Annual Report 2011

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President Statement

2011 has been a challenging year for Future Worlds Center. The repetitive audits and the financial constrains created by the conflict we had with the Commission regarding the Safer internet project created significant delays in securing new projects. Only 4 new contracts were signed with a total value of less than 300,000 euro value. Nevertheless the yearly budget approached 1 million because of projects running from previous years. Although not a year of expansion, 2011 was a year of intense transformation. The organization implemented many successful workshops and re-engineered its operations starting its planning towards the 2020. We consolidated activities at national, European and international levels and successfully implemented the projects in collaboration with our partners.

The New Media Lab continued its island-wide safer Internet campaign, “CyberEthics”, engaging schools, media and all local authorities. It operated a Hotline to receive and investigate reports of illegal or disturbing content on the Internet and has now created a Helpline where children can report disturbing Internet sites. Our participation in EU Kids online gave us the possibility to play a role within Europe in the area of research that concerns the safer use of the Internet. In addition to the existing projects, the New Media Unit has also launched a number of research projects and social initiatives. Finally, a number of projects develop new approaches of integrating broadband technologies in education and examine the effectiveness of animations and visualizations in learning.

We continued to provide services to asylum seekers and refuges. The operation of the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture was made possible because of the support of UNVFT. The Development Education Unit continued to run Civil Society Acts Beyond Borders. This project takes place among Israeli and Palestinian citizens and aims to strengthen civil society using some of the methods that have proven most effective here in Cyprus as means towards peace. Furthermore, the unit has continued its projects promoting Development Education and the Millennium Development Goals. We have 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 vision is for the introspective Cypriot society to evolve into a community of people that look towards the future of the planet with confidence and responsibility. We aspire to see Cyprus looking beyond its own political horizon and local problems, pioneering in international development programs hence fulfilling its geo-political destiny to serve as a crossroad of civilizations.

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.

Board of Directors

Name Position
Dr Yiannis Laouris President & Senior Scientist
Kerstin Wittig Secretary
Dr Harry Anastasiou Board Member & Senior Scientist
Dr Aleco Christakis Board Member & Senior Scientist
Romina Laouri Board Member
Elia Petridou Board Member
George Tziapouras Board Member

Auditors

Nearchos Tsangaris CAT, Authorised Accountant
Active Management

Legal Advisors

Kikis Makrides
Legal Advisor
K. Maklaw Management Secretarial Services Ltd.
P.O. Box 22463
1522 Nicosia
Tel 22 313680
Fax 22 313903

Founding Year

The Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute was founded through the initiatives of Dr. Yiannis Laouris and a team of repatriated Cypriot scientists with the support of ex-Minister of Education and Culture Dr. Chrysostomos Sofianos, ex-School Inspector Dr. Chris Laouris, the Bishop of Paphos now Achbishop Chrysostomos II and three prominent foreign academics Prof. Dr. Sc. Med. Peter Schwartze (Germany), Prof. Dr. Med. Habil. Uwe Windhorst (Germany/Canada), and Regents Prof. Biol. Douglas G. Stuart (USA). It was registered on the 6th of November 1991 with registration Numebr EA72 and launched its activities in 1993. Between 1994-1999 it expanded its aims beyond research and Cyprus by hosting a number of peace and international development projects. It was re-structured in year 2000 modifying its original Constitution to embrace those projects aiming in the development of an active civil society in Cyprus, as well as projects with international scope, especially those that involve the application of technology towards bridging the literacy, economic and digital divides (Development and IT Education). Towards the end of 2005 it evolved into a larger organization with a pure international orientation integrating all its activities under one umbrella. It uses the trade name Future Worlds Center.

