Annual Report 2014

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President Statement

2014 was a year of intensive developments for Future Worlds Center. It was another year of internal transformation, expansion and success. Future Worlds Center successfully implemented many 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. Every Unit has been successful in securing 3 or more new contracts with total value exceeding 3 million euros.

2014 was also a year of many audits. The Financial Unit has been overloaded with work in completing more than 10 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 New Media Lab had major successes in 2014. 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. Finally, it continues its island-wide safer Internet campaign, CyberEthics, 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.

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.

The Humanitarian Affairs Unit has been the one that has grown the most. With more than 13 full time people, it is not 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) V.

The Global Education Unit has closed the Civil Society Acts Beyond Borders and launched new projects: Youth of the world!; The World From Our Doorstep. It has also won two new contracts each of values over 1 m euros: Map Your Meal and Fair Super Brands.

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

The Organisation has invited Andreas Shoshilos to join its Board and replace George Tziapouras.


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

Auditors

Nearchos Tsangaris CAT, Authorised Accountant
Active Management
Thermopylon 73 Emmar - Andria Court 2007 Acropolis, Nicosia
Tel 22427327
Fax 22515125

Legal Advisors

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

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

Youth of the world!

Overall objective

  • Mainstream awareness toward global issues within the activities of youth organizations working in different spheres of youth work.


Target Groups

  • Youth Organizations and Structures

These include NGOs working with youth, informal youth groups, youth councils and parliaments, youth centers and public agencies working with youth or any structure out of the formal educational system, which works with young people and influences their values and behavior. The concrete themes (spheres of work) of the organizations/structures to be involved in the action vary and are not selection criteria.

  • Youth Trainers and Facilitators

Including non-formal education trainers and facilitators with rich experience in working with young people. They don’t obligatory fall under the age group of TG. They have experience in planning, implementing and evaluating non-formal training seminars and workshops and in using learner-centered, participatory, dialogue-oriented and experiential methodologies.

  • Young People

The project will focus on the age group 15-28 but the frames are not exclusive. The group includes school, college and university students, young people out of the formal educational system, employed and unemployed young people. In Cyprus the project partner will seek to include youth from both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities.


Activities

  • Research and Research analysis to identify the attitudes of youth organisations towards global issues
  • International Workshop on resource development and Development of Educational Materials
  • Training and Cross-sharing for youth trainers and facilitators
  • Advocacy and Campaigning
  • Youth of the World! International Summer School


Expected Results

  • Research and Development of educational materials and methodologies tailor-made for young people on global issues
  • Building a critical mass of experts, adequately prepared to train young people on global issues
  • Providing easily- accessible training opportunities for youth organisations and young people on global issues
  • 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

The World From Our Doorstep

Project Aims

  • Develop outdoor and experiential learning as a means to introduce global issues of interconnectedness, sustainability and fairness to children
  • Foster links with food producers and rural craftspeople so that the project themes are relevant and real to children
  • 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
  • Support practitioners to develop ways to engage parents and families in learning about the project themes
  • Enable practitioners and children to establish links with the Cumbria Fairtrade Network
  • Support schools and EY settings to establish and nurture links with schools and food producers overseas, including EU and sub-Saharan Africa
  • 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.

Target Groups

  • Pre-school practitioners, infant teachers, teaching assistants and other adult helpers. The learning materials and activities will be targeted at young learners, aged 3-8.

Outcomes

  • Increased understanding and confidence for pre-school or infant practitioners to integrate sustainable development and fair trade issues into their teaching and activities with children
  • Teachers and practitioners will have access to storybooks, topic boxes and related outdoor learning resources to help teach young children about development issues
  • Developed skills and knowledge to engage outdoor practitioners, food producers and craftspeople in working with children, families and members of the school community in learning about project themes.

European film club pilots

The European Commission’s Creative Europe MEDIA Programme is funding the development of three bespoke pilot programmes of film clubs, developed and coordinated by Future Worlds Center in Cyprus, ActiveWatch in Romania and Associació Educativa i Cultural Sahrazad in Spain (especially Catalonia) with support and coordination provided by Film Literacy Europe from the UK. The three organisations will be developing three new models of film clubs that can test the idea in each nation for future roll out. They will also be testing, in part, digital streaming of films to schools as that is the future. Each of the three pilots aims to work with primary and secondary schools, reaching children largely aged 7-16 in rural, suburban and urban settings. The film clubs will be run by one or two teachers or parents who in turn will recruit the pupils to attend the school film club. The pilots will involve weekly screenings of films in participating schools from a specially curated catalogue often followed by discussion. Each participating school will be able to search for, order and review films through national pilot website. In the long term, it is anticipated that there will be film club programmes in half the EU member states involving in excess of 70,000 schools engaging over 2 million young people in a diverse diet of films, with the resultant impact of boosting film literacy and cinema audiences for European films long into the future.

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

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 to advocate for the rights of 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 persons of concern to UNHCR and raising awareness over the plight of refugees within the local community. Since 2014, psychological support is also provided to individuals and groups of people seeking assistance, with a particular focus on the Syrian population.

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.


Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture

The Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (URVT) 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. It takes a holistic approach, offering legal advice and social assistance directly to the persons of concern and their families, as well as referring them for medical and psychological care. 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. In addition, URVT functions in association to a network of volunteer service providers, medical professionals, and interpreters.

