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Jože Gričar: eGovernment Connections and Challenges July 29, 2006

Posted by Griff Wigley in Budapest symposium.

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Jože Gričar is Professor & eCenter Director, Faculty of Organizational Sciences, at the University of Maribor in Slovenia. He’s also Chair of the Annual Bled eConference. His presentation was part of the Friday eGovernment Connections and Challenges panel. Click the photos to enlarge.

14 minutes, 53 seconds

When he attended my blogging session, we chatted afterwards and discovered our Minnesota-Slovenia connection. I include a subsequent email from him below in which he provides background on it.

Griff hi,

It was a pleasure attending your session at the International e-Participation and Local Democracy Symposium – Promoting Social Inclusion via e-Participation in Budapest. Interesting. So much to be done – and so good!

The next “Minnesota-Slovenia Friendship Gathering” is planed for Sunday, June 3, 2007 (The 20th Bled eConference: eMergence: Merging and Emerging Technologies, Processes, and Institutions).

I was approached by the representatives of Naklo Municipality and Podbrezje village (location of the Pirc’s monument and recently established “Pirc House”) in Slovenia. They have expressed interest in further development of the contacts between Slovenia and Minnesota & the Pierz Town, MN. Franc Pirc (Pierz), born in Kamnik, Slovenia in 1785, was a Slovene missioner living with Indians in Minnesota and writing books for them for 10 years. Before leaving for the US, he was the founder and manager of the most famous apple orchard in Austro-Hungarian monarchy of that time (Podbrezje, close to Bled, Slovenia). He has brought over to Minnesota numerous apple sorts. In Minnesota, a town Pierz has been named in his memory.

Discovering of the Minnesota-Slovenia history around the missioner Pierz (Pirc in Slovene language) has started after the visit of Mrs. Kiffmeyer, Secretary of State, Minnesota Office of Secretary of State to Slovenia. At the June 2000 Bled eCommerce Conference http://www.BledConference.org she was presenting on eDemocracy. Her speech was the first of that topic in Bled and perhaps in Europe. Nowadays eDemocracy, eInclusion, eParticipation are the major topics of the eGov 2010 action plan of the European Union for the next 4 years. Her visit was arranged after Slovenia delegation was attending the mCommerce Conference (chaired by Dr. Lester A. Wanninger) at the University of Minnesota in March 2000. The delegation was visiting government, business organizations in St.Paul and Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota at that time. The meeting of the Slovenia’s delegation with the Secretary of State, Mary Kiffmeyer was organized by Dr. Kenneth Zapp, Professor, College of Management, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul. My personal connections with Minnesota go back to Fall of 1985 and 1987, the time of my postdoctoral study at the University of Minnesota, School of Management, Information Systems Department, Professor Gordon B. Davis.

A group of 50 Slovenes was visiting the St. Paul and the Pierz Town in Minnesota in September 2004. The group was headed by Franci Jereb, MD, and Father Peter Lavrih, Franciscan Monastery in Ljubljana & the Commissar in Slovenia, Commissariat for a Holly Land. Mrs. Kiffmeyer has arranged the visit with Mr. Mike Menden, Mayor of Pierz, her native town.

In June 2005 the Minnesota-Slovenia friends were instrumental in sponsoring a gathering in village Podbrezje, Municipality Naklo. It was on Sunday before the annual Bled eConference. The next “Minnesota-Slovenia Friendship Gathering” is planed for Sunday, June 3, 2007 (The 20th Bled eConference: eMergence: Merging and Emerging Technologies, Processes, and Institutions).

Suggestions regarding further development of the historic Minnesota-Slovenia friendship are appreciated. The Slovene community and friends in Minnesota and the Minnesota friends in Slovenia, along with the joint friends are welcome to engage in the action.

With best regards, Joze

Jože Gricar, Professor & eCenter Director
Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor
Chair, Annual Bled eConference

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