Aims as in Constitution

  1. Designing and execution of studies and research programs with future orientation in areas related to the human brain and learning, technology and social change, global society, conflict transformation and global peace.”
  2. Development of new models of education based on recent advances in cognitive science and computing.
  3. World-wide operations focused on international development, cooperation, humanitarian support, justice, transparency and advocacy of human rights, especially the right of education and the enhancement of inter-ethnic and international peace.
  4. Organization of scientific, technical and cultural events or programs in issues relevant to the aims of the organization.
  5. Organize, conduct and supervise seminars, congresses, conferences, workshops; deliver courses; offer educational and/or information services in the above sectors with the aim of sensitization, enlightenment or training of the modern active citizens.
  6. Collaboration with universities, other institutions, organizations, and individual active citizens in Cyprus and abroad to promote the aims of the organization.
  7. Serve as provider of information and consultant in academic, commercial, scientific and technical subjects.
  8. Discovery, research, study, encouragement, support and promotion of new innovative ideas and methods, techniques, scientific technological, electronic systems and generally intellectual property.
  9. Promotion of research in Cyprus and abroad in collaboration with other organizations, public or private, local or international for the achievement of our aims.
  10. Promote Cyprus as a supporter of Development & IT education, scientific research and peace in the three continents around her, thus contributing towards consolidation of peace and prosperity in the wider geopolitical region.
  11. Publication of material in subjects relevant with the aims of Institute

Activities

TeachMDGs

The envisioned project aims to raise awareness about and incorporate development issues in general and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in particular closer into the educational system in four new EU member states (NMS - Cyprus, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Estonia) and to increase teachers’ capacity in development education and the MDGs. Educating the European societies about global inequalities, about the causes and consequences of extreme poverty in especially Sub-Saharan Africa, about global interdependences and about the citizens’ roles and responsibilities within this context is of unprecedented importance considering the complexities of our environment and our interactions on an every day basis.

Overall objectives: 1. Support the integration of MDGs into the education system in the partner NMS; 2. Increase awareness about development issues in sub-Saharan Africa in general and MDGs in particular among teachers, students and teacher trainers in NMS; 3. Contribute to the development of country-oriented teaching resources on the MDGs

Specific Objective: Increase awareness and public support for the Millennium Development Goals through actively engaging teacher training institutes, teachers and pupils in developing local oriented teaching resources promoting the MDGs with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and integrate these into the educational systems in Cyprus, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Estonia through comprehensive initial and in-service teacher trainings.

Expected Results: R1: Increased support across the educational systems and student populations of the project NMS partner countries for the MDGs and for poverty alleviation in especially sub-Saharan Africa; R2: Increased awareness among teachers, students and teacher trainers in project NMS partner countries about MDGs, sub-Saharan Africa and development issues as well as creating synergies with Europe; R3: Increased collaboration among the partner NGOs in Cyprus, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Estonia and their relevant Ministry of Education/ Teacher Training Institutes and Schools hence creating local ownership; R4: Interactive and participatory Teaching Resources about MDGs with a specific focus on sub-Saharan Africa available the national languages of the four project NMS partner countries and tailored to their school curriculum; R5: Teachers in NMS partner countries equipped with tools and skills to raise awareness for MDGs and to promote global solidarity; R6: Educational partnerships established between secondary schools in Cyprus, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia and schools in Cameroon, D.R. Congo and Mali.

Human Rights and Reconciliation – Civil Society Acts Beyond Borders

Overall objectives: 1. Increase dialogue among civil society actors, youth, and local authorities in Israel and Palestine; 2. Increase capacity of CSOs in Israel and Palestine to promote Human Rights and Democratic Participation; 3. Enhance collaboration among civil society actors, youth, and local authorities across Israel and Palestine

Specific objective: Through a comprehensive set of structured dialogue workshops, civil society trainings, as well as multi-communal public debates, round tables and conferences, this project aims to empower civil society actors, youth, and local authorities in Israel and Palestine to actively promote Human Rights and Democratization.

