AR 2008/President Statement
The expansion and internationalization of Future Worlds Center continued throughout 2008. However, this year was not only marked by growth and transformation, but also with an international recognition of our work1. On the 29th of May 2008 our Senior Scientist Dr. Yiannis Laouris was honored by an Award given yearly by the Hellenic Society for Systems Studies to internalionally distinguished scientists. The award was mainly recognizing the work of our team in using structured democratic dialogue in our peacebuilding initiatives in the context of the “Civil Society Dialogue” project. Less than a month later, Dr. Isabelle Ioannides received on behalf of our organization the award for the best CSO in the Social Inclusion category at the First Annual Civil Society Awards Ceremony held at Chateau Status Restaurant Saturday 7 June 2008. Future Worlds Center also ranked second in the “Youth Initiatives” category. Two major distinctions in the same year added a feeling of prideness and satisfaction to our Associates and friends.
Two major projects implemented by the New Media Lab, SafenetCY and Cyberethics were reviewed by the Commission, the first in January and the second in November of 2008. Some months later our new grant application to operate a Safer Internet Awareness Center, incorporating the Hotline (SafenetCY), the Awareness Node (Cyberethics) and a newly established Helpline was accepted, thus signaling the succesful outcome of both reviews. Towards the end of the year we received notice for the successful outcome of our application submitted to the Research Promotion Foundation aiming to study parents’ perceptions and attitutes towards internet dangers using SecondLife as testing bed. Our poposal’s score ranked it as first in its category, once more reflecting the high quality of our work.
The Humanitarian Affairs Unit continued to provide free legal and humanitarian services to asylum seekers and refugees and to operate the Unit for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture. An application submitted to the Research Promotion foundation for relevant research in collboration with the Technical University & Cyprus.
The Development Education Unit has launched two majorEuropean projects promoting Development Education and the Millennium Development Goals.Both projects place Future Worlds Center in a key position Europe-wide. We had established close ties with a number of schools and teachers across the island, supporting the teachers in exploring and implementing the concept of Global Education. Our work in the context of project ‘Building A Multi-Ethnic and Multi-National Cyprus to Promote European Values and Regional and International Peace’ resulted in the production of some professional Booklets which have been distributed widely. Our aspiration to see Cyprus looking beyond its horizon and pioneering in international development programs is beginning to become a reality.
Our European Youth project ‘UCYVROK’ managed to bring together youth NGOs from eleven European countries in several Structured Dialogue co-laboratories, exploring reasons why European youth does not participate in European projects and initiatives, and suggesting solutions promoting a greater inclusion of all youth to shape the future of Europe. The results have been forwarded to the European parliament which requested this information in the first place.
I invite you to examine our 2008 Annual Report and come back to us with suggestions and ideas. This introduction could of course not cover all our projects and successes, which are described in more detail in the following pages. We are proud to have you as a friend as an affiliate and as a supporter, and we look forward to strengthening our relations, communication and collaboration within our network and with our many and new partners.