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ZízReports on... Global Case Challenge 2010 - UAE Title
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An event took place on March 27th 2010...
... the event was held at the Knowledge Village Auditorium, Dubai...
... the event was the UAE leg of the 2010 OLPC Global Case Challenge.
Keen minds competed in support of the One Laptop per Child foundation, whose vision is "To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop..." Please visit their site for a more complete understanding.
Build Up To The Day
The whirlwind 5 weeks leading up to that day are now a blur.
It all began in mid-February. From nothing, and with nothing but ourselves, Haitham M. Hamid, Szilvia Konya, and myself (Zahid Howladar) spent days and nights putting the pieces of this CSR initiative together. From venue research, to confirming school participation, to securing senior level judges, to printing and cutting name tags only hours before teams were expected to arrive, to not sleeping and then to hosting the event!!
Do not for a second let this dispel any myth of great organisation and professional execution, everything took place just as was planned. We looked good, really good! (Even if I do say so myself).
During these same 5 weeks however, there were efforts of a different kind taking place. 11 hard working teams, representing 9 different bodies ready to take part in a battle of strategic intellect.
In spite of heavy workloads (assignments, exams etc...), performance on the day showed that all teams had done much impressive and extensive research and preparation.
Starting as early as 8am, there was a long day ahead for all, and it was not without incident.
From the introductory speech there were concerns over "boys reciting poetry"... this was unacceptable to chaperones of the more religious girls taking part. Firm statements regarding cultural and religious sensitivity were needed, and delivered.
The morning was otherwise quiet, everyone far too busy to do anything but try and tackle the Challenge Question. Only 5hrs to prepare before facing several senior level judges...
The afternoon was not quiet! This was in part due to the "incident" at lunchtime. One team was witnessed having lunch with their mentor, papers and notes in hand (not allowed outside of allocated sit-in periods). Not good! Personally rushing to the scene, punitive measures were taken. The witness was not satisfied however, and there was a push for the violating team's dismissal, coupled with a desire to withdraw their own team from the event.The organisers stood their ground, and thankfully the situation blew over, allowing all involved to get back to enjoying the experience of the day.
With tensions rising and nerves wracking, the group stages took place. Hult's "Hult Catalysts", Strathclyde's "The Futurists", and the brothers and sisters (yes, a team of siblings!) of the "BANNAZ" emerged as group winners, ready to do battle in the final round, in front of the full complement of 9 senior judges.
As is now well known, Hult Catalysts were the judges' choice, and enjoyed dinner afterwards at the Switch Restaurant & Lounge in Dubai Mall. They have been celebrities since, needing to keep a watchful eye of the flashing paparazzi around every corner.
A brief thanks to all who took any part, big or small, in the event.
From the tea-lady to the participating teams, to the senior level judges (and everyone inbetween).
We ALL made it happen!!
Zahid F. Howladar