Monday, 21 October 2013 00:00
By Professor Peter A. Bruck- Chairman, World Summit Award
The Internet today is like the trunk of a tree, it is the backbone of the developing Information Society. Through wire-line and wire-less connections and information it branches out anywhere in the world and into every aspect of modern life. Information technology provides people on all continents with millions of leaves in terms of devices and applications. The tree blooms when good e-Content blossoms shine. And it bears rich fruit when these blossoms mature.
Not all of the fruit are good ones, some are even poisonous. Thus, it is most important to get the orientation one needs, what is good, what is making us strong, what lets our communities thrive.
The winners 2013 of the World Summit Award are exactly that. They are the richest and most nutritious fruit in the ever expanding digital tree of the Internet; they provide orientation in the unique crown of e-Content products.
WSA 2013 which will be held in Sri Lanka from 23 to 26 October is not a map, but a catalogue of answers: Which product is worth your attention, and which trend can one see? What is being developed in other parts of the world, where are commonalities and differences? How do producers and publishers of new applications and websites navigate between user interests and technological innovation?
The World Summit Award (WSA) and its partners thrive because of our network of high-level experts in 198 UN member states who provide the knowledge to distinguish between high- and low-quality e-Content. WSA contributes to the United Nations and its mandate for the Action Plan on the World Summit on Information Society 2003 and 2005.
It is our aim to find and promote the worldâ€™s best products on an international level to bridge digital divides and close the content gap between countries, within markets and regions. The winners of the World Summit Award 2013 amaze in many aspects, be it their innovativeness, their technical perfection, their design or their strategic value.
Fast border crossers, curious robots and the environment of the Middle East
Three winners of the WSA 2013 give a first insight into the richness and diversity present day e-Content has to offer and the huge variety of daily life aspects the winning products of 2013 address.
The Sri Lankan Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and Integrated Border Management System (IBMS) makes travelling to the island which hosts the WSA2013 Global Congress incredibly easy. Getting a visa for the country with ETA is a matter of minutes and works efficiently and safely â€“ even in rural areas. The data generated from the application helps to improve Sri Lankaâ€™s tourism sector, one of the most important revenues of the island. And this is exactly what the WSA stands for: e-Content developed for local needs, but with a global perspective.
The same applies to Ludwig. This Austrian winner is a game which features a little robot with a lot of curiosity, and also some feelings. Ludwig wanders an abandoned earth in the search for the last resources and learns a lot about physics on his way â€“ and with him, the child that plays the game. Ludwig is a project that encourages children to learn more about their surroundings in a playful and never boring way â€“ something that surely not only the kids of Austria will love.
Developing a product with the use of up-to-date technology, but with a very clear target audience:
This is the winning formula for the Kuwait Official Environmental Portal â€˜www.Beatona.netâ€™. Providing an Environmental Explorer and a Knowledge Database, Beatona.net offers a wide spectrum of precious environmental information using geographic maps, GIS layers and data time series. With this, air and water quality, biodiversity, waste management and many other parameters can be checked. An efficient solution for an urgent matter!
These three products showcase the importance for locally relevant, high-quality e-
Content. Developers understand that different target audiences have different requirements.
Today, content flourishes especially in countries where English is not dominantly spoken by parts of the population. A good example is the WSA Award-winning Indian project enajori.com which showcases the cultural richness of the state of Assam in a bilingual monthly magazine. In e-Health and e-Government winners demonstrate the potential of integrated services and multilingual operation.
WSA2013 showcases 40 winners projects selected from 461 submissions on the basis of content depth and value added for their specific users. The tree of the Internet is rich with fruit of the most diverse sorts: Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Austria, Estonia, Finland and Saudi Arabia show a strong development with two winning ventures each.
WSA is specifically grateful to the Government of Sri Lanka and the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) under the Chairmanship of Professor P. W. Epasinghe and under the leadership of Reshan Dewapura who are hosting the WSA2013 winners at the Global Congress. He and his team directed by Athula Pushpakumara and the WSA eminent national expert of Sri Lanka, Chitranganie Mubarak are providing a unique celebration and demonstration of the richness of the fruit of Internet and the best crop of e-Content in 2013.