News and Views
Organic.Lingua Successfully Translates Theory into Practice at 2nd Review!
The Organic.Lingua team met on the 23rd and 24th of April 2013 in Luxembourg for the second year review of the project by the European Commission. The purpose of such reviews is twofold. Firstly, it was an opportunity for the project partners to present the up-to-date progress of their contributions to the project and outline the key plans for the final year. Secondly, the EC representatives had a chance to evaluate in detail the project’s achievements since the launch of Organic.Lingua in March 2011.
The reviewers received with positivity and interest the presentations of the team. Particular attention was drawn to the pioneering development of the agricultural ‘ontology’ which allows accurate translation of a huge range of specialist terms into a wide selection of languages. The reviewers were given a preview of the fully functioning Organic.Lingua system in action and helping to accomplish a range of research tasks linked to the Organic.Edunet portal.
The reviewers particularly praised the excellent management of the project and the successful establishment of collaborative links to other projects working in closely related domains. In particular, the ongoing partnership with Open Discovery Space, a pan-European education portal, was praised as having the potential to bring the benefits of the Organic.Lingua solution to tens of thousands of learners. This review confirmed that the Organic.Lingua team has a fruitful and productive second year and are ready to take the project into the final year with exciting developments to unveil to Europe’s agricultural research and learning communities.
Citadel Heads to Athens
On March 28, 2013, the City of Athens in partnership with EurActiv.gr hosted special Citadel on the Move Workshop for city administrators. The workshop featured Citadel partners as well as Open Data experts in Greece, and was specifically designed to answer local level questions about Open Data. Julia opened up the forum with a keynote address on Citadel on the Move in which she showcased the way in which Citadel is working to provide local officials with best practice guidelines for opening data sets along with mobile application templates to kick start local innovation. The workshop was marked by lively discussion and exchange in which participants often stressed the challenges of convincing colleagues that opening data is worth the investment of time and resource. Julia stressed that the key factor behind Citadel’s creation of mobile application templates that can be used in a cross border context was the desire to help local government showcase immediate business and service benefits to their cities.
21c Shares Smart City Tips with Balkan States
The Development Agency Zagreb invited Julia to address the 2013 Zagreb Forum: Creative Cities & Europe on 12-13 March. Picking up on the Forum’s theme, Julia used the address to promote Open Innovation and Co-Creation as key starting points in any Smart City journey. By way of example, Julia discussed the way Citadel on the Move is currently engaging cities and cities to use easily accessible Open Government Data to unleash new service innovation. The advantages of Smart City concepts like Citadel on the Move, Julia argued, is that it enables any city, anywhere – regardless of size or budget – to use their city as cost-effective innovation platform. One great result of the Forum is the fact that the City of Zagreb has joined Citadel on the Move as an Associate Partner!
Big BIS for Citadel on the Move
Julia addressed a workshop entitled ‘Smart Cities – The Need for Interoperability’ on Friday March 3, 2013 hosted by the UK Government’s Business Innovation and Skills Department. Designed to explore the way in which Smart City ‘Standards’ can help achieve common outcomes in the UK public sectors, delegates to the workshop were interested to learn more about Citadel’s promotion of the use of accessible Open Data formats for the release of government data and creation of mobile application templates to facilitate the development of cross border and intra-City services. In line with Citadel’s vision, the workshop ultimately called for an accessible Smart City framework that aligns with existing standards and advances options for standardisation. To find out more about Citadel on the Move, Open Data or Smart City standards, click here.
Making the Grade(s)? – The Challenges of Uniform Educational Standards in Europe
Ankara Youth Forum’s online magazine this month features a provocative article by Nathalie Thiel on the challenges facing Europe’s students as increasing cross-border mobility comes us against the challenge of different grading and assessment systems in Europe’s schools. The article illustrates that free movement of people has huge implications for the education of Europe’s next generation, implications which require action at the highest levels. To read the full article, click here.
21c Thinks ‘Big’ about H2020
On January 31 2013, Julia was asked to attend an invitation only experts working group session in Brussels on the Horizon 2020 Work Programm e 2014-2-15. The session gathered ICT experts from across Europe to help identify potential new activities in the area of ICT-driven public sector innovation (formerly known as e Government) under H2020. Needless to say, Julia was thrilled to see 21c’s favourite area of interest –eParticipation – return to the fore. During the discussion, Julia highlighted the need to examine the way in which eParticipation has changed within the context of social media and smart phones. She argued the need for new research and piloting in areas such as data analytics, crowd sourcing and federated identity. In addition to eParticipation, Julia stressed the need for continued work in the realm of Open Data with a particular focus on future proofing for an IOT-driven explosion in Big Data.