Expected Results: R1: Increased capacity of CSOs to promote and strengthen human rights and their implementation; R2: Increased dialogue among civil society across conflict zones; R3: Increased capacity of local CSOs to resolve conflict and enhance collaboration for common goals; R4: Strengthened collaboration for the promotion of Human Rights across stakeholders and countries

Activities: A1: Project Steering Committee; A2: Interactive online portal; A3: Structured dialogue workshops; A4: Creation of multi-stakeholder Action Groups; A5: Five trans-national Action Plan support workshops; A6: 10-day Training of Local Trainers; A7: Series of Basic Civil Society Strengthening Workshops; A8: Series of non-formal civil society action workshops; A9: Series of Advanced Civil Society Strengthening Workshops; A10: Ten Panel Discussions/ Public Roundtables; A11: Final Human Rights Conference in Cyprus

Capacity and Synergy building among NGDOs and LAs in Greece, Cyprus and Malta for development

Overall Objectives: 1. cooperation of NGDO platforms and LAs in the three countries, Greece, Cyprus and Malta\ 2. to become efficient agents of development and to participate in the planning of and the debate over EU development policy.

Specific Objectives: Establish collaboration, networking and coordination among Development NGDO platforms and LAs across Greece, Cyprus, Malta with EU institutions and UCLGA Empower and build Capacity within Development NSAs and LAs to create effective strategic actions for Development and Cooperation Increase dialogue about Development issues Establish a platform to facilitate capacity and synergy building among NGDOs and LAs in Greece, Malta and Cyprus, as well as to facilitate exchanges of expertise between them in order to develop coherent strategies for Development through structured dialogue.

Estimated Results: • Increased networking, communication and structured dialogue among a broad range of those involved in international development cooperation, NSAs & LΑs in partner countries and EU institutions which will lead to the development of a concrete strategy of cooperation. • Capacity built in each partner and associate partner organization on networking, lobbying and advocacy with a focus always on international development cooperation issues. • Reinforcement of the communication with the developing world through the cooperation with the experts from UCLGA and the migrants forums.

MDGs- Media for Development Goals

Overall Objectives: 1. To increase awareness about MDGs, interdependence between EU and development countries. 2. To mobilize youth through educational and informational campaigns, actively engage them and empower them. 3. Involve youth and give them strong education on development issues 4. To integrate development issues into formal and non formal education.

Specific Objective: To involve Youth in the development of multimedia tools to promote MDGs

Estimated Results: 1: 16 leaders trained. 2: Network of 32 schools participating in school media program. 3: At least 32 Teachers and 900 youth participating in school media program 4: e - platform 5: e-learning course 6: complex educational- multimedia material. 7: Final result: raised awareness among youth in the target countries.

Intercultural Dialogue & Linguistic Diversity via MobLang

Language barriers between individuals of different ethnic groups living in the same country, or Europeans visiting other countries for business or pleasure, hinder natural interaction. Communication in a foreign language can hold back the development of friendships and closer relationships, thus preventing fruitful intercultural exchange and dialogue. Basic language knowledge of one’s conversational partner is usually appreciated and creates a comforting atmosphere. Today’s Europeans are too busy to attend a language class. Exploiting technology and especially the recently emerging developments in mobile learning could offer a viable alternative. Mobile phones are optimal learning tools that could enable people to learn any time, anywhere, and at their one own pace, even during leisure time. The proposed project applies Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) to support minority and/or less-frequently used and less-taught European languages (LWULT). The aim is to promote intercultural dialogue especially in former European conflict regions or regions with many minority groups through promotion of linguistic diversity. The focus is in Cyprus (Turkish), the Basque country (Basque), Northern Ireland (Gaelic), and within as well as around Greece (Albanian, Turkish). The project will develop the open-source mobile learning environment 'MobLang' in which users can design and publish their own prototype micro language courses. User specific micro courses will be embedded in a social and cultural context, which will include activities such as lectures, exercises, games, quizzes, as well as access to a live tutor. Throughout the life of the project and beyond, MobLang will be designed, developed, published, and disseminated to children/pupils, teachers, parents, students, business people, travellers, and individuals who want to build strong and long-lasting friendships and relationships with individuals from an ethnic minority group.

