Annual Report 2016
Another year of growth, transformation, and new successes!
Future Worlds Center has 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.
2015 was also a year of many audits. The Financial Unit has been overloaded with work in completing more than 12 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 Futures Design Unit has launched one of the most significant projects, the Reinventing Democracy in the Digital Era global project, funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund. The activities of the project can be viewed at its page as well as on the website of the project at www.ReinventDemocracy.info.
The New Media Lab continued the implementation of the Cyprus Cyber Crime Center of Excellence for Training, Research and Education, and the Engaging Users in Preventing and Fighting Cyber Crime - UINFC2. Its successes however continue, as it secured a collaboration with the Joint Research Centre of the European Union, for carrying out research on children 0-8 years old regarding their use of new (online) technologies. Finally, it continues its island-wide safer Internet campaign, CyberEthics, engaging schools, media and all local authorities through running the fifth consecutive project earned.
The Humanitarian Affairs Unit has been the one that has grown the most. With more than 13 full time people, it is 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) VII.
The Global Education Unit has launched new projects: Youth of the world!; The World From Our Doorstep. It has also won two new contracts each of values over 1m 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
|Dr Yiannis Laouris||President & Senior Scientist|
|Andreas Shoshilos||Vice President|
|Elia Petridou||Board Member|
|Dr Harry Anastasiou||Board Member & Senior Scientist|
|Romina Laouri||Board Member|
Nearchos Tsangaris CAT, Authorised Accountant
Thermopylon 73 Emmar - Andria Court 2007 Acropolis, Nicosia
K. Maklaw Management Secretarial Services Ltd.
P.O. Box 22463
Tel 22 313680
Fax 22 313903
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
- Mainstream awareness toward global issues within the activities of youth organizations working in different spheres of youth work.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- to contribute to more coherent and sustainable development policies of the EU, its Member States and the private sector integrating human rights, decent work and trade.
- to ensure better living and working conditions for small farmers and workers in the tropical fruit sector.
The action contributes to establishing the post-MDG agenda aiming at providing a Decent Life for All by 2030. Specific objective(s)
- to raise the awareness of consumers and citizens in European Member States on the interdependencies between the EU and developing countries exporting tropical fruits
- to mobilise them to take action and urge corporate and political decision makers to ensure fair conditions in the tropical fruit sector.
Let’s get active! Incentives for citizens active participation in the democratic life of the European Union
- Providing an European public space where the issues related to low participation in the democratic life of the EU and the ways of stimulating the active participation could be discussed and debated (by open on-line research, 4 National and 1 International Citizens Forums).
- Stimulating the democratic participation of the citizens who are not yet involved in the EU policies shaping by reaching them through information campaign and qualified environments of the active civil society organisations.
- Contributing to strengthening and empowering democracy in the European Union through developing possible solutions for the major problems associated with low participation in the democratic life of EU and disseminating them.
- Contribute to the EYD2015 by enhancing public awareness and understanding of global interdependencies through exploring the global food system
- Mobilise young people to become engaged in promoting global social justice and sustainable ways of living
- Connect European initiatives for sustainable living with similar initiatives in Global South, fostering greater understanding of the concepts of food sovereignty and sustainable food production and supply chains
- Based on a comprehensive smart phone application and accompanying interactive learning materials exploring the origins of their food, their individual components and the socio-economic and environmental impact of these, this project aims to raise people's awareness about interdependencies and injustices and about the need for more sustainable food systems.
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.
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 2015, 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 Assistance to Asylum Seekers’ mission is to to provide free, confidential, and independent legal advice and representation, to asylum seekers throughout the asylum procedure and to ensure that they have access to their rights.
In short the action aims to extend the provision of free legal assistance to asylum seekers, by;
- Ensuring asylum seekers receive well informed legal advice, representation, and assistance on their individual asylum cases throughout the asylum process.
- Increasing the number of asylum seekers who receive these services provided by the Future Worlds Center’s Humanitarian Affairs Unit.
The action will specificaly focus on assisting asylum seekers, who are currently undergoing their 1st and 2nd instance during the asylum procedure. The following services will be provided to asylum seekers by competent and experienced legal professionals;
- Information on asylum procedures, the refugee status process, access to rights, and compliance under national, and EU, refugee law.
- Representation throughout legal procedures, both before the Asylum Service and Refugee Reviewing Authority.
- Representation services include representation during personal interviews, representation to asylum seekers in detention facilities, and preparation of comprehensive and well-argued appeals brought before the relevant reviewing body.
