Celebrating Innovative Solutions: Winners of the 2023 GCSP Prize for Transformative Futures in Peace and Security Announced

Transformative Futures in Peace and Security 3

Celebrating Innovative Solutions: Winners of the 2023 GCSP Prize for Transformative Futures in Peace and Security Announced

The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) revealed on 30 May the winners of the 2023 GCSP Prize for Transformative Futures in Peace and Security. Launched in the autumn of 2022, this award aims to recognize innovative concepts that demonstrate remarkable potential in tackling pressing challenges related to peace and security. The award ceremony took place online as part of the GCSP Transformative Futures Day, embracing the digital realm to celebrate transformative ideas.

A staggering number of 171 projects were submitted to the GCSP, highlighting the widespread interest and engagement in addressing critical peace and security issues. Following a rigorous evaluation process, the prize jury meticulously reviewed 15 shortlisted projects to identify the most outstanding contributors to the field. Ultimately, three exceptional initiatives were rewarded, marking a significant milestone in their recognition and potential impact on the global stage.

The 2023 winners of the GCSP Prize for Transformative Futures in Peace and Security are:

1st place: Global Governance Innovation Project: Peace, Security & Humanitarian Action

Submitted by Dr Richard Ponzio of the Stimson Center in Washington D.C.

This project wins a fully funded 2-month incubation programme within the GCSP’s Creative Spark in Geneva (worth CHF 15’000).

    2nd place: The VOI Methodology

    Submitted by Dr João Costa.

    This project wins a Certificate of Recognition.

      3rd place: Space Sustainability Rating: Encouraging a more responsible and sustainable use of space

      Submitted by Mr Florian Micco and Mr Adrien Saada of the Space Sustainability Rating Association in Lausanne.

      This project wins a Certificate of Recognition.


      Watch the ceremony


      The project in first place, Global Governance Innovation Project: Peace, Security and Humanitarian Action, submitted by the Stimson Center in Washington D.C., is an ambitious endeavor aimed at producing four key knowledge products. These include a Global Governance Survey, Global Governance Index, Global Governance Innovation Report (GGIR), and a Global Policy Dialogue on Reconstructing the Global Peace & Security Architecture, scheduled for June at the U.S. Institute of Peace (as part of the Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the UN System). These products will serve as valuable inputs for a series of launch events and public forums in preparation for the Summit of the Future at the United Nations in New York in September 2024. The inaugural GGIR will focus on the theme of "Redefining Approaches to Peace, Security, and Humanitarian Action." Together, these annual products aim to foster ideas and drive action on global decision-making and pertinent issues among policymakers, scholars, practitioners, and policy advocates. This community will comprise the Global Governance Innovation Network (GGIN), a worldwide consortium of scholars, advocates, and practitioners dedicated to addressing critical global governance challenges, threats, and opportunities.

      Dr Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director Global Governance, Justice & Security at the Stimson Center, declared:

      "Through the award's 2-month incubation program at GCSP, we look forward to the tremendous global networking opportunity in Geneva, which will afford a unique vantage point from which to explore and expand the reach and potential policy impact of the Global Governance Innovation Project vis-à-vis a range of international organizations and government representatives, as well as to test and challenge our methodologies vis-à-vis scholars and policy analysts at leading academic and policy research institutions."

      The VOI Methodology, ranking second among the projects, is a systematic procedure that consistently guides communities in minimising the impact of violence and enhancing social cohesion. What sets it apart is its ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice, offering a robust and validated approach that has delivered exceptional results. As a scientific, efficient, and cost-effective methodology that combines peace and development, the VOI is a promising tool to augment existing practices and improve the lives of individuals living in fragile environments. The name "VOI" derives from John Rawls' theory of justice and its notable concept, the "Veil of Ignorance." Implementing a VOI pilot initiative holds the potential to enhance interpersonal relationships and minimize the pervasive impact of past, present, or future violence, ultimately fostering the conditions necessary for peaceful coexistence.

      Dr João Costa, who developed the project, declared:

      “I deeply appreciate the recognition I have received for the VOI Methodology. The VOI began as a bold research endeavour and has opened doors to exciting prospects and connections with like-minded individuals who share the same drive to make a meaningful impact. This recognition is a powerful motivation for me to persist in my pursuit of excellence and push forward on this journey to bring about positive change in the lives of those living in fragile, conflict-affected scenarios.”

      The project in third place, The Space Sustainability Rating (SSR) initiative, seeks to encourage space actors to prioritize sustainability and responsibility in their space missions, both on satellite design and operations. By enhancing transparency and encouraging organizations to take actions towards space debris mitigation, the SSR aims to mitigate risks associated with space debris and on-orbit collisions, thereby safeguarding the space environment for future generations. The SSR implements a rating system based on transparent and data-driven assessments of the sustainability level of space missions and operations. Importantly, this assessment does not disclose the operator's confidential mission data or proprietary information. Additionally, the SSR provides practical and actionable recommendations to promote improved sustainability practices.

      Mr Adrien Saada, SSR Operation Officer – Space Sustainability Rating Association, declared:

      “Today’s prize fills us with renewed determination, and inspires us to push further, work harder, and collaborate more extensively. We intend to leverage this recognition to engage with international partners, governments, and the private sector to drive broader adoption of the Space Sustainability Rating.”


      The jury for the 2023 GCSP Prize for Transformative Futures in Peace and Security included:

      • Mr Alexander Barclay, State of Geneva, Delegate for digital policy
      • Mr Gilles Carbonnier, Vice-President of the ICRC
      • Ms Sophie Dubuis, President, Geneva Tourism & Conventions Foundation
      • Prof. Dr. Andreas Wenger, Professor of International and Swiss Security Policy at ETH Zurich
      • Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Director of the GCSP
      • Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan, Head of the GCSP’s Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme and Honorary Fellow at St Antony's College, University of Oxford
      • Ms Anne-Caroline Pissis Martel, Head of the GCSP’s Global Fellowship Initiative and Creative Spark


      The GCSP Prize for Transformative Futures in Peace and Security is an annual event, and the GCSP plans to open the call for project submissions for the 2024 award in the autumn of 2023.