Saturday, September 8, 2007

Jurors attend E-Content Summit and Say Goodbye

Some of the Jury and staff were lucky enough to attend the E-Content Summit sessions this weekend and I thought I would blog about the amazing experience. Speakers ranged from the MIT Media Lab's new creativity projects (confectionery, a way to put images, video and text into an individual user-friendly online story, in particular, was a favorite with a few of the jurors around me) to Redundant Technology's reutilization of 'redundant' hardware, initially as art, then as large community centers with open-source volunteer run training.

Jurors, who had spent all week debating the merits of projects to exhaustion, were all of a sudden as excited as they were when they first arrived on Friday night (if not more excited after having the experience of the jury) to see new, vibrant and intelligently crafted projects and presentations.

This blogger had some chats with Croatian journalists who said what a big step this was for Croatia to have this prominent, international conference with world experts, and what an honour it was to have the jury here. On behalf of the Jury and staff, especially on my own behalf, I would like to say it was an honour to be here. This is a beautiful country with lovely people. Many of us, including myself, have pledged to return to enjoy it again.

In closing, thanks for reading. Results will be up once the WSA Board of Directors meets and approves the minutes of the meeting. It is my impression that this was an unforgettable experience for all those involved. We'll see you all again in 2009, as jurors, as experts, as summit participants, as observers, or maybe even as the lifeblood of why we are here, as producers of e-content that moves the world forward. To those producers in particular, good luck with your work and your entries.


Xenia Maren Menzies over and out.

The Day After the Jury

While the Jury may be over, the work of the E-Content world goes on. This morning the members of the jury who didn't have early flights met with Miroslav Kovačić, the Croatian Secretary of State for e-Croatia, where they were thanked for their good work and invited to give a piece of their expertise on the future of ICT development in Croatia. Jurors gave advice and asked questions on various topics, ranging from Dorothy Gordon's interest in the promotion of women in IT and platform neutral education to Latif Ladid sharing his expertise on Ipv6.

At noon, Dr. Peter Bruck spoke alongside the Secretary of State at the opening press conference of the E-Content Summit about the jury and the state of the E-Content industry. To the media, he spoke about the massive changes they are also seeing in their own field. Highlights of Croatian content were Urban Jungle, a product that teaches about driving right in the digitized streets of Rijeka and a Science and Physics teaching product.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Officially the Last Day

The work of the jury concluded with an overview of the regional winners, awarded to the top product in each category from each region of the world as an example of excellence in their region. The jury, wishing to recognize products which stood out strategically for their nations but were not yet selected, moved to provide Jury Special Commendations to a very select group of products.

The night brought all jurors together one last time to exchange contact information and discuss their future plans before beginning to depart. The work of the jury (and my official posting) is now officially concluded. Winners will be announced with further details for the Venice gala soon.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Jury has Spoken

All decisions are in for the eight categories. No, we cannot tell you quite yet. There are still regional special mentions to be decided tomorrow. This blog will report just before the press releases go out and the winners are invited to Venice.

The day consisted only of presentations and voting with an open board meeting of the World Summit Award Board starting after 10 p.m. This knackered blogger will keep it short and sweet tonight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Four of Eight

We now have decisions on four of the eight categories, E-Science, E-Health, E-Government, E-Entertainment!

The jurors spent the day in sessions deciding on the top products with only a short interlude to see the island. At night there was an exciting discussion on the WSA Gala to be held in Venice in November. All winners will be invited to receive their prizes by top dignitaries from the around the world in conjunction with the very distinguished Global Forum on IT. The judge from Malaysia, Abu Talib Bachik also discussed the WSA's involvement in the upcoming World Congress on Information Technology 2008 in Kuala Lumpur.

All the jurors expressed great excitement in the ongoing work of the World Summit Award and are looking forward to continuing to engage with the process.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Middle of the Week

Slideshow Day 4

We've now reached Tuesday night, passed the middle of the judging process and begun to name winners in the first two categories. No announcements can yet be made here as to the two categories we've finished (E-Health and E-Entertainment) but this blogger will be sure to make them available as soon as I get the word.

The day began straight away with arranging the order for presentations. After lunch the first panel presentation for E-Entertainment was made, with jurors taking turns presenting a shortlisted product and explaining why it was chosen and should be considered, other jurors asking questions, nominating the products from there, and then finally, voting upon the top 5 in each category. The jury resolved to delay dinner by a whole hour and a half in order to complete the second category, E-Health.

After a quick dinner, we enjoyed the famous Zagreb string quartet in a very old stone church with amazing acoustics about 50 metres from the hotel. It was a little food for the soul after a long day of judging the world's topmost e-content. Tomorrow we continue with E-Government first. Good luck to all the producers out there patiently waiting for results.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Day 3

Slideshow Day 3

Day 3 began, as per routine, with a morning plenary. Evaluations followed for the rest of the day. Shortlists were finalized by the second panel and approved by the Chair before dinner, to be presented tomorrow.

