Thursday, 29 May 2008

Thursday 29th May

The main conference, today, attracted 370 municipal delegates, and around 100 private sector attendees. The exhibition was sold-out, with 36 exhibitors. The number of card reader suppliers, in the exhibition, plainly demonstrated the reality of ID card usage in Belgium. There were six parallel conference streams, the first of which was in English, in deference to the international delegates. Unfortunately, this was poorly attended by the home audience, although the quality of the presentations was excellent. I particularly enjoyed one that, with the title of "From Data Storage to Information Management", had seemed uninviting. The discourse was of how ICT has moved from an era of structured data management to unstructured data searched via "Folksonomies". This struck a chord with me, as it's consistent with my view that ICT and the web are now synonymous. I also learned another new word as in the expression "universal taxonomy is a good example of omphaloskepsis"; (navel-gazing!)

In our final evening, the international guests were treated to dinner by with the V-ICT-OR Board, and to Belgian beer-tasting – which I have come to appreciate very much indeed!

In the photo, below, Eddy Van der Stock, the President of V-ICT-OR is second from the left, next to Louis Massagé, the conference organiser. Mike Manson, the CEO of ALGIM (New Zealand) is next, then Socitm's Peter Ryder. Behind him, in the red shirt, is Ken Keen of GMIS (USA) standing next to Christian Bonfre (Kommits). Eddy's wife, Vivian, is just in front of Christian, next to Annette Knutson (Kommits), who is next to Richard Steel. Standing on the far right is Harry Turnbull, the President of MISA (Canada).

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