Saturday, September 03, 2005

WSA Grand Jury Bahrain: Day 1

The World Summit Grand Jury has started now officially. Although we still expect many jurors to arrive, a big press conference in the Bahrain International Convention Centre was held. The Under Secretary of the ministry of Industry and Commerce was present as well a vice minister of Information. Also the president of the Bahrain Internet Society Ahmed Al Jaheeri was there.

The audience at the press conference

From the various Bahrain speakers it was clear that they were very proud about their country. Just to give you an idea about the country. In space the country, existing of islands, is roughly the agglomeration of the city of Amsterdam and it has 600.000 inhabitants.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of low lying island located in the Arabian Gulf of the eastern shore of Saudi Arabia. Frequently called the Pearl of the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain has a history of more than 5,000 years of civilisation, from the mists of time to a vibrant present under a stable and prosperous government.
Bahrain is the site of immortal Dilmun, religious centre to Summerians, Babylonians and Assyrians, as dramatic excavations prove. Subsequent visitors include Greeks from the time of Alexander the Great, Portuguese, Omani's and the English. Marvelous old sites and buildings compete with modern office buildings and colourful traditional markets.
While relatively small in population, land area and resources Bahrain has achieved a high level of social and economic development in a short period. The road network, international airport, telecommunications, public services, medical facilities and university are all recognised as being among the best in the world. Although great emphasis is naturally placed on the development of its own citizens, due to its large expatriate population Bahrain has a marvelous multi-national mix of nationalities, all living harmonously together in a completely unique mix of cultures. English is widely spoken, but traditional Arab courtesy and hospitality are still the hallmark of a friendly and peaceful Bahrain

This is a map of the Seef area, where the Bahrain International Convention Center is at the other side of the road along the Mercury Hotel

Bahrain is repositioning its self in the last five years. It is becoming a regional center for money and trade. It is reclaiming a lot of shoreline and thus expanding. The area where the convention centre is located used to be sea until five years ago. Now there is a 47 stories building, five shopping malls and a lot of buildings under construction.

After every VIP made his speech, a certificate ceremony was held for the sponsors with a kind of reception.

Ahmed, an offcial of the ministry of Industry and Commerce, responsible for e-Commerce, tries out one of the toys of a sponsor

Tomorrow the jury meetings will start with the introductions of the jurymembers. It sounds obligatory, but it is very nice to hear what 37 jurors make tick and what motivate staff members. Than we will start .

The Jury is divided into panels, each panel 4-5 people;
The products are divided into groups, according to the product categories.
Individual grades are entered by each Juror into the database.
Outcome: A Shortlist of max. 20 products per category (based mainly on the rank list technical score.)

Panel switch. Only products from the 1 round Shortlist (max. 20 products per category) are to be evaluated. Individual grades are entered by each Juror into the database.
Outcome: A Nominee List of 5-9 products per category (based mainly on the rank list from the second round, overall ranking from both rounds can be also provided on the request of the Moderator).

Panel Presentations of the Top 5-9 per category, made by the panels to the entire Jury.
Discussion and voting on the winner per category.
Outcome: A Winners List of 5 products per category
Special Mentions/Continental Winners
Panel Presentations and discussion on the best products (1 product in each category) from each of the 6 world regions, based mainly on the rank list from the first round). This list is an addition to the winners list.
Outcome: A list of special mentions – best products from each of the 6 World Regions, one per category.

Some of the jurors have already arrived and attended the press conference

Not all jurors have arrived yet. But there are already jurors from Russia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kuwait, Mexico, Germany and Azerbeidjan. By tomorrow morning most of them will be there.

(Peter Bruck just returned from China. He met the minister of Science and the president of ISOC China. They agreed to introduce a competition with the categories of WSA and the jury process in 2007. Just imagine the amount of products coming from 1.3 billion people; although with 742 products from 168 countries like we have to deal with in Barain. Yet it will remain a challenge).


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