The night brought 2 optional presentations. The first was by Latif Ladid on IPv6, the new form of Internet Protocol being propagated. One interesting fact was that if we continue to assign IP addresses at the current rate we will run out by 10.10.10 (October 10th 2010). After learning about the new coding of our digital world, we were treated to seeing Jak Boumans' e-paper hardware with a quick presentation on the development of this hardware as the emerging standard of reading books, manuals and newspapers with much less energy than online and with significantly improved portability. This notably stands to improve even more in the coming couple of years with the prediction of Italy Telecom's introduction of phones with 'roll-out' color e-paper.

Now jurors and staff head out of the conference room at 11 p.m. to a chat first or straight to bed to be up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tomorrow morning for plenary at 9 and a long day of meetings.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Working Sunday

Slideshow Day 3

Short lists of maximum 18 (from up to 80 products in some categories) have been signed off and panels are prepared to move to their next posting tomorrow morning, one category higher in numbering, as the jury 'should always move forward' as proposed and motioned by Ms. Dorothy Gordon.

Sunday morning began with opening plenary discussions including a lot of proposals for how to make the award better for coming years. Jurors spoke fervently about the need for better definitions for the categories, which are interpreted very differently across cultures and backgrounds of the various eminent experts around the world (about 150 nations submit products every year ).

Many jurors trudged on through rankings many of them had left only a few hours earlier, with one juror having finished his evaluations at 3 am the night before.

An evening plenary included a philosophical question from Cornelius Hopmann on the differences in education systems as applied to rankings in the e-learning category he was evaluating. Each panel had a spokesperson (or multiple spokespeople) give an overview for their shortlisting.

Panels had their short lists approved by the Chair and Co-Chair before the networking night at the restaurant. It was still unclear if Alexander Felsenberg had his request for flip charts from the morning session granted at the time of writing of this entry. I will seek the answer tomorrow morning at breakfast for daily readers.

Congratulations to the jurors for completion of the arduous task of the initial shortlist. Rumor has it, we have some really amazing projects.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

First Day of Evaluations

Daily Slide Show - Day 2

The day opened with the first plenary. Jurors introduced themselves to a small group, then the groups introduced themselves to the room. The assembly learned that one juror was an open water scuba instructor, another had 27 microsoft certifications he claims he never uses in his career, and yet another was "working on babies" with his wife. The panels were formed before lunch. Rules, criteria, and decisions on process followed, leading into the very first round of evaluation.

At their panels, jurors were excited to see the first products in their selected categories. From e-government to e-business, jurors took it all in. The plenary discussion was cut short by a surprise visit from the Croatian President. After a late dinner, jurors continue to evaluate late into the night.

Panel compositions:

Panel I
• Category e-Government
• Tutor: Edward Yeboah

– Shem Ochuodho (Rwanda)
– Ahmed Yahia (Egypt)
– Dennis Anderson (USA/Korea)
– Alexander Felsenberg (Germany)

Panel II
• Category e-Health
• Tutor: Emilia Bruck

– Waheed AlBalushi (Bahrain)
– Titilayo Akinsanmi (Nigeria)
– Cid Torquato (Brazil)
– Kresimir Lugaric (Croatia)

Panel III
• Category e-Learning
• Tutor: Lea Venne

– Cornelius Hopmann (Nicaragua)
– Carina Felzmann (Austria)
– Faouzi Zaghbib (Tunisia)
– Manar Al-Hashash (Kuwait)

Panel IV
• Category e-Entertainment
• Tutor: Marko Ladika

– Luis Lopez (Colombia)
– Paul Hoffert (Canada)
– Dorothy Gordon (Ghana)
– Elisabeth Quat (China)

Panel V

• Category e-Culture
• Tutor: Sebastian Ladika

– Lucas Lim (Japan)
– Lumko Mtimde (South Africa)
– Alfredo Ronchi (Italy)
– Garegin Chugaszyan (Armenia)

Panel VI

• Category e-Science
• Tutor: Bruna Jaksic

– Anya Sverdlov (Russia)
– Jan Bieringa (New Zealand)
– Izzeldin Osman (Sudan)
– Peter Cernik (Venezuela)

Panel VII

• Category e-Business
• Tutor: Sarah Gojkovic

– Abu Talib Bachik (Malaysia)
– Maria Zaghi (Guatemala)
– Katri Ristal (Estonia)
– Rodolfo Laddaga (Mexico)

Panel VIII
• Category e-Inclusion
• Tutor: Martina Bajza

– Latif Ladid (Luxembourg)
– Zawan Al-Sabti (Oman)
– Paul Braund (USA)
– Osama Manzar (India)

Jak Boumans' Blog

Jak Boumans is also blogging daily about his experiences at the WSA 2007 on his personal blog at