Annual Report 2013

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President Statement

2013 was a year of intensive developments for Future Worlds Center. Having another year of transformation, expansion and success, Future Worlds Center consolidated its activities on national, European and international levels and successfully implemented numerous projects in collaboration with its growing network of partners, striving towards the Future Worlds Center Vision to “operate at the interface of science & society” by using technology to promote social justice, development and peace. Four new contracts with value of over 1,4 million euro was the total operational cost.

The New Media Lab had some major successes. It secured two new contracts in Cyber Crime: The Cyprus Cyber Crime Center of Excellence for Training, Research and Education with partners the OCECPR - Office of the Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Postal Regulation, the European University Cyprus, ADITESS and the Office for Combating Cybercrime (OCC), and the Engaging Users in Preventing and Fighting Cyber Crime - UINFC2 led by the Center for Security Studies (KEMEA) in Greece and including the University of Piraeus, ADITESS, Mezza Group, and CENTRIC. The fact that Future Worlds Center won 2 out of a very small pan-European Cyber Crime grants is a sign of excellence. The participation of OCECPR is notable, as well as the engagement of EUROPOL, many policy and Hotlines' representatives in the The Requirements Workshop. The New Media Lab has also won SENIOR-TV, an Ambient Assisted Living project with a score of 5 out of 5, an exceptionally rare circumstance. It continues running the, CyberEthics Safer Internet Center, engaging schools, media and all local authorities. During 2014, many governmental agencies have been engaged in the process of establishing a more permanent facility for the campaign. Finally, e-Hoop - Unified e-Hoop approach to learning differences and Mingle - MIgrant Language and SociaL Integration are two projects that are under implementation in 2013.

The Futures Design Unit has organzied the first activity of NETS and has also launched negotiations with the United Nations Democracy Fund for a Reinventing Democracy in the Digital Era global project.

We 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. However, the Humanitarian Affairs Unit has grown significantly, implementing additional projects, including Improvement of the Situation of Asylum Seekers in Cyprus and Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (URVT) V.

The Development Education Unit has closed theCivil Society Acts Beyond Borders and launched new projects: Youth of the world!; The World From Our Doorstep.

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
Elia Petridou Secretary
Dr Harry Anastasiou Board Member & Senior Scientist
Dr Aleco Christakis Board Member & Senior Scientist
Romina Laouri Board Member
George Tziapouras Board Member
Andreas Shoshilos 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

Global Education Unit

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

World From Our Doorstep

The World From Our Doorstep is an innovative, three year project designed to tackle the challenges children growing up in increasingly complex and globalized societies are to face. Concepts of Interconnectedness, sustainability, and fairness will be addressed through a broad range of learning materials. These materials include story books, topic boxes, storytelling, outdoor and experiential learning, and enquiry.

The project aims are: 1) develop outdoor and experiential learning as a means to introduce global issues of interconnectedness, sustainability and fairness to children; 2) foster links with food producers and rural craftspeople so that the project themes are relevant and real to children; 3) work with practitioners in regular Focus Groups to introduce learning resources like the “Meet Zogg” storybook and topic boxes, and develop new activities and classroom resources alongside practitioners; 4) support practitioners to develop ways to engage parents and families in learning about the project themes, 5) enable practitioners and children to establish links with the Cumbria Fairtrade Network; 6)support schools and EY settings to establish and nurture links with schools and food producers overseas, including EU and sub-Saharan Africa; 7) our final project will be a World from our Doorstep Practitioner Handbook, which will include all the methodologies and activities which have been developed, tried and tested, and which can be used by practitioners to build on and sustain the learning.

Youth of the World! Mainstreaming Global Awareness in Youth Work

Youth of the world! Mainstreaming Global Awareness in Youth Work is a 36-month, international project supported through the Non-state Actors and Local Authorities Development Programme of the European Union (EuropeAid). It aims to expedite and ensure opportunities for youth organizations, youth facilitators and trainers, increase youth involvement in global education and learning, and mainstream global awareness within youth organizations. To accomplish these aims,“Youth of the World!” will foster public awareness among young citizens on the global interdependencies between EU and developing countries, increase the engagement of young people to promote equitable relations in the world and a sustainable way of living, and better integrate global development issues into the non- formal educational sphere regarding young people.

