Application Deadline: 3 October 2021, at 00:00 Paris time

Hack Media and Information Literacy for Better Futures – a Global Youth Hackathon led by UNESCO and South Africa, in cooperation with European Commission, IBM Z and other partners, will seek to answer this question. In partnership with the EU-funded project Social Media 4 Peace, this year’s edition seeks to tackle the specific challenges in promoting peace building narratives, and to address hate speech through media and information literacy. The call for applications is now launched globally.

Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon is an occasion for youth and youth organizations around the world to engage in the creation of innovative media and information literacy learning in meaningful ways. Following the two first successful editions, the third Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon will be held during Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2021. UNESCO and partners will call on youth worldwide to participate in this virtual hackathon to design innovative solutions to a defined set of social challenges.

With a view to enhance youth participation in this global online event, this year’s Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon will seek the engagement of media and information literacy partners in the five regions: Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Engagement will be sought through the involvement of UNESCO Field Offices and regional and international partners.

Youth from local schools, universities, youth centres, and youth organizations, as well as youth leaders from around the globe, are invited to participate by inscribing their teams in the competition. The winning teams and the outcome of the Hackathon will be presented during the Global Media and Information Literacy Week Youth Agenda Forum on 27 October 2021.


  • Participating teams will comprise 3-6 members (ensuring gender parity, teams can be national, regional or international).
  • Any group of persons who are aged between 18 and 35 years and adheres to the values of UNESCO, such as peace, respect for diversity, freedom of expression etc. 
  • No previous computer science or coding background is required.
  • Experience and expertise in gaming, mobile application, website and radio/media content development would be an asset.


Recognition for participation and winning teams

All participating teams will receive a certificate of participation.

Winning teams will gain:

  • Opportunity to present their projects globally during an online press conference at the Global MIL Week 2021 Youth Agenda Forum
  • Invitation to UNESCO’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2022 Feature Events
  • A winning certificate from UNESCO
  • Recognition through a UNESCO press release and various media channels

Task and challenges

Within the theme “Hack Media and Information Literacy for Better Futures”, participating teams will design innovative and creative solutions to one of the following three challenges:

  • Media and Information Literate Youth to Promote Peacebuilding Narratives and Address Hate Speech
  • Media and Information Literacy within Youth Organizations: Innovative Ideas
  • Media and Information Literacy in City Spaces

Solution categories

  • Game
  • Application/Website
  • Radio programme/Podcast
  • Creative community-based intervention (non-technology focused)

Submission format

Prototype of the solution and a 3-minute video pitch (a creative format is strongly recommended), which must present:

  • The team composition
  • Problem statement, objectives, audience and alignment with one of the three challenges
  • Explanation of the prototype
  • Feasibility
  • Deployment strategies / Business model and evidence of market validation
  • Sustainability


  • Regional and Global hackathon organizers will provide participants with a two-day mentoring programme in MIL and hackathon purposes and methodology.
  • Mentoring session will be provided in English.
  • Organizers will provide e-mail / chat support to participants throughout the event.


  • An independent judging panel composed of 7 to 12 judges (ensuring gender parity) is being selected by UNESCO.
  • Judges shall not have affiliations or relationships with any of the participating teams or team members.

Evaluation criteria

  • Consistency
  • Excellence
  • Feasibility and Sustainability
  • Potential Impact

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UNESCO: Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon

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