E-com4S2P- e-communIC@Tion 4 schools 2 parents

E-com4S2P Project is founded by the European Union (Leonardo LLP project). The project is coordinated by Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg dept SAW(Limburg Catholic University College), Hasselt Belgium, in collaboration with Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse (U.A.P.V.) Avignon France, Zespół Szkół Nr 1, Technikum Nr 1 im. Prof. Bolesława Krupińskiego w Lubinie (Vocational or technical secondary school ) Lubin Poland; Tekkeköy Halk Eğitim Merkezi (Adult education provider), Samsun Turkey; Kavakmeydan vocational trade high school Tabzon Turkey; INDICO International institute for the development of innovation, knowledge and competences, Zaragoza Spain; Zespół Szkół Elektronicznych i Telekomunikacyjnych (Vocational or technical secondary school ), Olsztyn Poland ; BilSE-Institut für Bildung und Forschung GmbH, Güstrow Germany; Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute, Nicosia Cyprus


Communication between schools and families is essential for building trusting relationships that foster parental involvement. Parental involvement in schools and social institutes is necessary for youngsters to develop successfully and to make decisions that will have positive outcomes for their futures.

This study will examine the role of new ICT communications technologies in fostering parental involvement in schools and social institutes and uncovers barriers that prevent usage of technology to promote communication. Little research has been done to evaluate the role of emerging technologies in enhancing communication practices between schools specialised in vocational training and parents/guardians.

Overall Objectives: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the role and possibilities of different interpersonal communications technologies like cell phone and e-mail, school websites, blog, electronic learning environments and new social websites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. in communicating with parents. Additionally, these communication modes will be appraised for their efficacy in facilitating parental involvement in schools.

The Project Method as a creative model in VET

Main Objectives: The project method promotes a creative learning process based on specific objectives. The modern schools can not exist without using the project methods. Although the project method was originally prepared for using in the vocational schools, currently it is more often used in primary, secondary and high schools than in vocational schools and vocational training centres. The necessity of this project is justified not only by the vocational teacher's and trainer's role in the knowledge society but also as an answer to the continual evolution and occupational re-adaption. The aim of our project is to prepare VET teachers and trainers to use and apply this method in their work. The project objectives are:

  • Share good practices in using the project method in VET
  • Show the project method as a creative model in VET
  • Prepare VET teachers and trainers to use the project method
  • Disseminate the project results

Expected Results: The main project results: the database of the good practices in using the project method in VET, the syllabus of the training course for VET teachers and trainers in using the project method, the database of the project scenarios.
The project and the project's results will constitute valuable resources for educational stakeholders involved in vocational education and training by dissemination done mainly through the project's website, newsletters and the conference dissemination of using the project method in VET.


CyberEthics GIII: Island-wide combined Safer Internet Awareness Node, Hotline, Helpline

CyberEthics concerns the safe use of Internet in Cyprus, and serves the needs of all people that live on the island (i.e., also Turkish Cypriots and other minorities) addressing not only issues of pornography, but also racism (currently on the rise in Cyprus), gender discrimination and inappropriate use of peoples’ images. It operates as a combined Awareness Node and a Hotline. The project also aims to engage actors from the government and the civil society, thus contributing towards the eradication of cyber crime through informed actions of European citizens and public institutions that aim to change behaviours, mentality and attitudes, giving special emphasis to rural and less developed areas of the country.

Objectives: - Act as node of awareness network in Cyprus. - Devise a cohesive, hard-hitting and targeted awareness campaign using the most appropriate media, taking into account best practice and experience in other countries. - Establish and maintain a partnership (formal or informal) with key players (government agencies, press and media groups, ISP associations, users organisations, education stakeholders) and actions in their country relating to safer use of Internet and new media. - Promote dialogue and exchange of information notably between stakeholders from the education and technological fields. - Where appropriate, cooperate with work in areas related to the Safer Internet plus programme such as in the wider field of media and information literacy or consumer protection. - Inform users about European filtering software and services and about hotlines and self-regulation schemes. - Actively cooperate with other national nodes in the European network by exchanging information about best practices, participating in meetings and designing and implementing a European approach, adapted as necessary for national linguistic and cultural preferences. - Provide a pool of expertise and technical assistance to start-up awareness nodes (new nodes could be ‘adopted’ by a more experienced node). - Take an active part in European-level events and in the organisation of national, regional and local events for the Safer Internet Day. - Cooperate with the hotline present in the country, if any, and Europe Direct.