Users in the Hotseat – 21c talks User-Centricity and PbP in Brussels
Ben was in Brussels this week to attend the NET EUCEN User-Centricity Workshop. The session provided a great opportunity to talk about the work Puzzled by Policy is doing to engage users in the process of discussing, debating and ultimately shaping their immigration policy. The session looked at the way more European services can implement a user-led design and implementation process to ensure that more projects deliver the services users want and need. Even with the Brussels snow, the event proved a great success and provided some interesting ways in which we can all make sure that our projects listen better to user needs.
Puzzled by Public Service – 21c Project Shortlisted for UN Award
21c Project Puzzled by Policy has been shortlisted for the United Nations Public Service Awards for Fostering participation in policy-making decisions through innovative mechanisms. Puzzled has been recognized for its continuing work in connecting Europe’s policymakers with the views of citizens on issues surrounding Immigration. With Dr. Glidden recently discussing this topic at the UN eGovernment Expert Working Group, the subject of Immigration has never been more topical and Puzzled by Policy is ready to provide policymakers with a direct line to citizen’s opinions. The winners are officially announced in June.
21c Invited to H2020 Expert Working Group
On January 31, 2013, Julia was invited to attend an Expert Working Group in Brussels on ICT-Driven Public Sector Innovation in Horizon 2020. H2020 is the EU’s new framework programme for research and innovation (2014-2020) that will combine all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Commission’s Framework Programmes. The workshop addressed current and future challenges and opportunities for public service delivery, future visions for public services and potential areas for research and innovation activities. 21c’s formal response to the Workshop can be found here.
Virtually Ready – E-based solutions for children, young people and families VCS
Last week, Cristina attended Virtually Ready – E-based solutions for children, young people and families VCS, an event organised in London by Children England that shared expertise, best practices and ideas on how organisations can dive into the new world of digital engagement. The event brought together professionals from charities, social enterprises, providers and futurist writers and included a series of interactive workshops on e-safety, e-solutions for campaign and awareness, how to generate income in a virtual world and on further tips for future technology. Virtually Ready offered a broad understanding of future ICT developments and showed knowledge of how technology can be appropriately used with children and young people in the voluntary and community sector.
Policy & Prosecco in Whitehall
Ben was in Whitehall yesterday for the Annual RAND Europe Council of Advisors Reception. This event brings together policy professionals from across Europe and America with leading lights from the political arena. The event provided a great deal of interesting conversation on topics ranging from the changing relationship between Britain and the EU to the role of public participation in environmental policy. All agreed that the need to bring policy into the 21st century through the use of objective, balanced and analytic policymaking is a goal to be shared by all and a goal which 21C seeks to further through its extensive work in eParticipation, eGovernment and Policymaking 2.0.
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree at 21c
The 21c team has laboured over the finishing touches of the Christmas tree, just in time for the holiday season. Susie, Julia, Ben, Raluca and Sophie all celebrated the end of a well-earned year by decorating the office, exchanging gifts, and indulging in mince pies. Who needs Santa?
From all of us here at 21c, happy holidays!
United Nations Expert Working Group on e-Government
Julia was one of 14 international e-Government practioneers invited to New York on December 4 and 5 for the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on the 2014 UN e-Government Survey. The two-day session was designed to gather expert opinion from around the world on the six thematic themes featured in the UN’s prestigious bi-annual survey: 1) whole e-Government approaches, 2) e-Participation, 3) Multichannel Service Delivery, 4) Usage, 5) Digital Divide/Vulnerable Groups and 6) Open Government Data. Feedback from the workshop will be used to inform the 2014 Survey’s methodology and questions. During the event, Julia had the opportunity to act as Rapporteur for the eParticipation break out session which addressed the challenge of encouraging policymakers and citizens alike to make use of new social media tools in a policymaking context. Julia used the opportunity to introduce two EU-funded initiatives, Puzzled by Policy and OurSpace, to a wider international audience. The Working Group concluded by a presentation from Mr. Mohammed Al-Qaed, CEO of the eGovernment Authority in the Kingdom of Bahrain on the outcomes of recent Member State workshop on the Survey.
