Welcome: please integrate
At last! Geneva has overcome the French notion that newcomers must bow to the local language. Good idea in the medium and long-term, but for those who have just arrived it’s a hurdle. The canton will now “provide key administrative documents and public information in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Albanian and Arabic to help new residents integrate,” reports swissinfo.
Focusing the Fête de Genève
Also in Geneva this week: the canton says a popular initiative that would create a shorter and more focused Fête de Genève has been approved to move to the next level, and city administrators will need to review and consider it by 16 October 2016 at the latest. Cantonal news conference (Fr)
We have Lift-off! (it’s on, actually)
The Lift conference opens in Geneva today, a forum that for more than 10 years has sparked lively ideas and exchanges in a number of fields. The conference calls itself “one of Europe’s key events about innovation and digital technologies”, an apt description. I started GenevaLunch.com after attending the 2006 conference, inspired by the possibilities technology held out to journalism. (For an update on where that had led me, A note to GenevaLunch readers, 10 February 2016)
Don’t gouge Gaga
Lady Gaga’s name is her own and no one else’s, says the judge. A Wipo (World Intellectual Property Organizatoin, based in Geneva) document released this week shows that she “successfully gained ownership of a web address” from a woman in the US who tried to blackmail (my words, not the judge’s or reporter’s) here into buying a site with her hame. Report from IP Watch
ICANN’s new head
Göran Marby of Sweden has been named the new head of ICANN, “succeeding Fadi Chehade who leaves the ICANN to join the World Economic Forum in mid-March,” reports IP Watch. See the background report on Marby as well as one from 2012 on Chehade. ICANN is the domain naming body that is attempting to shift from its US-centric origins to something more international, in keeping with the internet times.
RIP, Mr Wilhelm, man of peace
The last of the co-authors of the Geneva Conventions, René-Jean-Wilhelm, died 3 February in Geneva, age 99. A very special person. Here is a bit of the history of the conventions, from Le Monde, in French (2103). RJW speaks at about minute 2.50