CARDIAC - Advancing Research & Development in the area of accessible & Assistive ICT

The CARDIAC project aspired to develop a series of roadmaps for future research and development in the area of accessible and assistive information and communication technology systems by inviting relevant stakeholders and experts from across Europe to participate in three Structured Dialogic Design Processes.

The particular focus is on:

  • inclusive human-machine interactions
  • network-based applications
  • systems and services supporting accessibility
  • the transfer process itself, which includes the transfer of technology and the making of the business case

Various techniques are being used including Structure Democratic Dialogues, Wiki discussion groups, experts' opinion and analysis of internally produced and external data, as well as direct contact with key players.


Strengthening Asylum for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Cyprus

As implementing partner to the UNHCR representation in Cyprus, the Future Worlds Center is responsible for monitoring the access of asylum seekers to the asylum procedure of the Republic of Cyprus as well as the access to rights by asylum seekers and refugees, provide individual advice, support and counselling. The purpose of the particular action is to reduce the difficulties of asylum seekers to get access to general information on the refugee concept, rights and obligations under the national asylum procedure, the provision of legal advice and counselling as well as the necessary well targeted interventions with the relevant staff in the ministries to address shortcomings in policy and practice. In practical terms the legal advisors of the project also provide assistance to asylum seekers with deserving cases to prepare their appeals for the Reviewing Authority. The current project is also responsible for facilitating the local integration of recognized refugees and raising awareness over the plight of refugees within the local community.

Results of the action: Strengthening Asylum in Cyprus is an ongoing process of awareness raising, and legal support services. Nevertheless the expected impact concentrates on the protection of the beneficiary population, with particular sensitivity towards women refugees and children, including adolescents. In addition, associates, volunteers and friends working with the action have carried clothes and gifts drive for asylum seekers, refugees and their families while solid outcomes of the action also include a booklet with information for Asylum Seekers and Refugees on applying for Asylum in Cyprus.


UNVFVT - United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture

UNVFVT - United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture- funds the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (URVT). The project aims to support and promote the empowerment and rehabilitation of torture victims and victims of trafficking who are asylum seekers or persons granted with international protection status in Cyprus and to assist them to integrate into the local society. To that end it takes a holistic approach, offering social assistance directly to the persons of concern and their families, as well as psychological support. Its services are facilitated through a structure designed on the standards of the Istanbul Protocol - United Nations Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment - and its services are offered to the beneficiaries by specialised, experienced and well-trained personnel. URVT operates under the Humanitarian Affairs Unit of the Future Worlds Center.

IDentifEYE - Children, Data and Emerging Identities

The project Children, Data and Emerging Identities concerns the development of an augmented reality game in which different sets of data, both active and passive, lead to different outcomes as symbolized by signs. These different signs will be printed by children as an outcome of a stage in the game and will shown to a computer camera. Then, on their computer screen, the augmented reality translation of the signs will be shown. This translation represents the identity that emerges from the data they have entered in the course of the game. By playing the game children will learn that not providing any data or providing only a small amount of data leads to either a complete lack of representation or a distorted representation while providing of too many validated data will lead to a truthful representation. The proposal involves 4 partners from 3 countries (Cyprus, The Netherlands, and the U.K.).

Q3.eu - Qualification of 3rd Sector in Europe

Q3.eu Project is founded by the EU Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) and subprogram GRUNDTVIG. The project is coordinated by FENACERCI, Portugal in collaboration with Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute, ECQ European Center for Quality Ltd, BTECNET Technologie-Netzwerk Berlin, E.RI.FO. Ente per la ricerca e formazione.
3rd Sector faces challenges that create the need for new spaces of collaboration, learning and sharing. For that is necessary to enlarge networking and promote an European framework of discussion about the theme. This project main objective is to identify and exchange 3rd Sector qualification experiences at an European level, involving partners who's experience may create an added-value towards the deepness and improvement of 3rd Sector qualification activities.