From eGovernment Gateways to Famagusta Gate: eParticipation in Cyprus
Susie presented a showcase of European eParticipation developments, at the Cyprus EU Presidency conference –Europeone – on the 4th December 2012. The conference aimed to determine the key components that Public Administrations need to put in place in order to ‘connect’ Europe and enable it to do more with less resource. As part of a panel entitled eGovernment: What’s in it for Citizens? Susie explained how there is a division between the power of ICT tools to engage citizens in meaningful public policy debates and the seeming political preference to simply engage citizens in the design of services (within the context of pre-determined policy) through open innovation initiatives. Sharing examples of current eParticipation tools for influencing policy such as PuzzledbyPolicy, which uses a profiler to engage citizens and involve them in structured deliberation, Susie challenged policy makers at the event to ‘adapt or die’ – either consider job done and focus on services or seriously engage with powerful new tools to ensure that our policy discussions keep pace with the radical changes taking place in the way we lead the rest of our lives.
Business Brainstorming in Brussels
Susie joined the rest of the EPIC project consortium at Deloitte’s offices in Brussels on Thursday 29 November to help facilitate a workshop on developing an effective business model to ensure the sustainability of EPIC’s impact after the project funding ends next year. On a project level the EPIC solution elements consist of a pan-European Cloud infrastructure for the public sector, with a catalogue of services that help solve specific policy challenges and a Smart Cities Roadmap that help cities adopt the cloud for smarter working. The workshop provided a first step in understanding how the elements could be broken down and repackaged in order to define commercial solutions that generate value for the target audiences – a challenging task for the next eight months of the project.
Digital Democracies: New Ideas in Old Spaces
Sophie from 21c was in the Houses of Parliament this week, the hallmark of the British establishment, at a conference organised by the Hansard Society in association with the CODE (Comparing Online Democracy and Elections) project. The conference was an exciting opportunity for academics and professionals to share their experiences in eCampaigning and eParticipation, drawing together international lessons from the U.S., Poland, and Denmark, ahead of the U.K. 2015 General Election. Social media was discussed as an innovative organisational and campaigning tool by which political parties could better target potential voters during election periods. The day drew to a close with superb keynote speeches made by digital communications experts and practitioners, who discussed the extent to which eDemocracy could—and should—be used in the forthcoming UK elections as a means of enhancing citizen participation.
7th OurSpace Project Meeting in Athens
Team 21c were in Athens this week for the latest project meeting of OurSpace. Among other topics, the partners discussed the development of the OurSpace pilots, which every day are bringing European Youth together to discuss issues as diverse as the Eurozone Crisis, Immigration Policy and votes at 16. OurSpace also had a chance to discuss the increasing profile of the project on the European stage, with companies and governments more interested than ever in engaging directly with the views of citizens. So stay tuned to OurSpace over the coming months for even more exciting debate! To get involved and learn more, just click here.
The Internet of Things and Open Data at Global Forum 2012
Normally a wee bit jaded by business travel, Julia was absolutely chuffed to find herself this November (12/13) on a private tour of the Blue Room in Stockholm City Hall where they hand out the Nobel Peace Prize. Hats off to Vinnova and the Global Forum team for exceeding even their high standards at this year’s Global Forum extravaganza entitled SHAPING A CONNECTED DIGITAL FUTURE Visions, Challenges, Opportunities for Organizations and People in a Smart World. Key topics discussed at this years event included : Vision For A Smart Future, Towards Smart Networks, New Usages: requirements for Privacy & Security, Smarter Governments, Regulatory Challenges and Opportunities, Smart Grids: Open Innovation, Medias & Usages, eHealth and Cloud Computing.
It’s agINFR-A+ at the First Year Review
agINFRA partners met in Brussels last week for the 1st Year review of the project. The meeting gave the reviewers a chance to find out more about the cutting edge developments driving agINFRA and revolutionizing data intensive research for agricultural professionals across Europe. The meeting proved an extremely positive encounter, with the experts giving helpful feedback and pointers alongside congratulations for the great strides already taken by the project. As agINFRA powers into the second year of the project, 21c look forward to bringing you more developments from this exciting grid computing infrastructure!
21c Up in the G-Cloud
At the beginning of November Julia and Susie were delighted to be informed that 21c had been accepted on the UK G-Cloud framework. The G-Cloud Programme is a cross government initiative led by Andy Nelson (Ministry of Justice) supported by Denise McDonagh (Home Office) under the direction of the Chief Information Officer Delivery Board as part of the Government ICT Strategy.
The initial focus of the programme is on introducing cloud ICT services into government departments, local authorities and the wider public sector. In order to do this they have undertaken a G-Cloud procurement framework for services under the OJEU process. These services can then be reviewed and purchased through the CloudStore. At present there are 4 categories of services: Infrastructure, Software, Platform and Specialist Services.
