WORLD SUMMIT AWARD GALA CELEBRATION will feature two New Zealand winners + three Special Mentions and a unique project from Fiji.

The upcoming World Summit Award (WSA) Gala Celebrations is a unique international ceremony to honour excellence in multimedia and e-Content creation. It will take place at the Global Forum 2007, an annual, independent, international and invitation-only event dedicated to the trends and development of the New Information Society and of course NZ and the Pacific will be there.

By bringing together the highest level of government leaders, business executives, civil society and the world's best and most creative content producers, the Event creates a unique atmosphere of networking experience, and serves as an international hub for those who stand for quality and innovation.

The Award is held in eight categories with five winners selected per category. Forty winners from all over the world are invited to be present at the Gala where the awards will be presented by high-level dignitaries, among them H.E. Stipe Mesic, President of the Republic of Croatia and Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria.

The Gala event will be held within the framework of Global Forum 2007 "Global Convergence 2.0" on November 5 in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Arazzi Hall, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, and will be preceded by a two day Celebration and Winners Conference. This is an opportunity for winners from all over the world to get together presenting and showcasing their work to other winners and jurors.

New Zealand winners:

e-Science: 'Geneious'
'Geneious' is a platform-independent, Java-based, web-enabled application. It allows scientists to swiftly search, organize and analyze genomic information. 'Geneious' has been created by scientists for scientists. It includes unique features, such as patented data mining algorithms with connections to the world's most important scientific databases, secure collaboration features, and tools like interactive teaching tutorials and plug-ins developed by leading scientists - www.geneious.com

(Note: the 'e-Science' award category recognises: fostering global collaboration in key areas of science, and the next generation of infrastructure that will enable it; providing measures to promote and demonstrate scientific processes and make them accessible to citizens; scientific projects articulated through new media.)

e-Culture: The Te Puia
The Te Puia galleries in Rotorua, New Zealand represent the latest convergence of digital and tactile interaction design for indigenous cultural tourism. The Whare Tapere gallery is based on years of research and consultation with key Te Arawa kaumatua (elders), and uses 3D game technology and multi-user interaction to introduce visitors to the layers of stories in the Whakarewarewa gallery. This preserves the history of the valley in a form that is engaging and accessible. The kaumatua, Te Kepa Marsh, passed away at the culmination of the project, and this has become an irreplaceable living record of his wisdom and knowledge.

The Think Maori gallery is an immersive space that combines animated films and interactive experiences to show how Maori culture is seen through the forms of the Whakarewarewa landscape. It is designed to be a tool for guides rather than an independent experience, as the local Maori guiding economy is a crucial lifeblood for the region. The work demonstrates the preserving and presenting cultural heritage in line with the challenges of the future. Designed and developed by the Wellington company Lumen, as part of a major interpretative development in 2006 and co-ordinated by 3D Creative Design and Management Ltd.

Te Whare Tapere Gallery
Think Maori Gallery

(Note: the 'e-Culture' award category recognises: preserving and presenting cultural heritage in line with the challenges of the future; demonstrating valuable cultural assets clearly and informatively using state-of-the-art technology.)


New Zealand Special Mentions:

e-Entertainment: Cube
Cube is an unconventionally styled game and breaks away from the usual character based games while providing an exciting strategic puzzle challenge. Cube greatly challenges one's spatial skill, especially the ability to visualise and navigate in three-dimensional space

The CubeGame
Metia Website


e-Health: The Kitchen
The Kitchen presents a revolutionary approach to food safety training, simulating a commercial kitchen environment in full touch-screen 3D. Within this simulated context, trainees are taught the basic principles and application of good food safety, giving them a real world context for the application of these skills and ensuring high transference of knowledge from simulation to workplace. This disruptive new solution will engage a broader audience than any other food safety standards before it, ultimately resulting in better food hygiene standards worldwide.

The Kitchen


e-Inclusion: Te Kete
Te Kete is an open source Web 2.0 tool for a community-built digital archive of related material. A Kete (or basket) of topics may be related geographically, by subject, by source or in any other way. Te Kete enables people with little computer experience to share their stories and songs and memories and photos. It was designed from the ground up to be easily downloaded and configured by a layman for use by small rural communities with poor internet connections and no professional IT support on hand

Te Kete


Pacific winner:

e-Culture: Fiji
Participatory 3D GIS Modelling Exercise for Resource Use, Development Planning and Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in Fiji - PGIS is the creation of maps which combine a range of geospatial information management tools to represent people's spatial knowledge in the forms of virtual or physical two or three-dimensional maps. The interactive tool for spatial learning is geared towards community empowerment. The project objective was to support community based biodiversity conservation for ensuring food security and sustainable livelihoods.

Whilst PGIS started in the late 1980s, it has been refined and made more accessible and this deployment has been enormously successful in demonstrating valuable cultural assets clearly and informatively using state-of-the-art technology. The result is supporting local communities in developing resource management and simultaneously developing plans for preserving local cultural heritage. It is a merger of Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) methods with GIT/GIS PGIS practice.

Participatory 3D GIS Modelling Exercise


In Summary:
The three judges for the New Zealand WSA entries were Peter Macaulay, Janet Mazenier and Jan Bieringa.

Jan Bieringa, the NZ WSA co-ordinator, traveled to Croatia for the WSA global judging panel in early September. It was exciting to take New Zealand and the Pacific's best and most innovative entries to this global event.

The beauty of the WSA is the broad cross-sector approach to digital content. The WSA philosophy provides the perfect vehicle to encourage and demonstrate digital content in the fullest sense over and beyond just the ICT environment. Visit the WSA site for further details

New Zealand's future depends on the ideas/new media economy and all of the projects selected represent unique opportunities to underpin economic development for this region and demonstrate the 'clever thinking' that is occurring here.

The New Zealand Institute in its latest release states: "New Zealand is more likely to be able to compete successfully in global markets by developing strengths in the weightless economy, because such types of economic activity are less exposed to New Zealand's small scale and physical remoteness. The weightless economy includes adding more knowledge-based value to physical goods and services, engaging in foreign investment or offshoring production, through to activity that can be transported virtually such as the creative industries, biotech, or business services. The opportunities and visibility afforded by WSA support this premise and are ongoing and very important to this region."

Congratulations to the winners and to all those companies who put their projects forward.

Attending in Venice to receive their Award is:

  • Candace Toner, CEO Biomatters Ltd., on behalf of Geneious.
  • We are delighted to acknowledge the Trade Commissioner and NZ Consul-General, Bruce Gadd, based in Milan, who will attend to receive the award on behalf of Te Puia.
  • Marcello Allegri (Creative Business Development Manager for NZTE) will also attend to represent New Zealand.

Further details are available from:

J a n B i e r i n g a
jan@bwx.co.nz
Ph: 64 4 385 9435
Mobile: 027 535 7370
Coordinator: NZ World Summit Awards

or from:

Peter Macaulay
President, InternetNZ
peter@no1.co.nz


This project is supported by InternetNZ

Related Links
World Summit Award
www.wsis-award.org

World Summit on the Information Society
www.wsis.org