Results of the action: During 2014, URVT continued to assist victims of torture and their family members in a holistic manner consolidating a victim-centered approach in designing services tailored to the needs of each individual. A significant number of the beneficiaries during the reporting year was subjected to sex and gender based torture and/ or gender-specific forms of ill-treatment due to their gender and sexual orientation. The Unit’s services integrated with a gender mainstreaming approach have successfully addressed the needs of this particular vulnerable group.

Provision of Free Legal Advice to Asylum Seekers in Cyprus

Improvement of the Situation of Asylum Seekers 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.


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.).

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

UINFC2 - Engaging Users in Preventing and Fighting Cyber Crime

UINFC2 - Engaging Users in Preventing and Fighting Cyber Crime is a project co-funded by the Directorate-General Home Affairs and Justice with partners the Center for Security Studies (KEMEA), the University of Piraeus, the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute, ADITESS, Mezza Group and CENTRIC. The Council of Europe designates as a top priority for the forthcoming years the prevention and fighting of cybercrime. Currently, cybercrime presents an enormous increase in the number of incidents occur, the ferocity of the underlying attacks, as well as the targets (i.e., persons, services, entities) and the impact (both societal and economic) of the carried malicious actions.


The main objectives of the project are:


- To build and strengthen the capabilities of LEAs, asoociations, organizations and EU bodies, including the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse in order to strategically combat children’s online crimes.
- To assist LEAs in automatically detecting online illegal data from social media, blogs, underground communities etc., and determine investigation priorities.
- To introduce the latest achievements of ICT in data mining, intelligence, correlation, classification, automatic monitoring, decision making, report producing, etc., in combating crimes.
- To facilitate the formal exchange of compiled information produced by the intelligent analysis of online contents, amongst all stakeholders in order to enhance collaboration and effectively counteract crimes.
- To strengthen the mission of the recently founded European Cybercrime Center, by producing strategic reports on crimes’ trends and emerging threats in order to provide comparable statistics among Member States.

Cyprus Cyber Crime Center of Excellence for Training, Research and Education

3CE is a project co-funded by the Directorate-General Home Affairs and Justice of the European Union. The project is coordinated by the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute (CNTI), with partners the Office of the Commissioner of Electronic Communications & Postal Regulation OCECPR, the Cyprus Police Office for Combating Cybercrime (OCC), the European University Cyprus (EUC) and the Advanced Integrated Technology Solutions & Services Ltd. (ADITESS).

The objectives of the 3CE project are:


1. To create a Cyprus Cyber Crime Center of Excellence for training, research and education that will be of similar structure and format with existing National Centers of Excellence in Europe.
2. To collaborate closely and become a member of 2CENTRE; the Cybercrime Center of Excellence Network, established through the funding of the ISEC programme.
3. To collaborate closely with the Cybercrime Centers of Excellence of other countries
4. To become the National Knowledge Center (NKC) in the area of Cybercrime in Cyprus responsible for training all actors working in fields related to cybercrime
5. To provide high quality short training courses in the area of cybercrime
6. To provide interdisciplinary University and Vocational Training Courses in the the area of Cybercrime
7. To collaborate effectively with Europol, EC3 and Eurojust
8. To enhance the efficiency of the identification and investigation of Cybercrime in Cyprus
9. To assert the needs of Cybercrime investigation in Cyprus
10. To link with the Cyprus Safer Internet Center (CSIC) and enhance its awareness campaigns that focus on Cybercrime
11. To serve as the stepping stone towards creating a sustainable infrastructure for the CenterCentre by including aligning 3CEthis project within the Cypriot Cyprus National Cyber Security Strategy.

Staff

Name Position
Yiannis Laouris Executive Director & Chair of the Board
Corina Drousiotou Head of the Humanitarian Affairs Unit
Kerstin Wittig Head of the Global Education Unit
Elena Aristodemou Head of the New Media Lab
Andreas Drakos Senior IT Manager
Manos Mathioudakis Social Advisor
Danae Psilla Integration Officer
Demetris Katsarides Legal Advisor
Marie Vassiliou Legal Advisor
Mary Zalokosta Legal Advisor
George Varnavas Legal Advisor
Annagrace Messa Project Coordinator & Public Information Officer
Tonia Loizidou Psychologist
Georgia Nathanael Psychotherapist
Zoe Apostolidou Psychologist & Researcher
Panagiota Toumazou Public Information Officer & Researcher
Haris Josephides Researcher
Anna-Maria Drousiotou Project Coordinator & Media Promotion
Maria Georgiou Project Coordinator
Aliki Economidou Project Coordinator
Iliada Spyrou Project Coordinator
Anna Pavlina Charalambous Project Coordinator, Trainer & Researcher
Katerina Fotiou Software Programmer
Katerina Fotiou Software Developer
Constantina Spanoude Programmer
Aspasia Ksidea Graphic Designer
Eleni Philippou Software Developer
Maria Vilanidou Project Leader & Consultant
Isaac Pyrillis Financial Director
Randolph Dilday Intern
Ngam Leslie Timngum Intern
Romial Kenmogne Intern
Maria Macheridou Intern
Christine Shahbenderian Intern
Andreas Andreou Intern
Chrystalla Miltiadou Intern

Equipment and Offices

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.