e-Content, a Chance for Global Promotion of Macedonia
The World Summit Award (WSA) is a global initiative for selection and promotion of best e-content, started within the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003. The process is based on national selections and takes place every second year. It encompasses a number of national and international conferences and workshops about e-content, entitled WSA Road Show.
WSA is a projects with inviting, open participation and a global center for all, emphasizing the key importance of creating excellent e-content for the creation of the new information society. So far 168 countries have joined the World Summit Award.
The goal of this initiative is surpassing the digital divide (inability to access the benefits of the new technologies) which also has a form of content gap (lack of quality content, enabling positive change in the life of people). The WSA contributes to surpassing these gaps through selecting, presenting and endorsement of the best products from all over the world.
WSA focuses on solutions which promote cultural identity and diversity of the participating countries, with an emphasis on multimedia projects which creatively use the advantages of the new technologies.
Applying for the WSA is done via national organizers, who receive applications by e-content producers until a certain date. Then a National Jury selects one country representative for each of the eight categories. The chosen national representatives, with aid from the national organizer, send their products to the Grand Jury, which selects 40 finalists (5 for each category) out of 1344 candidates.
The winners receive global renown, participate in number of events, promoting both their work and their country. At national level, the participation in the contest contributes to public perception of the candidates as modern, dynamic and socially responsible companies, who provide active contribution to the process of transformation of Macedonia in a knowledge-based society.
2005 Experience: Croatia Got the Goods
Macedonia participated in the World Summit Award for the first time in 2005, during the second phase of the Summit which took place in Tunisia. The awards were bestowed at a gala reception in the main hall, attended by government members from finalist countries and other diplomatic representatives.
Prof. Peter A. Bruck, WSA organizer, Austrian Staatssekretär Franz Morak, and Kuwaiti e-entrepreneur and columnist Manar Al-Hashash
Sadly, in spite of the wholehearted efforts by Mr. Ljubomir Trajkovski, the then-national organizer, none of the eight Macedonian candidates did not enter the global finals.
In contrast to Macedonia, Croatia used the full potential of both WSIS and WSA in 2005 to promote itself as modern European economy, which uses its own strengths to raise the world average. This was due to the proactive approach of its political elite, combined with winning two prizes in the finals, for the Nature Park Kopachki Rit and Fauna.hr.
Croatian president Dr. Stjepan Mesic had the honor to talk first in the plenary session of the Summit, right after the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Mesic also took part in the WSA Finals ceremony, displaying his dedication to building information society through action.
Continuing to utilize the process of the WSA to confirm Croatia’s leadership role, this country got the honor to host the Grand Jury by the end of the summer. Most probably the final ceremony, scheduled for the end of the year, will also take place in Croatia.
Another finalist from our neighborhood was the Romanian project Advanced e-Learning Objects. Other smaller countries also enhanced their reputation by winning the WSA in 2005, including Bahrain with the e-visa application and the Woman’s Gateway, Armenia for the CD about the life and work of Aram Khachuturian, Tunisia with the e-telegram service, or Guatemala with social inclusion project.
The award winners also included projects from the Netherlands, Canada (3), USA (2), France (3), Australia (2), Britain (4), Brazil, Ireland, China, Japan… rounding up the picture on who’s who in the field of innovative development of e-solutions on a global scale.
WSA 2007 – A chance one should not miss
This year Macedonian companies, universities and e-content creators have a chance to promote their works and our community in a completely new level. Thus they will promote the potential of Macedonian IT industry as well as the vitality and creativity of our human capacities.
World Summit Award offers promotion of many culture oriented products and export oriented business sectors, and at political level to provide promotion of modern Macedonian identity.
The companies that would not be interested to offer their products until the deadline (May 31) can still participate in the World Summit Award process as sponsors and supporters. This year organizer, Metamorphosis Foundation, invited the website owners to register for support and to link the World Summit Award for Macedonia website in order to increase the participation opportunities. They will receive link back to their website that will contribute to improve their search engine ranking and, above all, moral satisfaction for associating with this noble initiative of great public interest.
After closing the call for participation the submitted products will be evaluated in June and Macedonian representatives at the global WSA will be selected. For that purpose a multidisciplinary jury consisted of information society experts has been formed.
During the summer the selected projects will be prepared and sent to the WSA central in Salzburg which is followed by global evaluation of the grand jury in Zagreb in September. The awarded solutions participate in the official award ceremony, and if they are proactive they will participate in all the future events.
Participation in the World Summit Award process offers great chance for meeting the need Macedonia to be branded as society that incite the creative potential of IT industry and information society in general. It provides companies a chance for promotion and advertising at global level. The project is of general interest since all citizens are interested in promotion of our cultural heritage in the world.
e-Content + creativity = Innovation and development
Bardhyl Jashari, WSA national expert says: “Building inclusive information society does not mean just internet access. It means that all citizens, regardless where they live, to have access to digital content that are localized, relevant and usable. Therefore, creation, distribution and provision access to original, interesting, diverse and localized content is important step towards building inclusive information society in Macedonia.
Cultural heritage, educational and scientific content are just part of the treasure that each country posses and can make available on the internet by digitization. Technology enables this, but the content is the factor that inspires and leads to innovation and development. It is just the WSA tries to do – to incite creativity and to inspire. The focus is on e-content, i.e. on creative and innovative use of new technologies for promotion of content related to cultural heritage of every country.”
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