The History of the Stockholm Challenge


The European Commission publishes a report under the leadership of the European Commissioner for Industrial Affairs, Information Technology and Telecommunications, Dr. Martin Bangemann. The report singles out ten areas in which Europe has to become stronger in order to match the United States and some of the Asian states.


The City of Stockholm launches the Bangemann Challenge, an ICT competition between cities and regions in Europe. The Bangemann Challenge has ten categories, one for each area in the Bangemann report. The award is open to projects from all kinds of organisations in the public, private and academic sectors.


112 IT projects from 25 European cities enter the Bangemann Challenge. The first Award Ceremony is held in Stockholm, in the presence of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. In conjunction with the Award Ceremony, seminars and workshops are held for the project groups and others who are interested in getting involved with the finalist teams.

On the night of the Award Ceremony the Mayor of Stockholm announces the launch of the Global Bangemann Challenge. Like its forerunner it is a competition between cities and regions, but now world-wide.


Nearly 700 ICT projects from 217 cities and 56 countries enter the Global Bangemann Challenge.The Award Ceremony is held in June, in the presence of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. In conjunction with the Award Ceremony a conference and exhibition are held at Stockholm International Fairs.

At the Awards Ceremony the Mayor of Stockholm announces that the Challenge will continue as an annual event, named the The Stockholm Challenge.


The digital divide has become a topic on every ICT-related agenda and the focus of the Stockholm Challenge lies on social inclusion world wide. 612 projects from 84 countries enter the competition. The Award Ceremony is held in the Stockholm City Hall in June.

A campus event is held for the finalists, giving the project teams the opportunity to participate in seminars and create new global networks.


The second Stockholm Challenge has seven categories, attracting 742 projects from 90 countries to the competition. As many as 70 percent of the projects are financed by NGOs, governments or educational sources. The Final Event is held in Stockholm in September.

Finalists get the opportunity to network and share knowledge and experiences in a Global Café seminar, and best practices are showcased at the Stockholm Challenge Exhibition. The Final Event ends with an award ceremony in the Stockholm City Hall. The 5th Challenge in Stockholm is announced and is open for submissions from October 2001.


Nearly 600 projects from 78 countries enter the Stockholm Challenge 2002. The trend of co-operation and voluntary work continues. The Final Event of the 5th Stockholm Challenge Award is held in Stockholm in October. The anniversary is celebrated with networking activities, study visits, meetings and seminars for invited finalists, and a Global Forum conference and Finalist Exhibition as a public highlight.


Almost 900 projects are entered this time, from 107 countries. Together they form a stunningly innovative set of examples of many ICT uses showing impact and significance for the users,the society and the environment. 67 happy finalists meet up in the City Hall for the celebrations in May. The event is very successful and the networking program is highly appreciated by all participants.

The new leadership, the extended platform, for the Stockholm Challenge is announced; new host and owner of the program and the award is The Royal institute of Technology (KTH) in cooperation with the City of Stockholm, Ericsson and Sida.


The Challenge continues to grow with 1160 entrants in the latest round and 105 finalists making the trip to Stockholm for what has now become a “Challenge Week” of workshops, seminars, the finalists' conference, site visits and the glittering award ceremony in the City Hall of Stockholm City.

Innovations include the development of online forums linked to the Challenge categories where the finalists can set the agenda and begin the the conversation before meeting their colleagues and peers in Stockholm. It also presented the WSIS Challenge Award; a prize in the 2006 progamme for projects within the African finalists of the Stockholm Challenge.


The Challenge grows again with a new website, a revamped set of database tools and a brand new association with the Global Knowledge Partnership which sponsors an interim award in 2007 for Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships among participants of the Stockholm Challenge Award.


This year, more than 290 projects from 90 countries joined the Challenge. Winning projects came from Chile, Brazil, China, India, Canada, Zimbabwe & Singapore.