The "Global Bangemann Challenge" expands on the European "Bangemann Challenge", formally concluded in January 1997. Under the Global Bangemann Challenge Europe is now challenging the USA, Japan and the rest of the world to find the most efficient uses of Information Technology (IT) in specific key areas. The primary purpose of the Challenge is to promote the exchange of experience and provide a forum for the comparison of projects at an international level. What began as a European competition has grown into an important network for the exchange of experiences about the Information Society. In its second phase, the Bangemann Challenge - organized by the City of Stockholm in response to the "Bangemann Report" and supported by the European Commission - invites every city in the world to participate. The Global Bangemann Challenge has been launched in response to demand. As Mats Hulth, the Mayor of Stockholm, explains: "Word of the Bangemann Challenge spread to cities outside Europe and we received many calls from city administrations wanting to participate. This showed us that there was a great interest, worldwide, in sharing knowledge of the use of information technology for the benefit of people". The new Challenge will last for about two years, beginning in January 1997 and ending in June 1999. The coordination team in Stockholm expects to attract some 700 entries from over 150 major cities around the world. Projects can be submitted to the Global Bangemann Challenge in 11 categories: - New business structures; - IT services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); - Electronic commerce; - Public service and democracy; - Health care; - Culture and media; - IT in all areas of education; - Lifelong learning; - Environment; - Traffic; - Universal connectivity. The projects submitted to the Global Bangemann Challenge will be evaluated by an international jury with representatives from each of the participating continents. The main criteria in the evaluation of projects will be the potential benefits that they can bring to people and society. In addition to each project's technical and service achievements, the jury will examine the projects' efforts to eliminate segregation, promote gender equality and improve conditions for the disabled. The projects should also contribute to regional development by creating new job opportunities which, from a global perspective, can have a positive impact on world peace and prosperity. The jury will also take into consideration the positive effects that the projects have on the environment. To enter the Challenge participants must show that there is a sufficient degree of implementation of their projects during the course of the competition.