2023 editions

Dates and places of the 40th and 41st editions

40th edition, Durres, Albania, 25 February to 4 March 2023 - Anglophone

41st edition, Forges-les-Eaux (Normandy Region, France), 11 to 18 March 2023 - Francophone

IMPORTANT: applications to the Anglophone edition will remain open until the target is reached and until 4 December at the latest. They will be examined on a rolling basis.

Regulations are available here. The application page for teams is now available, as well as the application for volunteers.

Update on 20 September 2022: On 2 September 2022, the Committee for the Jean-Pictet Competition (CCJP) announced its decision to hold the 40th edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition in Jermuk, Armenia. The CCJP’s decision was based on many factors, including the assessment of the security situation – the selected place was assessed as a safe option for the Competition.

The unexpected and unfortunate events that took place in Armenia, including Jermuk and other cities, from 12 September onwards, fundamentally changed the situation on the ground. The CCJP considers the safety of all participants and volunteers as the essential precondition for the Competition, as it bears moral and legal responsibility to host teams in places free of security risks.

Unfortunately, the evolution of the situation remains unpredictable: as a result, the CCJP decided to avoid any risk to the safety of participants and volunteers, as well as the risk of the need for a relocation at a later stage, should the situation not improve.

The 40th edition of the Competition will therefore take place in Albania from 25 February to 4 March 2023. The CCJP is looking forward to working again with a number of entities and individuals in Albania who welcomed us so warmly in 2021 and 2022, and thanks them for their support in the urgent relocation of the 40th edition.

The CCJP is particularly grateful to all individuals and entities that had worked with vigorous determination to hold the 40th edition of the Competition in Armenia, and is sharing the disappointment and sadness they may feel.

With its thoughts focusing primarily on the fate of people affected by the current events, the CCJP hopes for the prompt stabilization of the situation that would allow the organization of a future edition of the Competition in Armenia in the foreseeable future.

Information and comments also available on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ConcoursPictet)

Wednesday 24 August

Pictet 39, the third edition of 2022, will start in Indonesia on 3 September. Still, it’s very much time to start announcing what will happen in 2023. Every day we will post one hint on the format, dates and locations of the Competition next year… And on 2 September, as per the tradition aiming at celebrating Jean Pictet birthday, we will disclose the full information. Tomorrow, we will start with the places where we will not have Pictet in 2023…

Thursday 25 August

Where to go for Pictet in 2023? We considered Norway. The cost of the hotel alone was twice the budget we had for all costs of three editions of Pictet in 2022. We don’t give up the idea and keep it for later. But for 2023, no, it’s not Norway.

We considered two African countries. The cost of the hotels is insane – and probably not justified by the salaries of the hotel staff. If you know a good hotel in Africa with reasonable prices, you should tell us. We would love to have an edition of Pictet as excellent as the South Africa edition was in 2012 – that many consider as the best edition ever. But for 2023, no, it’s not an African country.

We thought about going back to Mexico, where we had a great welcome from Coral Resort in Cuernavaca. But obtaining visas for Mexico is just too cumbersome and, in practical terms, not inclusive enough. When they change the system, though, we would be thrilled to go back to Mexico, in particular to Coral Resort. But for 2023, no, it’s not Mexico.

We thought about going back to Durres, Albania, in Premium Beach Hotel. The welcome from the hotel was fantastic, and the support from the authorities and the Albanian Red Cross was amazing, including for visas. But we have been there three times in one year so we’ll wait a bit before going back to the lovely Albania, to keep our level of creativity. For sure we’ll go back to Albania at one point. But not in 2023.
Now you get it: for a good edition of Pictet, we need a place where we have not been too much lately, with reasonable costs, challenging for our creativity and where the authorities are supportive in issuing visas – and without excluding anyone. Let alone of course accessibility (which doomed another destination we considered) and safety (no need to expand on this).

Tomorrow, more details. We’ll reveal who will win Pictet 2023.

Friday 26 August

Every year, former participants contact us and say: “I would like to organize Pictet in my country”. Good to say it, as many did in comments to yesterday’s post – and thank you for your enthusiasm. Better to make it work, and then anticipate one year in advance. For 2023, this is too late.

That entails a lot of work for people who want to try. Looking at issues related to visas with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – something increasingly crucial these days. Contacting several hotels, for checking whether they would meet our needs. Making a comparative analysis of the hotels. Examining many other elements, from safety to accessibility.

And that does not always lead to success. The first limit is our budget and we don’t want to (and cannot) increase the registration fees by 300%. When hotels are ready to give us a good rate for a group of 150 to 200 persons, we can make a deal. When they are not interested in lowering their margin, especially when their rates are so high compared to the cost of running their business, including the salary of their staff (and no, it is not at all about clichés on exploitation here, just about financial analysis…), it does not work. When the reduced rates putting them just above their own financial balance are still above our possibilities, it does not work either. That happened in various countries in the last few years – including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Croatia, just to speak about three examples in Europe – but today can we speak about a continent without being criticized? Let’s say Northern, Central and Southern Europe, to acknowledge diversity.

Sometimes we have to postpone plans to better times. It took us more than 10 years before we found the right time and the right place to go to Georgia (but we had the good people…). We made it after years of efforts, for a fantastic edition. In 2022 we found a way to going to Latin America for Pictet 37, not yet to Southern America (oops, speaking about continents again… what a lack of understanding of diversity of places). So far, at least. For sure Argentina's turn will come. Sometimes it works well and some readers of this post will smile remembering their own successful efforts over the years for Montréal, Cascais, Cleveland, Nafplio, El Escorial, Orford, Charlottesville, Ohrid, Denpasar, Durres, among other places.

For 2023, a Picteist who volunteered contacted more than 40 hotels, reduced the short list to five, made great negotiations, organized a visit of the place with meetings of the key players. That person – who will stay anonymous until we disclose the location in question – did a fantastic job. There was no way we could have picked up a better choice.

Lessons learned: if you want to have Pictet in your country, go beyond saying it. Just do it.

Anyway, we announced yesterday that we will disclose the name of the winners for next year. So, let’s do it. On Friday 17 March 2023 in the late afternoon, after the final, we will announce the team that will have won, following one week of Competition. We can predict with a 100% certainty that it will be a Francophone team. More news tomorrow.

Saturday 27 August

Thank you to everyone who started looking at possible places for Pictet 2024, following the previous posts… Today’s post will be short. Just to say that on Friday 3 March 2023 in the late afternoon, after the final, we will announce the team that will have won following one week of Competition. We can predict with a 100% certainty that it will be an Anglophone team. More news tomorrow.

Sunday 28 August

If you read well the posts from Friday and Saturday, you probably understood that we will have two editions of the Jean-Pictet Competition in 2023:
- The 40th, which will be an Anglophone edition, from 25 February to 4 March;
- The 41st, which will be a Francophone edition, from 11 to 18 March.

Important to note: both editions will be in two different countries.

More information tomorrow.

Monday 29 August

Today is Monday, so we’ll speak about three things that are usual at work on any Monday: schedule, money and strategy. Not fun, but essential.

If you read the post from yesterday, you probably understood that teams will have only one chance to participate in Pictet in 2023 – although they can apply to either edition. Therefore, the situation is fundamentally different from what we announced one year ago, where teams had an opportunity to apply to Pictet 36 in Albania, 37 in Mexico, 38 in Albania or 39 in Indonesia. Hopefully, this will make processes easier. It also means the end of flexibility in shifting from one edition to the following. If a team decides not to come to Pictet 40 or 41, they will have to re-apply to Pictet 2024.

Applications will be opened in two phases:
- Teams who apply before 15 October will be informed of the results of the selection at the latest on 7 November;
- Teams who apply before 8 November will be informed of the results of the selection at the latest on 30 November.

The first phase of selection will take place for not more than 50% of the available seats for each edition, and with a maximum of three teams per country. Should there be more than three teams per country applying in the first phase, the quality of the file will be the criteria for determining which ones are selected. The other teams from that country, as well as any other team not selected in the first phase, will still be considered for the selection in the second phase.

For the second phase, no quota per country. Still, the quality of the file will be the key element and diversity of countries will still be taken into account.

As in the previous years, teams that won a regional Competition organized by the ICRC may be directly selected.

This means that:
- Teams should really have an excellent application file: we can expect that the selection will be strict, for both phases;
- Teams should already start thinking about funding: October/November is often a period where some institutions, companies, embassies… have money to be spent before the end of the year. Last Quarter will be the perfect moment to raise funds. A good strategy may be to start looking for funding already in September.
- Teams can get an additional three weeks to prepare if they apply during the first phase.

More information – and tips – tomorrow.

Tuesday 30 August

Tip # 1: in the selection process, particular attention is paid to applications from institutions that meet one or more of the following conditions:
a. from the host country of the Competition;
b. participating in the Competition for the first time;
c. from countries that have never sent teams to the Competition;
d. where international humanitarian law is taught;
e. giving credit to teams for participating in the Competition;
f. who informed the CCJP before 30 September 2022 of their intent to constitute a team.
Since the selection is likely to be important, consider criteria f. above. For a., you don’t know it yet. For b to e, you probably can’t do much about it.

Tips # 2: registration fees will be unchanged – 1250 euros per team. Note that this amount hardly covers the cost of full board accommodation of the team for the duration of the Competition, and that cost is borne by the Competition, contrary to some other competitions where the team has to pay that amount on top of registration fees. This amount may be reduced for teams from non-OECD countries, however we may be less supportive than what we have been in the past. We seek to have a balanced budget…

Tip # 3: when the location of Pictet 2023 is disclosed, check whether you need a passport and a visa to travel there. It’s unmanageable to be one month before the Competition and not to have a passport, as we saw a few times in 2022. In addition, in 2023, we’ll refocus the main responsibility of visa applications to universities, not to the organizers of the Competition or sponsors. We’ll support requests, though.

More information tomorrow.

Wednesday 31 August

In 2023, two editions, one Francophone and one Anglophone, in two different countries… which ones? The Anglophone edition will be in a country where we never had a Pictet edition before. So it’s not Albania, Belgium, Canada, France, Georgia, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Malta, Mexico, North Macedonia, Portugal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand or the United States. Nor Norway or a country in Africa, as you know if you correctly read one of the previous posts.

The Francophone edition will be in a country where we already had an edition in the past, so you can use the list above as a source of inspiration.

More information tomorrow.

Thursday 1 September

Two countries, two cities. The names of the region/country rhyme in French, but not in English. Not a very rich rhyme though. The two cities have almost the same population, according to Wikipedia. The difference is 816 inhabitants, also according to Wikipedia. And that is a large percentage of the current numbers. The difference of altitude above sea level between both places is around 1800 meters. One of the cities has the same name in French and the English, the other does not. Both cities have a strong link with water, although neither is on the seashore. These unhelpful details may not be enough for you to guess where Pictet 40 and 41 will be. So don’t waste your time trying to figure out and come back here tomorrow.

Friday 2 September

40th edition, Anglophone, 25 February to 4 March 2023, Jermuk (Vayots Dzor Province), Armenia.

41st edition, Francophone, 11 to 18 March 2023, Forges-les-Eaux (Normandy Region), France.

Regulations are available here. The application page for teams is now available, as well as the application for volunteers.