- Written and oral Interventions towards the appropriate authorities on issues related to the asylum procedure, determination process and access to rights.
- Interpretation wherever needed by experienced and confidential interpreters will be utilized to provide free legal services to non-Greek or English speaking asylum seekers.
Overall Goal & Objectives
The project implemented by the Humanitarian Affairs Unit takes a holistic approach by working both at the individual and the societal levels. By offering legal services, we will respond to the needs of the target population, who are one of the most marginalised groups in the country and by launching public advocacy and awareness-raising activities we will affect xenophobic public attitudes, discriminatory state policies and practices in an effort to make Cyprus a more inclusive and accepting host society.
1. Wider population receiving legal representation and consultation
2. Increase individual/group interventions facilitating target group’s access their fundamental rights
3. Respond to discriminatory and negative state policies/legislation, and promote inclusive ones
4. Respond to racist/xenophobic attitudes in the media/social media, and to general racist attitudes
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.
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.
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
SENIOR-TV is a system that “resides” at home, in the living room at the homes of older adults, a place that is very familiar, using a domestic appliance that has always been with them, and that now gets “smart” in order to promote their activity, avoid their physical and cognitive deterioration, and keeping them in contact with their loving ones for as long as possible.
SENIOR-TV project will design and implement a multichannel intelligent platform for offering formal and informal caregiving services to older adults that live at their own homes, with special attention being paid at active prevention, and fostering a high-quality, long, and healthy life. Results, as illustrated here bellow, clearly reflect a trend: in homes of older adults, the intelligent TV must become the central ICT hub.
1. To use Smart TV in combination with Smartphones and tablets, as main interfaces; and to use other secondary peripherals (e.g. Wii, Kinect) for certain services.
2. To identify the best technological opportunity for offering a caregiving system targeted at older adults during the first six months of the project. We will conduct research on the systems that were identified in Section 2.1, always having as a reference the technological platform SAM-TV, whose success was proven.
3. To design formal and informal caregiving services targeted at older adults that live at their own home. From the very beginning, end user associations that are part of the consortium will be involved in the identification of needs, establishing priorities for an iterative development. Secondary and tertiary end users that have demonstrated its commitment14 to the proposal will form an integral part of the design process, facilitating its participation online in all cases where it is not possible to participate in person—the presence of partners from the same country pretends to promote their involvement.
4. To design services aimed at helping older adults to keep in touch with friends, family, caregivers, and other members of the community. Thanks to the use of very simple interfaces in a familiar platform—the TV—the still existing digital gap between older adults and relatives and young caregivers will shrink (e.g. the communication via Facebook or Twitter could take place from a TV in the side of the older adult and from a smartphone in the side of their grandchildren or caregiver).
5. To take into account the cultural and administrative diversity Southeast Europe, in terms of systems of care for the elderly. The participation of end-user associations from countries like Cyprus, Slovenia and Romania with the involvement of research institutions and companies with experience in this sector guarantees this fact.
6. We will carry out pilot tests of the developed systems with a minimum number of 300 different users, distributed among the three countries in three different cycles, one for each year of the project. Each cycle is composed of a set of iterations, thus allowing for rotating the same devices (HTPCs, TVs, or any other element identified at the beginning of the project) among different homes in each country, and enabling an efficient use of the material for which financing is being requested in this proposal. The objective of structuring the project in several cycles is to facilitate the gathering of feedback in order to refine services, guarantee an efficient integration of all the services of SENIOR-TV, and identify particular elements of each country that may influence the final design of a holistic system.
7. To develop a business plan that allows for the companies involved in consortium to start marketing the product SENIOR-TV no later than one year after the finalisation of the project. All the end-user organisations involved in the consortium will take part actively in the development of the business plan—including secondary and tertiary end-user organisations. Likewise, we will use the feedback gathered during the third cycles of testing pilots and direct opinion from older adults. This line of action will start from the first month of the project.
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.
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.
|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|
|Constantinos Constantinou||Public Information Officer|
|Annagrace Messa||Project Coordinator & Public Information Officer|
|Sophia Arnaouti||Project Coordinator|
|Memnon Arestis||Project Coordinator|
|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|
|Andreas P. Andreou||Project Coordinator, Trainer|
|Constantinos Tsiourtos||Public Policy & Communications Director|
|Katerina Fotiou||Software Developer|
|Aspasia Ksidea||Graphics Designer|
|Eleni Philippou||Software Developer|
|Isaac Pyrillis||Financial Director|
|Ngam Leslie Timngum||Intern|
Equipment and Offices
The organization is operating in 4 offices located in the 1st and 2nd 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.