21c’s two offering’s fall under Specialist Services and are purposefully designed to help local authorities understand the value of using the cloud, how it can deliver savings for government, and most importantly – how to get started! A brief synopsis of the services is provided below:
- Introduction to Cloud and the City: A half day workshop that introduces local government to the benefits of cloud computing.
- Unlocking the Innovative Potential of Cities: A strategic consultancy service to help organisations develop new strategies/implementation approaches for harnessing the full benefits of cloud, including the convergence of key ICT trends – (1) Cloud, (2) Social Media, (3) Social Networking, and (4) Mobile/Information Management.
Contact 21c to find out more about these services, or visit the CloudStore at http://gcloud.civilservice.gov.uk/cloudstore/
Slightly Less Puzzled by Policy in Athens
Susie from 21c joined the Puzzled-by-Policy Team, Greek policy-makers and NGOs at Athens City Hall on Wednesday 7th November to share first hand local experiences of using the Puzzled participation platform to help manage local immigration policy issues.
The Puzzled by Policy project ‘Helping you to be part of the EU’ aims to provide citizens with an engaging and easy-to-use platform, where they can learn about and give their voice to policy issues concerning immigration in the European Union. The platform allows users to graphically compare their views on immigration with national and EU immigration policies, as well as with the opinions of relevant stakeholders. Users are then encouraged to join discussions on particular aspects of immigration policy they feel strongly about
The Deputy Mayor explained how Athens City has no legislative powers yet has to deal with the local integration of migrants. Like many, he believes that immigration challenges are a European problem and he welcomes the ability to feed local views up to a national and pan-European level through the Puzzled platform. Mr Bloom from NGO ASANTE highlighted the importance of Puzzled’s platform to help young immigrants understand and discuss their fundamental rights.
Following the workshop. The Puzzled by Policy Team entered their second year review, with Susie presenting the sustainability and exploitation options to the Reviewers. With over 4,000 users taking part in the migration policy profiler to date, the project was successfully received and given the mandate to enter its third and final year. To try Puzzled for yourself visit http://www.puzzledbypolicy.eu/
Your Voice in Europe & The Launch of OurSpace: The Icing on the Cake
Last week, Sophie from 21c attended “Your Voice in Europe”, a fantastic event hosted by the British Youth Council at Europe House in London to commemorate the launch of OurSpace. The event opened with an informative session led by the Director of the European Parliament Office in London on the policy-making mechanisms of the E.U and the ways in which young people can get involved in shaping European policy on issues that matter to them. The event was also an opportunity for 16 and 18-year-olds to discuss critical European issues with their MEPs, Catherine Bearder and Rebecca Taylor, and learn more about OurSpace as a social forum in which to debate and vote on these issues. By the end of the session, participants cast a vote determining which new topic would be launched onto the E.U. platform of the website, and MEPs celebrated by cutting the OurSpace cake. A sweet end to a productive day.
ISAC6+ Helps Cities Save Time and Money
As an official project review evaluator, Julia had the chance to learn first-hand about a successful new initiative by the European Commission to reduce the administrative burden of government. Financed under the ICT-PSP work programme 2008. Objective 1.2, ISAC6+ is an on-line search engine tool that has been specifically designed to reduce the administrative burden of government and not-for-profit institutions by replacing the existing functions of walk-in offices and phone services. Using peer-to-peer engagement, the project team has encouraged eight additional public administrations across Europe to adopt the tool.
Innovations in e-Learning
Julia had the honour to serve on the scientific programme committee for the LINQ 2012 conference – Europe’s leading conference in learning innovations and quality. Over the summer she had the chance to review papers on a range of eLearning topics, from the way in which ICT is improving English language teaching in Pakistan to the University of Leuven’s creative blending of online and offline courses. This year’s conference was held on the 23rd of October, 2012 in Brussels at the Representation of the State of North Rhine Westphalia to the European Union.
Slow Food, Fast Learners & Strong Collaborations – Green Ideas 2012
Ben was in Pollenzo this week for Green Ideas 2012, the annual creativity event organized by 21c’s friends and colleagues Agro-Know Technologies. The event brings together experts from a range of disciplines to brainstorm innovative solutions to shared problems. This year’s event, held in the beautiful, inspiring surroundings of the University of Gastronomic Sciences tackled the challenge of green education and how best to inspire Europe’s children to make healthy, environmentally food choices. Among the wine tasting and the slow food treats, participants shared a range of insights, all watched over by our enthusiastic facilitators from the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in California. Green Ideas 2012 was also held in conjunction with Open Discovery Space (opendiscoveryspace.eu), a project that unites organizations from 27 countries to tackle learning challenges just like the ones under consideration at the event. Ben and the other lucky project partners were treated to a skills masterclass, allowing us to bring back our newfound collaboration techniques to our work. Short of moving the office to Pollenzo (an idea which Ben has not quite given up yet!) the rest of the team will certainly be treated to a creativity session here in London to develop our collaboration skills still further.
