PRESS RELEASE

An Out of this World Occasion

Over the past eighteen months Turning Point 2000 has had a team of people quietly working away brainstorming and designing a very special project which may challenge the way of thinking for young people, to the benefit of those who are shaping the future. Today the project will be launched with a highly interactive user-friendly website.

GlobalNet.2000 has established a website which will ultimately be self-generative and promote international and intergenerational relationships. The GlobalNet.2000 website, designed by CWA (Copeland Wilson & Associates) New Media, will provide the focal point for the project’s online activity. Case studies, online forums and thought provoking project starters are all featured on the imaginatively presented site, specially designed to appeal to young people. There will be presentations of exemplar projects submitted by participants and a resource area for teachers and educators.

The website features a zone station where teachers, at the press of button, can access information as classroom resource, young people can investigate one of five different zones or give an opinion on a straw-poll survey and use the results for further investigations. Online forums form a part of the website where young people can discuss issues that occur worldwide but feature as a part of life in every country. Guest mentors will be invited to be part of the online forums. These mentors may be business or environmental representatives or Ministers of Parliament or even the Prime Minister. Projects completed by classes which make a difference to the local community are encouraged and will be posted on the website.

The GlobalNet.2000 website, in its prototype phases, was shown to several Christchurch schools and individuals for their input.

The objectives of GlobalNet.2000 are to create a greater awareness, among young people of all cultures, of the issues facing them in the lives they lead through the sharing of ideas regarding these issues. This will result in the identification of local solutions to global problems. GlobalNet.2000 will empower young people in the use of digital technologies for communicating and expressing their ideas and to speak with confidence and be heard by the decision-makers in their local and global communities. GlobalNet.2000 nutures the valuing of relationships built via the digital culture, and which will continue well beyond timeframe of the project.

A very special guest will be arriving at the launch to make their first ever public appearance, @stro - the friendly web guide, GlobalNet.2000 mascot and project mentor. @stro’s presence throughout the site will assist users to understand the choices and provide a more friendly and interactive dimension to the website. @stro also has a page which explains the special bodily attributes, records travels in a diary and responds to frequently asked questions.

@stro produces a weekly electronic newsletter called @stro’s e-News which updates people on the latest news and website developments. The newsletter is emailed free to everyone who has subscribed through the website.

The current outreach of the GlobalNet.2000 project is 24,000 New Zealand school students and 1,200 other interested parties stemming from 63 countries scattered all over the world, from Bolivia to Kazakstan. It is envisaged that the numbers of participants will swell dramatically with the GlobalNet.2000 website up and running.

Because of the strong links to the New Zealand Social Studies curriculum the GlobalNet.2000 concept is easily adopted by teachers and integrated into New Zealand classrooms. Every New Zealand school will be able to part of the GlobalNet.2000 network. While the target market is the 10 – 16 age group (totaling 375,420 New Zealand students) it is not restrictive.

The online feature of the project will reach a pinnacle with the GlobalNet.2000 Summit to be held in November 19 – 23 November 2000. Over 800 national and international delegates will converge on Christchurch to meet face to face the peers that they have been corresponding with over the months leading up to the Summit. The programme for the Summit features international keynote speakers, experiential workshops and the opportunity to network with delegates from many different backgrounds.

At the Summit young people will have the opportunity to engage in discussions and activities, which will extend the discussions, begun via the GlobalNet.2000 website. Adults, children’s leaders and policy and decision-makers will also be represented to engage in dialogue about issues that concern young people. Both groups will then have the opportunity to speak with and listen to each other, generating ideas and action plans that can be implemented in their own communities fulfilling the vision of GlobalNet.2000: finding local solutions to global problems.

GlobalNet.2000 project manager Derek Wenmoth at the launch of the GlobalNet.2000 website with website character "Astro" - 28 June 2000. Astro&Derek.jpg (12661 bytes)

26 June 2000


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