The IBC Daily catches up with Pippa Considine, Producer of the IBC Awards 2023, to find out more about this year’s Social Impact Awards finalists and reveals what we can expect from this year’s presentation in Amsterdam.

Tell us about the Social Impact Awards – what do they recognise and why?

The IBC Social Impact Awards recognise a company initiative or campaign which is making a positive impact: socially, ethically or environmentally in the wider world. It celebrates the industry’s willingness to engage with today’s big issues, like sustainability, diversity and wellbeing.

2. IBC Social Impact Awards Game-changing projects to be recognised at IBC2023

The IBC Social Impact Awards recognise a company initiative or campaign which is making a positive impact in the wider world

The Social Impact Awards, introduced in 2019, have since emerged as an IBC mainstay and, in 2023, have become part of the Changemakers programme – which focuses on initiatives aimed at making the industry more equitable, inclusive, accessible and green.

This year’s panel of six judges was headed up by Ade Rawcliffe, Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV. They based their reflections on the ethos that social impact should be at the heart of everything that we do. They were looking for game-changing projects, those that shift the purpose of the industry and drive change.

There are three categories in the 2023 IBC Social Impact Awards: Environment and Sustainability, Diversity and Inclusion and the Social Impact Award itself. This year the judges also decided that there should be a Special Award.

The importance of Environmental, Social and Governance to all organisations has moved to occupy a central role for organisations, with significance to investors and customers, as well as being common sense good practice. “The quality of the finalists from around the globe illustrates just how important making a social impact is to an increasing number of businesses and creative companies,” said Ade Rawcliffe, Chair of the Social Impact Awards Jury this year. “It has rightly become embedded into the strategy of many companies on a level with any other KPI.”

Eleven organisations made the shortlist across the three categories. Can you tell us about these projects and why they stood out?

There were a huge variety of entries, many of them with a strong case to be chosen as finalists. Those that were selected were examples of best practice, projects which are industry beacons, where the solutions in question were being openly shared and could therefore have significant, industry-wide benefit. Others were tackling critical issues, relevant to the media and entertainment business, but also of fundamental importance to society as a whole.

The four finalists for the Social Impact Award are Afghanistan International Radio, which amplified the stories of women in Afghanistan, RTVE’s AI-based solution to ensure inclusive election coverage, Stellenbosch University and Intelsat using satellite technology to reach vulnerable communities with education, and the BBC’s Human Values project, which provides tools to understand the wellbeing and values of users.

With climate change an increasingly urgent issue, the entries for Environment and Sustainability showed companies leading the charge in the media and entertainment world. The finalists all showcased inspiring and scalable actions which could be integrated across the industry, by everyone from content makers and broadcasters, to the designers, engineers and users of hardware or software. With rapidly growing amounts of data being processed and stored, there was also a focus on clean power.

The finalists are Iron Mountain Data Centers’ carbon free initiative, Seagate’s circularity programme for sustainable data storage, 4MOD’s life cycle assessment and Love Island and eBay’s partnership towards sustainable fashion choices.

The three finalists in the Diversity and Inclusion Award category are MAMA Youth and its work in training under-represented young people in media, ScreenCraft Works and its cross-border mentoring community and SWI with its inclusive language auditing.

The Social Impact Awards winners will be announced at IBC2023. What can we expect from this year’s presentation?

This year, as well as revealing the winner of each of the three categories, the winners will also take part in a brief fireside chat, to talk about the highlights of their project.

At the Social Impact Awards, to be held at the end of the Changemakers Programme on Sunday 17 September, IBC will also be presenting a Special Award to Women in Streaming Media for its Mentorship Program, which, over five years, has played its part in the appointment of six board director seats and 11 C-suite roles, among 45 promotions and placements.

In addition, The IBC2023 Changemakers Award will be presented to honour the Eurovision Song Contest, in recognition of the multifaceted cultural phenomenon and the global production network involved in delivering the event.

At the Innovation Awards, to be held on the Sunday evening after the Social Impact Awards, IBC will present a Special Award to the German DVB-I Pilot project. This initiative has brought together multiple stakeholders from the German media industry including broadcasters, device manufacturers, software providers and research institutions.

The pilot began during IBC2022 and completed Phase 1 in March 2023, with the emergence of a common view of the technical functions (proof of concept) of the standard.

There will also be a presentation for the Best Technical Paper for IBC2023, which goes to the team from the BBC, University of Strathclyde and Neutral Wireless for their work on deploying a 5G standalone non-public network at the coronation of HM King Charles III in May of this year.

This year’s International Honour for Excellence will be presented at the Innovation Awards. It goes to Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group on the 100th anniversary of its founding.

The Social Impact Awards take place at 16:30 on 17 September. Register for IBC2023.