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Friday 19th July
Stockholm Challenge - Page One

Linking Our World was selected Finalist for the Category Education in The Stockholm Challenge Award 2003/2004 for their contribution in the global movement of building a better Information Society for all.

Linking Our World was one of almost 900 projects from 107 countries that entered the 2004 Stockholm Challenge. Sixty-seven projects gathered in Stockholm in May where we were given the opportunity to meet other Finalists from categories in Culture, e-Business, Education, e-Government, Environment and Health.

Projects in the Culture section included Friends and Flags, a multicultural learning project which also works with our project, the Archaeological Map of Egypt, the Asian Traditional Archery Research Network from Hong Kong and Oracle's Thinkquest, USA.

Among the e-Business category there were representatives from Botswana (Botswana Basket Weavers Online), Fiji (Cyberinstitute - helping small business globally) and the Philippines (e-Commerce for Farmers).

The e-Government category included Smart Capital, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation, Canada, Bridging the Digital Divide from the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, India, the Citizen Portal of Mexico and the People First Network from the Solomon Islands.

national costume from Sweden and Scotland In the Education category Khanya - Technology in Education - run by the Western Cape Education Department made a number of impressive presentations. Other projects included Actualizacion de Maestros en Educacion (AME) from Venezuela, e-Learning and SARS (Hong Kong Education City Limited), the Joint Learning Initiative from the Alberta Online Consortium Association in Canada, Real: Creative Learning from Scotland in the UK, Sniff Swing and Swipe from New Zealand and Swedkid, an antiracist website.

Environment projects came from nine countries including Austria (SYLVIE - Systematic Noise Reduction in inner city districts), Finland (ENO-Environment Online) and Samoa (PEIN - Pacific Environmental Information Network).

The Health category included the Community Tool Box from the University of Kansas in the United States and Policing Disease from the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau, Hospital Authority and the Hong Kong Police.

I met two members of the Hong Kong police force and learned that similar methods used for criminal investigation were applied to the 2003 SARS outbreak. I was particularly interested to find out that the person to bring SARS to Hong Kong stayed at the Metropole Hotel where, coincidentally, I had stayed in 1997 when working on one of the first WIZ projects.

Visits were arranged for all the Finalists and the City of Stockholm Education Department organised meetings for Education Finalists at the Norra Real School in Roslagsgatan and the Thorildsplans Gymnasium (High School). We were told about the organisation of the school system in Sweden and online courses provided by the University of Stockholm.

Norra Real is an upper secondary school dating back from the fourteenth century specialising in sciences. As well as traditional school subjects, various schools provide courses in more vocational subjects such as engineering and health care. The Thorildsplans Gymnasium runs a two year programming and networking course which leads to a certificate in basic Cisco networking.

a children's choir welcomes the Finalists During the exhibition of the Finalist projects I was very interested to meet two winners from the 2004 UAE Educational IT Challenge (the University Student Project Learn and Enjoy on CD from the United Arab Emirates University). A visit to the Stockholm Challenge had been arranged as part of the UAE Educational Challenge.

The final event of the Stockholm Challenge, organised by the City of Stockholm, was the Ceremony and Banquet in the Stockholm City Hall which hosts the annual Nobel Prize Banquet. During this event we were entertained by folkdance, Swedish Sommersongs by the Värmdö Suzuki Singers conducted by Suzanne Stojkov, music by Thun-Kvartetten, music by the Sofia Vocal Ensemble conducted by Bengt Ollén and the Spirit of the Challenge danced in slow motion by Felix Lancelot.

Finalists received certificates and individually made Kosta Boda glass sculptures from the City of Stockholm: "Finalist Stockholm Challenge"


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