Annual Report 2012
2012 was challenging 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 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 a Helpline where children can report disturbing Internet sites. Our participation in EU Kids Online network 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 having earned among them an LLP project focusing on e-Inclusion. 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 through Strengthening Asylum for Refugees And Asylum Seekers in Cyprus and operated the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture. The Development Education Unit continues to runCivil 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
|Dr Yiannis Laouris||President & Senior Scientist|
|Dr Harry Anastasiou||Board Member & Senior Scientist|
|Dr Aleco Christakis||Board Member & Senior Scientist|
|Romina Laouri||Board Member|
|George Tziapouras||Board Member|
Nearchos Tsangaris CAT, Authorised Accountant
K. Maklaw Management Secretarial Services Ltd.
P.O. Box 22463
Tel 22 313680
Fax 22 313903
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
- 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.”
- Development of new models of education based on recent advances in cognitive science and computing.
- 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.
- Organization of scientific, technical and cultural events or programs in issues relevant to the aims of the organization.
- 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.
- Collaboration with universities, other institutions, organizations, and individual active citizens in Cyprus and abroad to promote the aims of the organization.
- Serve as provider of information and consultant in academic, commercial, scientific and technical subjects.
- Discovery, research, study, encouragement, support and promotion of new innovative ideas and methods, techniques, scientific technological, electronic systems and generally intellectual property.
- Promotion of research in Cyprus and abroad in collaboration with other organizations, public or private, local or international for the achievement of our aims.
- 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.
- Publication of material in subjects relevant with the aims of Institute
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
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.
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
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 & 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
|Yiannis Laouris||Executive Director|
|Elena Aristodemou||Coordinating scientific projects of the New Media Lab|
|Danae Psilla||Public Information Officer|
|Andreas Drakos||IT - Development of awareness tools|
|Elia Petridou||Head of the Global Education Unit, Project Coordinator|
|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|
|Maria Georgiou||Project Coordinator|
|Manos Mathioudakis||Social Advisor|
|Georgina Siitta Achilleos||Project Coordinator|
|Veronika Sudi||Financial Officer|
|Tatjana Taraszow||Project Coordinator|
|Kerstin Wittig||Head of the Development Education Unit|
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.