Overall Objectives:

  • Share 3rd Sector qualification experiences, debating conceptual and legal framework, financing and training models, successful practices, evaluation methods, competences recognition and other major results;
  • Identify innovative solutions and practices for management and working models problems in 3rd Sector organisations and perspective their possible integration as 3rd Sector qualification tools;
  • Define joint training and consultancy standards, in result of partnership experience/results integration;
  • Propose new European project proposals;
  • Create and enlarge the network of European partners, as a resource for these and other European partnership projects.

EU Kids Online II

EU Kids online II was a continuation of EU Kids online I, implemented from 2009 until 2011. The aim was to produce a rigorous, cross-national comparative evidence-base regarding internet usage across Europe. Structured face-to-face interviews with children aged 9-16 years old across 20 member states were contacted. For a precise and complete picture of children’s experiences, actions and concerns with regard to online risks and safety parents were also interviewed. During this phase of the program, initial statistical analyses were conducted and the first findings were published in autumn of 2010.

The project was implemented according to four methodological principles:
(i) a critical approach being required to examine, test and qualify taken-for-granted assumptions regarding the nature, extent and interpretation of online risk, the nature and degree of children’s internet literacy and the effectiveness of parental regulation; (ii) a contextual approach to identify the social, cultural or individual factors that accounted for differential experiences of, and responses to, risk;
(iii) a child-centered approach to recognize and inform the gap in perspectives and practices between adults and children;
(iv) a comparative approach to identify and analyse similarities and differences in children’s online risk experiences across Europe.

Staff

Name Position
Yiannis Laouris Executive Director
Soteris Demetriou Programmer
Elena Aristodemou Coordinating scientific projects of the New Media Lab
Cinzia Bernardinello Civil Society Expert on Human Rights and Reconciliation
Andreas Drakos IT - Development of Awareness Tools
Tonia Loizidou Psychologist on project URVT
Demetris Demetriou Legal Advisor
Corina Drousiotou Legal Advisor
Larry Fergeson Project coordinator
Anna-Maria Drousiotou Dissemination Expert
Irini Anastassiou Social Advisor
Natalie Alkiviadou Legal Advisor
Emily Efthivoulou Coordinator Assistant
Vicky Germanakou Project coordinator of the Unit and joined URVT
Nicolina Markidou Coordinator of the EU-funded project Jumpstart
Manos Mathioudakis Social Advisor
Periklis Papaloucas Social Advisor and Project Coordinator
Selen Mesutoglu Turkish Cypriot Project Coordinator of Safer Internet Awareness Node
Georgina Siitta Achilleos Project Coordinator
Veronika Sudi Financial Officer
Tatjana Taraszow Project Coordinator
Kerstin Wittig Head of the Development Education Unit
Elicia Reed Intern
Constanze Schmidt Intern
Frosso Deligianni Intern
Irini Anastassiou Intern
Kiyal Eresen Intern
Marie-Nicol Arbelias Intern

Equipment and Offices

CNTI is housed in a two-floor office located very conveniently at the business center of Nicosia at Promitheos 5 Street, behind the Hotel Cleopatra, just off Stasicratous Street and 50 m from Makarios Avenue. Its premises are fully furnished with extra office spaces for visiting associates and part-time personnel. The office areas include two conference rooms, one study room with a small library and a small kitchenette and a restroom area. Besides the relevant experience and the physical resources, C.N.T.I. created since its inception an excellent network of partners and channels of communication both in Cyprus and abroad. For example in Cyprus, it has collaborated and received co-funding for many of its projects with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Development Bank, the Youth Board, the Cyprus Telecommunica-tion Authority, the Bank of Cyprus, the Research Promotion Foundation and many others. Probably the most important resource that CNTI has is the extensive network of committed, enthusiastic and well-educated peace builders and scientists from the two communities of Cyprus and overseas.