important that we can involve students of the Faculty of Informatics in such significant activities that their efforts and hard work are appreciated on a global scale. This really motivates them and gives them the desire to achieve even bigger and more ambitious challenges and results,” say the co-authors of the solution, KTU representatives Andrius Paulauskas and Tomas Blažauskas.

The winners of WSA will meet at the World Summit Awards in Vienna in 2021. In March, only this time, this huge event, bringing together creators and visionaries of social digital innovations from all over the world, will take place virtually. During the congress, the winners will present their solutions, meet with international experts and mentors, participate in trainings and will be awarded during a solemn, albeit remote, ceremony to honour the winners.

The World Summit Awards is a global initiative aimed at discovering and disseminating the world’s best digital innovations that contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Lithuania’s national selection for these global awards is the digital innovation competition “Naujasis knygnešys” (“New Enlightener”), organized by the Information Society Development Committee and the Communications Regulatory Authority. The new stage of the competition will start in the spring of 2021.

Selection process for the World Summit Awards:

  • National selection stage: each country chooses its best solutions, up to 8 winners, one in each of the 8 competition categories. Lithuanian national selection is a competition called “Naujasis knygnešys”, in which the selection of projects takes place according to the same rules and selection criteria as the WSA. The national expert of the country nominates the winners of the national competition for the global competition.
  • WSA Internet Jury Stage: During it, experts from around the world remotely evaluate and select 15-20 finalists in each of the 8 competition categories.
  • WSA Grand Jury Stage: The members of the WSA Grand Jury, 30 recognized experts representing all regions of the world, carefully evaluate all finalists and select 40 winners in a transparent, open and democratic process, i.e. 5 solutions in 8 competition categories, which become the winners of the World Summit Awards of the respective year.

Updated on 2020-12-18