Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Help Decide Which City!

Take the 5-minute survey!

Following the Beijing Olympics, the most important task for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be choosing which city hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics. (2012 has already been awarded to London.) However, the competition has already heated up, with the finalists narrowed to: Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, and Chicago. The winner will be announced in October, 2009.

How does the IOC make their decision?

While their overall process is popularly described as a two-step process, it’s clearly three.

Potential cities (cities, not countries, are awarded the hosting honors) must submit a proposal demonstrating that they meet minimum hosting requirements. These focus on infrastructure, stability, and, of course, resources.

The 15-member executive board then culls the list down via a thorough evaluation of an extensive questionaire. While there isn’t a target number of finalists, it typically is about 5 to 10 cities, and a few of the finalists voluntarily drop out.

Finally, the full board (currently 115 members) votes. A simple majority (>50%) is required to win. The city with the lowest vote count during each vote is eliminated from the next voting round until a majority is achieved.

While this process appears robust, the final phase contains two important flaws. First, the criteria for city selection is relatively loose. While the Olympic Charter provides guidelines and expectations, they lack true criteria, as well as any means to measure the criteria. Board members are left to determine their own criteria and priorities.

Second, the voting process focuses on eliminating the least qualified cities rather than valuing the most prepared ones. Through rounds of voting, this process can become more an act of political will than a referendum on the best available option.

We at Expert Choice think there’s a better way. We have created a model based on six criteria (objectives) and the four finalist cities. We invite you to help determine which city should host the Summer Olympics in 2016.

Take the Survey -->

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