Building a digital bridge to China
  • Tuesday 23 September 2014
Dr Uwe Terton in Xiamen, China

An innovative proposal from a Sunshine Coast academic is helping to bridge the digital divide between international friendship cities.

Mayor Mark Jamieson praised University of the Sunshine Coast academic Dr Uwe Terton’s contribution to the digital solutions think tank held recently in Xiamen, China.

“Dr Terton was invited to deliver a keynote address at the prestigious 2014 China (Xiamen) International Forum for Friendship as a result of a successful Education and Tourism Trade Mission to China by Council and USC representatives in June," Mayor Jamieson said.

“I understand that Dr Terton’s contribution to the forum was very well received by the delegates and Xiamen City representatives."

A USC lecturer in computer-based design, Dr Terton said he was honoured to visit Xiamen and exchange ideas with more than 600 local and international representatives from more than 100 countries - including Lithuania, Turkey, South Africa, Japan, China, Russia, Ethiopia, Spain, Mexico, Ghana, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom,The Netherlands and the Philippines.

Dr Terton pitched a visionary idea of creating an interactive digital space in a public area where people could see news and events from Xiamen and the Coast’s other friendship and sister cities.

“This could include a park-like space where people can meet with a projector on a wall showing cultural events from sister cities – like soccer matches, concerts and other events,” Dr Terton said.

“There could also be an app for people to download to get notices about what events will be shown when.

"This idea is to not only bring people together in the digital virtual world but bring them together in the real world too.

“Similarly, Xiamen and the other sister cities would have a digital space providing a window to the Sunshine Coast where they could see our news and perhaps even watch surf lifesaving carnivals or other community events.”

Mayor Jamieson said Dr Terton’s learnings from the forum provide valuable insight on ways the Sunshine Coast could use digital solutions to further develop relations with our international friendship and sister cities into the future.

As one of the flagship events at the 18th China International Fair for Investment and Trade, the Forum was organised by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, China International Friendship Cities Association, Fujian Provincial Government and the Xiamen Municipal Government.