The New Zealand finalists for the World Summit Awards (WSA) were announced in Wellington tonight.
Running since 2003, this years contingent sees eight projects being selected from a total of 50. These now go through to the international Awards in Delhi in April. The finalists projects range from Air New Zealand's online strategy, to blood pressure monitoring software, and a mobile environmental education service.
In Delhi, the World Summit Awards will showcase excellence in multimedia and e-Content creation. Forty winners (5 in each category) will be selected from 170 countries.
A special emphasis is placed on those projects which show the benefits of information and communication technology for the development of society at large.
The categories and New Zealand winners:
e-Culture & Heritage: NZ On Screen,
e-Entertainment & Games: Areograph.com, Casebook
e-Health & Environment: Activa Health Works, Preventive Healthcare software
e-Government & Institutions: State Services Commission, National Broadband Map
e-Business & Commerce:Air New Zealand, My Air NZ.com
e-Inclusion & Participation: Horizons Regional Council,Green rig.co.nz
e-Learning & Education: Te Papa, Our Space
e-Science & Technology: MoRST, Future of Food Roadshow
About the Word Summit Awards , WSA
The WSA results in a global showcase of 40 outstanding projects, in eight categories, with a special emphasis on those projects which show the benefits of information and communication technology for the development of society at large.
The WSA is one of the best of the long term outcomes of the WSIS - World Summit on the Information Society.
WSIS, was a multilateral intergovernmental summit sponsored by the UN and held over two sessions. The first in Geneva, December 2003, and then Tunis, in June 2005.
Though castigated by some as a missed opportunity – nevertheless the two summits and the subsequent Declaration of Principles handed to the international community a number of compelling statements around civil rights, and public space, including the right to knowledge and self-expression.
So for the record - and with a bit of fanfare - because I continue to think the WSIS goals are just a tad sodding stunning, herewith a reminder of what some of the Tunis commitment said:
Create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge
The Tunis commitment confirms the Declaration of Principles signed at Geneva by confirming:
1. We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, have gathered in Tunis from 16-18 November 2005 for this second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to reiterate our unequivocal support for the Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action adopted at the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in December 2003.
2. We reaffirm our desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and multilateralism, and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so that people everywhere can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, to achieve their full potential and to attain the internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.
[bold italics - my emphasis - full txt - here ]
People centered inclusive society
I know - lots of summitt speak - but - hey - take a breath - extract the richness and roll them round your tongue - a people centred - inclusive society.. so that people everywhere can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, to achieve their full potential.
Sounds like the best of the interweb to me - as well as capturing a bunch of values that go way back through generation on generation of effort, each one determined to build a better future for their children.
Seems a pity to forget both them and the struggles it took to get us this far, and for many , there is still a way, way to go.
So congratulation to the finalists - I hope they do well - and congratulations to all the other finalists from all corners of the world, with a special mention to those which showcase how to harness the collaboration of the many for the benefit of us all.