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Digital Innovation Challenge

The LSE Digital Innovation Challenge| is a global competition run by the Department of Management's Information Systems and Innovation Group each year. 

The Digital Innovation Challenge encourages students from partner universities| across the world to submit an essay on an area related to digital innovation which they are personally interested in. V isit our website for full details:|

2014 Digital Innovation Challenge winners

After receiving a number of outstanding essay entries from university students across the world, the LSE Digital Innovation Challenge Award 2014 is warmly presented to our two joint winners Emilie Maccarini and James Welcome.

Interview with 2014 winners

Download: Video|

Emilie-MaccariniEmilie Maccarini, Belgium

Essay title: 'Gamification'

I'm a master student in International communication and Globalisation at VUB, Vrije Universiteit Brussel| (Free University of Brussels). I've completed my bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences at the same university, and wrote my bachelor’s thesis on the topic of gamification. Currently I am working on a master thesis, dealing with the economics of privacy on social networking sites. I'm particularly interested in new technologies and their implications on society. In my spare time, I'm an active member
at the Erasmus Student Network. As an alumni
from the AFS program and the Erasmus
programme, I've been living abroad in Finland
for 1.5 years. I enjoy the exchange with foreign

James-WelcomeJames Welcome, New Zealand

Essay title: 'Additive Manufacturing' 

I'm a third-year undergraduate business student at the University of Auckland|, majoring in International Business and Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Originally from New York City, I moved to New Zealand in 2011. For fun I like to travel, read, lift weights, and practice Krav Maga.  

2014 Award Presentation Reception


The award was presented to Emilie and James in London at a reception on Monday 28 April 2014 by Willem Eelman, Chief Information Officer at Unilever|, as part of our 14th annual Social Study of ICT Workshop| hosted by the Department of Management Information Systems and Innovation Group.

The Digital Innovation Challenge Award Presentation Reception was kindly sponsored by BTO|.

Digital-Innovation-Presentation-1     Digital-Innovation-Presentation-3

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The presentation ceremony and address by Willem Eelman, and our prize winner James meeting Willem over a glass of wine at the Award Reception

unileverWillem Eelman

Chief Information Officer, Unilever

After graduating with honours in Agricultural Economics in Wageningen University and a stint in the military, Willem started his career with Unilever in May 1989. During his 24 year career, Willem worked in various roles in the Netherlands for five years after which he acquired international experience in a number of roles abroad. These ranged from being the controller in a newly established business in Czechia and Slovakia (1994 – 1997); four years in the Mergers and Acquisitions department in London (1997 – 2001) during which he was engaged in over 50 transactions cumulating in the acquisition of Bestfoods; a role as Finance Director at Langnese Iglo, a frozen food and Ice Cream business in Germany (2001 – 2005); being a member as SVP Finance of the new Foods Category organisation (2005 – 2007) and lastly acted as the regional Senior Vice President Finance (regional CFO) for Europe (2007 – 2010) in which Willem oversaw the implementation of the Mountain operating model including a significant investment in supporting IT capabilities.

In May 2010 Willem took on the role of Chief Information Officer for Unilever with the clear brief to drive the use of technology to accelerate Compass and address Unilever’s fragmented IT systems landscape. As Chief Information Officer, he is a member of the Finance Leadership Team.


View our video to find out more about the Digital Innovation Challenge: