AR 2017/President Statement
Message by the President of the Board Mr. Larry Fergeson.
Year 2017 has been a year of important decisions for reforms and transformations.
First, the Board has been internationalized, and no Associates is also member of the Board. The decision for complete separation between strategic direction an day-to-day management and project implementation is thought to serve multiple purposes and especially (i) compliance of organizational priorities with the core values and visions, and (ii) improved possibilities for taking measures to ensure long-term sustainability.
Second, it has been decided that projects and/or clusters of projects that meet two criteria, i.e., (i) they become (or have the potential to become) financially stable and self-sufficient and (ii) they evolve more into 'stable' operations, i.e, less entrepreneurial and more service-oriented, should spin off and become new entities. Therefore three entities entered this process:
- Humanitarian Affairs Unit: A new non-profit has been formed to host all projects of the unit under the name Cyprus Refugee Council.
- Cyberethics related projects: The Trade name CCS Cyberethics Cyprus Safer Internet Center has been registered with the intention of becoming a for-profit operation offering innovative educational courses and other experiential workshops bringing new technologies in more productive ways in the lives of growing kids.
- All Mental Attributes Profiling System related research activities were transferred in a new startup company called GNOUS Labs Ltd. with the aim of commercializing the IPR.
The Future Worlds Center Vision, i.e., to “operate at the interface of science & society” by using technology to promote social justice, development and peace has been strengthened. A total of Y new contracts with total value exceeding 3 million euros have been secured within 2017.
2015 was also a year of many audits. The Financial Unit has been overloaded with work in completing more than 12 new audits. All audits have been successful resulting in virtually zero ineligible amounts for Future Worlds Center. Unfortunately, some expenses of partners were found ineligible. The difficulty in recovering them, especially in cases where audits were for projects that took place 5-6 years ago and/or the partner is not loner in operation, results in some losses.
The Futures Design Unit has launched one of the most significant projects, the Reinventing Democracy in the Digital Era global project, funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund. The activities of the project can be viewed at its page as well as on the website of the project at www.ReinventDemocracy.info.
The New Media Lab participates as partner in an H2020 project focusing on the development of a marine knowledge sharing platform for federating Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) communities. It furthermore continues its work in raising awareness on creating a better Internet for Children. In parallel NML works on creating an active and assisted living for senior people through its coordination of the Senior TV project, while it contributes due to the combating of terrorism through its participation at the RiskTrack project.
The Humanitarian Affairs Unit has been the one that has grown the most. With more than 13 full time people, it is considered as the most important national player in supporting refugees from all over but also especially from Syria. It has continued to provide services to asylum seekers and refuges through Strengthening Asylum for Refugees And Asylum Seekers in Cyprus and operated the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture. The Humanitarian Affairs Unit is now implementing additional projects, including Improvement of the Situation of Asylum Seekers in Cyprus and Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (URVT) VII.
The Global Education Unit continued its work at the Map Your Meal project, launching in addition several few others such as Making Fruit Fair, Supply Cha!nge and Global Education Goes Local.
I invite you to read our Annual Report and come back to us with suggestions and ideas. This short introduction could not cover all our projects, which are described in more detail in the following pages. We are proud to have you as a friend and affiliate and we look forward to strengthening our relations, communication and collaboration within our network and with new partners.