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20 apr. 2023


Bellingcat, the international collective of investigative journalist, is the recipient of the WIN WIN Award 2023 and Abbie Richards, a disinformation researcher and social media expert, is awarded the WIN WIN Youth Award.

Disinformation has the power to manipulate reality. Societal events, political discussions, and people's opinions are often subject to disinformation, leading to increased polarisation and conflict. But there are counterforces, individuals, and organisations who have taken it upon themselves to combat disinformation. The theme for the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award 2023 is Fighting Disinformation, and the winners are now announced.

This year's WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award, with a prize sum of SEK 1 million, is awarded to Bellingcat and its founder Eliot Higgins, for their inspiring fight for truth and transparency, often at risk to their own safety. Eliot Higgins is set to attend the award ceremony at the esteemed Gothenburg Bourse, a historic landmark dating back to 1849, on 20 October to accept the award in person.

– We are truly honoured to be recognised for our contributions in the fight against disinformation, our innovative approach to investigative journalism, and our commitment to promoting a sustainable future. The award serves as a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to work towards a brighter, more equitable, and sustainable future. The 1 million SEK will significantly enhance our ability to continue our investigative work, hold the powerful to account, and contribute to a more sustainable and democratic world. It serves as a testament to the potential of collaborative, open-source intelligence and the power of technology to drive meaningful change, says Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat.

Bellingcat's innovative techniques have spearheaded a new era of investigative journalism, resulting in the discovery of crucial information about pressing global issues. As an autonomous, international collective of journalists, researchers, and media analysts, Bellingcat employs open-source information, social media, and other publicly available resources to probe conflicts and crises across the globe. Notably, Bellingcat's findings played a significant role in the Oscar-winning documentary on Aleksei Navalny.

The jury is proud of the choice:

It is with great pleasure that we announce Bellingcat as the recipient of the 2023 WIN WIN Award! Bellingcat is a strong role model and pioneer in the fight against disinformation. Through their adept utilisation of open-source information and cutting-edge digital tools, they have successfully uncovered crucial insights into urgent global issues. By making their tools and methods available to all, they contribute to increasing our common ability to handle and resist anti-democratic forces, says Annie Hohlfält, jury chairman, WIN WIN Award.

Winner of the WIN WIN Youth Award 2023: Abbie Richards

Since 2018, the international WIN WIN Youth Award has been awarded to young people who have gone from words to actions to contribute to the transition to a more sustainable world. This year's winner, who will receive a prize of SEK 50,000, is disinformation expert Abbie Richards - who has managed to get millions of users on social media to engage with issues of disinformation and conspiracy theories.

It is such an honour to have been awarded the WIN WIN Youth Award. This year’s theme, “Fighting Disinformation”, highlights the increasing sense of urgency surrounding the issue of polluted information systems. I’m honoured to have been selected as the winner, but I want to highlight the work of the other four youth finalists: Kenny Dos Santos, Nitsan Yasur, Sophia Smith Galer, and Kaylin Dodson. All four of them do exceptional and essential work. In order to create information ecosystems that are more accurate, just, and equitable, we must incorporate the knowledge and experiences of young people in this field. Thank you again for this honour – I’m so excited to come to Sweden! says Abbie Richards.

Abbie Richards has created the interactive chart "The Conspiracy Chart", which has become widely popular around the world and used by both academics and government agencies to communicate the complexity of conspiracy theories. Abbie Richards is praised for her ability to educate and engage a wide audience using humour, facts, and accessible graphic design, thereby contributing to a deeper understanding of some of today's most complex social issues.

Abbie Richards will receive the award at the annual award ceremony in Gothenburg on 20 October.

Read more about the winners here!

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