This project is being implemented in Cyprus by the Future Worlds Center, Bulgaria by the C.E.G.A. Foundation, Austria by Südwind Agentur, Estonia by Mondo, Lithuania by Youth Career and Advising Centre, and Scotland by Scotdec, as well as by our associate partner Young People We Care in Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Humanitarian Affairs Unit

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.

New Media Lab

Cyberethics GIV - Cyprus Safer Internet Center. Island-wide services for Safer Internet Awareness, Helpline and Hotline

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.


EU Kids Online III

Currently the program is in its third phase aiming to complement and build upon the previous work conducted. The goals are:
• To collect and analyse new research lines that build upon the findings of EU Kids I.
• To conduct an in-depth analysis of the data collected during the second phase of the program (EU Kids II).
• To carry out a comparative qualitative study on how children and teenagers use the internet which will lead to the development of new and innovative methods.

e-Hoop - Unified e-Hoop approach to learning differences

The e-Hoop is an online hub that promotes the advances of technology for lifelong learning. Its aim is to provide a flexible tool that can be tailored to the learner’s individual needs. Its unique adaptability allows users to insert their own learning material and use it according to their specific requirements. It is thus an innovative and practical application which fosters an inclusive learning environment by specifically targeting at socially and educationally disadvantaged groups.

The specific objectives for the universal learning environment are:


1. To provide educators with an easy-to-use, open-source, dynamic, modifiable and expandable tool which they can adapt to their own learning materials and teaching requirements.
2. To take full advantage of broadband technologies and open source paradigms.
3. To attract educators with innovative tools and paradigms.
4. To create a learning environment that will be fun for any learner.
5. To provide motivational tools for learning thus decreasing dropout rates.
6. To combine diagnostic with educational tools; therefore being able to adapt learning to the specific needs, background knowledge and cultural differences of the learners.
7. To provide an educational tool that is adaptable to the learning preferences and styles of the learner exploiting contemporary research and already developed tools

Mingle - MIgrant Language and SociaL Integration

MINGLE (MIgrant Language and SociaL Integration) is a project co-funded by the LifeLong Learning Programme of the European Union, and is conceived as a way of integrating migrants into society and particularly the workforce of the receiving country. The target groups are migrants from Romania and Bulgaria to Italy, Greece and Cyprus, respectively. Learning the language of the host country will help the target groups to secure a relevant job and very importantly facilitate their integration into the new country of residence and workplace.

The project’s main goal is to enhance migrants’ quality of life and facilitate their integration to local society by improving their access to language training courses and other guidance and counselling material. Such marginalised social groups will be therefore assisted to become active members of the receiving society

Staff

Name Position
Yiannis Laouris Executive Director
Soteris Demetriou Programmer
Elena Aristodemou Coordinating scientific projects of the New Media Lab
Danae Psilla Public Information Officer
Andreas Drakos IT - Development of awareness tools
Katerina Fotiou Programmer
Elia Petridou Head of the Global Education Unit, Project Coordinator
Demetris Demetriou Legal Advisor
Corina Drousiotou Legal Advisor
Anna-Maria Drousiotou Assistant Coordinator
Maria Georgiou Project Coordinator
Manos Mathioudakis Social Advisor
Evdokia Sakka Legal Advisor
Chara Zymara Public Information Officer
Veronika Sudi Financial Officer
Kerstin Wittig Head of the Development Education Unit
Annagrace Messa Project Coordinator
Inga Wojcik Intern

The organization has expanded to 4 offices taking over the whole 1st and second floors of the building at Promitheos 5 Street. The offices are located at the business center of Nicosia , 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 a conference rooms, a seminar room one study room with a small library and two small kitchens and 4 restroom areas. The internet has been upgraded to have to ISPs serving our facilities. The most important addition to the equipment was setting up a TV studio.