WMGIC x NATO Countering Disinformation Challenge 2022
Hundreds of undergraduate students across the NATO Alliance united for a seven-hour case Challenge to address and counter disinformation in one of seven realms, each competing to develop the most comprehensive and innovative solution that can be put into practice.
During the challenge and over seven hours, teams worked with expert mentors in one of seven topics:
- Russia-Ukraine War
- Public Health
- Climate Change: Clean Energy
- Climate Change: Climate Security
- Artificial Intelligence
- Gender-Based Violence
Mentors guided students as they discussed and deliberated their proposed plan of action, and have backgrounds in government, industry, academia, and other disciplines.
Each plan of action considered NATO's existing capacity and considered what actions NATO should implement within the next 12 months. Panels of expert judges evaluated the proposals and selected one winning team from each stream for a total of nine winners, who will receive $500 each. The winners were announced at the conclusion of the Challenge via a live Zoom event/webinar from 2pm to 2:45pm ET (6pm to 6:45 GMT).
Representatives from W&M and NATO spoke during Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Ambassador Baiba Braže, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, delivered the Opening Address.
Click to watch Ambassador Baiba Braže's Opening Address
General Philip M. Breedlove (USAF, Ret.), Former Commander, Supreme Allied Command, Europe, SHAPE, Belgium and Headquarters, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany delivered the Keynote Address: "Countering Disinformation: Russia's Hybrid War and the Information Battlefield." You can also hear General Breedlove by listening to "The General and the Ambassador" podcast. Thank you for our friends at the American Academy of Diplomacy for arranging for General Breedlove!
Click to watch General Philip M. Breedlove's Keynote Address
This event was organized by the W&M Global Innovation Challenge and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with support from the DisinfoLab, Whole of Government Center of Excellence, Reves Center for International Studies, and William & Mary Law School.
Competing teams received their case competition briefing document several days prior to the event. All event proceedings were conducted in English. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were live streamed and videos will be posted here shortly.
The Challenge is a case competition hosted by students, for students. We believe that students have creative perspectives on important issues, and this is a chance to showcase those innovative, capabilities. Through the challenge itself and opportunities for mentoring, the challenge will build interdisciplinary cooperation between students, policymakers, researchers, and experts in order to leverage global resources. After the conclusion of the competition, team solutions will be published by NATO.
Teams comprised of three to five undergraduate students are invited to compete in this challenge. Your university must reside in a NATO Member or Partner Nation, but we welcome all nationalities. No prior knowledge or prerequisites required - we love engineering majors as well as Shakespeare scholars.
This challenge will be held virtually over Zoom on Friday, October 21, 2022, from 8am to 2:45pm ET (12pm to 6:45pm GMT).
CLICK HERE to view a brief video about the competition from the WMGIC staff.
Click the name of each stream to view the winning team's presentation
University of North Georgia - University of North Georgia, United States of America
Javelin - King's College London - UK
NSF Team - University of Alberta - Canada
Dukes for Defense - James Madison University - United States of America
VU-Waseda Team - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Netherlands and Germany
Enssat - ENSSAT Lannion - France
ICP FOR NATO - Institut Catholique de Paris - France
RMCC - Royal Military College of Canada - Canada
Not NAFO - George Mason University - United States of America