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To infinity and beyond: e-savvy young’uns peer into crystal ball

Back in 1989, the first threads of the World Wide Web were woven at Waikato and Victoria Universities via a router from NASA. And, for an exorbitant $5500 a month, educational institutions in New Zealand could link to the rest of the world. The first 21 years have been chronicled by Down to the Wire, a fascinating archive of our digital history made up of interviews with media experts, techsperts and commentators. And now it’s time to look at the future, launching a competition called 20:20 Foresight that asks all students and graduates aged 17 to 25 to send in their mind-boggling visions of the internet in the year 2020.

The competition calls for entries driven by imagination and insight rather than digital knowledge or technical ability and there’s some impressive booty up for grabs, including an Apple iPad, a 20-day, $2000 paid internship at Heyday and a personal website designed, developed and released to the world.

“Entrants don’t need to be coders or geeks,” says project leader Thomas Scovell. “We want ideas from students of all subjects—media, philosophy, design, politics, economics, as well as those on digital and computing courses. Their ideas can be submitted in almost any form—images, film, audio, animation or even just words on paper. It’s their ideas and vision that we’ll be judging, not the physical qualities of their entry.”

Full details of 20:20 Foresight can be found at downtothewire.co.nz/2020. Eligible entrants should declare their intention to enter the competition by registering online before 1 January 2011. Entries must be submitted by 24 January 2011.

The website, which was created by Wellington digital agency Heydey, is also looking for your input to finish the 2010 instalment off. So have a look around and upload your internet-related achievements for 2010.

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