Georgia finds itself in the middle of a hybrid war, through which Russia, on top of occupying 20% of Georgia’s territory, also aims to create chaos and sow division in Georgian society. Russian-backed disinformation is thriving in Georgia, and keeping pace with the actors propagating it is next to impossible. It is part of the Kremlin’s long-term strategic approach to exert its influence, destabilize Georgian society and weaken Georgian security. It seeks to foment tensions between Georgia and its neighbors and allies, and within Georgian society itself, and ultimately to undermine the country’s democracy and Euro-Atlantic integration.
To be effective and sustainable, we believe that efforts to combat disinformation require innovative tools and methods; and for the talent of technology pioneers to be combined with the skills and knowledge of the front-line organizations fighting disinformation.
The USAID Information Integrity Program, implemented by Zinc Network is an ambitious, experimental program that aims to build resilience to disinformation and propaganda at all levels of Georgian society. It brings together a range of stakeholders to design solutions that disrupt the disinformation ecosystem and change people’s attitudes and behaviors. Where these solutions demonstrate success, we help to scale and adapt them – through funding, hands-on support and access to our network – so that they have maximum impact.
The Competition sees tech companies work with CSOs to build powerful tools to resist disinformation, with teams competing to design solutions to specific Challenges. The first Competition resulted in the creation of three powerful tools: a social media analysis tool, Georgian language speech-to-text transcription, and a public database aggregator platform that provides speed and reliability to researchers and journalists fighting disinformation and corruption. As well as a unique example of private sector/CSO collaboration, the tools already have the potential to become internationally successful.
At the second iteration of the Competition, this year, we have announced three distinct challenges across disinformation tracking and finding inauthentic connections, extracting and analyzing hard to reach public data required for conducting comprehensive investigations, as well as giving —individuals, teams, and organizations—to present their disinformation-related projects.
During the competition closing event you will hear the finalists’ pitches and see the prototype demonstrations across all the challenges announced. Additionally, we will announce the competition winners and hold an awards ceremony.
Senior Digital Development and Cybersecurity Advisor (DDA)
Bank of Georgia
Head of AI department
The Institute of War and Peace Reporting
Alter Bridge University
Head of tech department
The Atlantic Council’s Dfrlab
Vinocorn & Georgian Wine Finder
Tbilisi DirectorView Profile
Startup Grind Tbilsi
Lead OrganizerView Profile
Marketing and CommunicationView Profile
Startup Grind Tbilisi
Team MemberView Profile
Team MemberView Profile