Thursday, August 30, 2007

2007 WSA Grand Jury Croatia (1)

Yesterday, I reported on El Hema, the e-cultural project between the Western and Arabic worlds. It is a subtle bridge for my next mini-series, which will deal with people from many cultures. Presently I am packing my suitcase to join tomorrow the 35 member international Grand Jury of the World Summit Award (WSA) in Croatia. I am already enjoying the company.

This will be the third edition of the WSA Grand Jury. The World Summit Award was created in 2002/2003 in preparation of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005, the World Summit Award was organised as a global initiative to select and promote the world’s best e-Content. The organisation behind it, the International Center for New Media (ICNM) in Salzburg (Austria) had already organised the Europrix, the European content competition for five years. In less than one year the WSA competition was set up.

The first edition the Grand Jury was held in Dubai in 2003. The 35 member strong Grand Jury was there the host of the United Emirates. It was a fabulous experience between people from so many countries and cultures. They had to get used to the situation in Dubai, to each other and to each other’s habits. The jurors were sentenced to each other for a week. But they enjoyed it. Yet it was hard work. For the first edition we had online and offline entries from 136 countries; every country could sent in maximally eight entries. Judging all the entries was a hard task; yet the Dubai hosts had organised some social events and late at night after the hard work, we could go to the beach near the hotel and go for a swim. The Grand Jury deliberations created a network between the jurors and some jurors became friends for life.

The second edition of the WSA Grand Jury was held in Bahrain in 2005. I have reported on the second edition in this blog. The members of the Grand Jury were there the guests of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Organiser of this Grand Jury was Waheed Al-Balushi. He was one of jurors of the first edition in Dubai and had taken upon him the mission to land the second edition. He was helped selling Bahrain to his own people as Bahrain won some awards, among others for e-Commerce. Also in Bahrain the Grand Jury members had a hard task as the number of participating countries had increased from 136 to 168. But also here the hosts created social events such as a visit to the newly built Grand Prix Formula 1 racing circuit.

The latest edition of the WSA Grand Jury will be held on the magical island of Bruijni in Croatia. It is a nature preserve. The State secretary of the Central State Office for e-Croatia, Miroslav Kovacic is the host, while Kresimir Lugaric (see photograph), the director of the Internet Institute, is the organiser. Kresimir will be a third time juror like Waheed. Besides hosting the Grand Jury, the hosting country has taken the opportunity in order to organise the e-Content Summit, which will bring together top thinkers and practitioners in the area of technology and innovation.

BTW. There is an official WSA blog on

And ther are daily new photographs taken by Stanislav Miller.

Blog Posting Number: 853

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