Hello again everyone,
I am writing to let you know where things currently are with IOI 2022, and to ask for your best estimate of whether you can/cannot travel to Indonesia.
=== IOI FORMAT ===
The International Committee met online in February, and will continue to meet regularly as the COVID-19 situation evolves. The plan for IOI 2022 remains the same: we are preparing for an on-site IOI, but we are committed to having an online option for those delegations that cannot attend in person. This is, of course, an enormous ask for the host, and we are very grateful to Indonesia for their work in making such a “hybrid IOI” happen.
Unlike the last two IOIs, the on-site IOI will be the main event, and the online option will (by necessity) be a lesser experience. For example: culturally, on-site participants will be able to experience Indonesia fully, and will have more opportunities to interact with contestants from across the world. Technically, on-site participants will be in a competition hall with hardware managed and supported by the host country, and with the technical committees working in the next room. Logistically, the IOI timetable will be planned around Indonesian time.
We do understand if delegations cannot attend on-site, and we are committed to offering the online option as a fallback. However, we strongly encourage delegations to attend in person if it is safe and feasible to do so.
We will continue to send updates in the coming months. In particular, the COVID-19 safety arrangements and IOI schedule are still under development, and we will announce these when we can. Regarding quarantine: we are hopeful that it will be possible for delegations to attend without the need to quarantine, and the hosts are currently in negotiation with the Indonesian authorities. Vaccination is likely to remain important, however, and we urge delegations to ensure that their team leaders and potential contestants will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before August if this is at all possible, preferably with boosters also. Again, the situation is still evolving, and we will announce more precise requirements once we know them.
=== CLOSING REMARKS ===
Finally, some remarks about the global situation beyond IOI.
The International Committee of the IOI met again on Sunday (27 Feb) specifically to discuss the events happening right now in Ukraine.
The IOI is an academic pursuit, where we celebrate the remarkable achievements of individual contestants, almost all of whom are teenagers. However, one of our stated objectives is to foster friendly international relationships, and so we cannot ignore tragedies such as the one unfolding in Ukraine, or indeed the many other conflicts past and present that have touched both our own member delegations and also the countries that are not able to divert attention to endeavours such as ours.
We, like so many others right now, call for peace and understanding amongst people and nations. We are not politicians or diplomats. However, we *are* educators and computer scientists. We have the power to build tools that help build up society and bring people together, and we have the power to educate the next generation in the hope that they can build a better world than the one they are brought into. We can choose where and how we use those powers that we have.
Our thoughts are with everyone who is suffering or scared right now, and especially with the young people who are trying to better themselves through programmes such as the IOI.
The International Committee will continue to talk as this fast-moving situation evolves.
Best regards – Ben.
Prof. Benjamin Burton
President of IOI
Computational Geometry & Topology Group
The University of Queensland, Australia