Nightlights in Bratislava
The Slovakian Ministry of Justice invited Julia to deliver a keynote address at ITAPA – the country’s largest ICT event. Julia used the occasion to stress the way in which Open Data and the Internet of Things hold the key to making cities smarter. Julia encouraged delegates to join the Citadel on the Move Advisory Board. ‘Most Smart City projects,’ she argued, ‘are targeted at large cities like London, Barcelona and Paris. Citadel on the Move is different. Citadel knows that most cities are struggling to know where to begin to even Open Data, let alone become ‘smart,’ and is specifically designed to address this need.
A Better Climate in the Office – Another 21c Tender Submitted
Julia, Ben and the team finished up another bid in the office this week for the FP7 Environment action. The Bid, catchily titled ‘ClimateNET’, will see countries from across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea uniting to fight Climate Change through closer collaboration in their research and innovation. Climate Change, which plays an increasingly crucial role of all of us (particularly those who chose to blame it for droughts in spring and monsoons in summer here in London!) is a challenge that 21c and the rest of the fledgling consortium believe is best, tackled together. So fingers crossed for ClimateNET as it wings its way to the EC and for the recovery of the team, including the swift recovery of the rather exhausted Ben pictured
Demonstrations on the Danube – agINFRA in Serbia
Ben was in Serbia last week at the latest agINFRA project meeting. The event, held at the beautiful riverside premises of the Institute of Physics, Belgrade, gave consortium partners a first glimpse of the innovative tools agINFRA is developing to help make the lives of agricultural scientists easier. agINFRA harnesses the power of grid computing – a huge network of powerful supercomputers which can slash the time needed to understand huge datasets. For agricultural researchers, who sometimes need to perform complex operations as part of their work, this can cut a job which would take a desktop computer 4 days to a 45 minute task using agINFRA. Partners discussed how this next-gen technology can best be accessed and used by Europe’s agricultural researchers along with a variety of other project issues. With agINFRA now in great shape, watch out for 21c promoting the services across Europe at leading events and conferences! To find out more, why not check out the agINFRA website!
Innovation Parisian Style!
Julia had to ‘endure’ the hardship of Paris whilst she chaired a special panel entitled ‘Panorama of European Local Experiences’ at the Open Data: Where to Begin?. Conference hosted by Issy Media and the Citadel on the Move project. Co-financed by European Commission under IST-CIP, Citadel on the Move aims to make it easier for Local Authorities to Open Data and even easier still for citizens to create innovative new mobile apps. Julia’s panel featured speakers from leading European Cities in the field of Open Data and showcased inspiring examples of the way in which open government data can unleash local innovation.
Understanding the Future of Cities
Julia headed to Ljubljana Castle in September to catch a glimpse into the future at the 2012 Ljubljana Forum. Sponsored by the GoForeSight Institute, the Municipality of Ljubljana and the Centre for eGovernance Development for South East Europe, this year’s Forum focused on the theme of Energy Efficiency in an Always Online World. The Forum gathered 160 guests from 29 different countries, and online viewers from around the world. Delegates discussed future possibilities for making our cities even smarter and even more energy efficient andagreed that in time of financial crisis it is urgent to find solutions to make more with less.
Smart Cities and the Future Internet – A Match Made in Heaven
Ben was in Warsaw this week, presenting Citadel on the Move to the meeting of the Future Internet Forum at the 2012 ICT Proposers Day. The Future Internet Forum, a European Commission-organized group, unites representatives of all member states to share knowledge and coordinate their actions with respect to the Future Internet. The meeting provided a lively exchange on such topics as the uses of IoT in harbours, opportunities for technological enhancements in agriculture and the role of the Future Internet in creating Smarter Cities. The meeting gave plenty of food for thought and promised closer cooperation between the Citadel team and Forum members.
Digital Inclusive e-Government Conference, Cambridge
Dorota was in Cambridge recently, representing OurSpace and Puzzled by Policy projects at the Digital Inclusive e-Government (DIEGO) Conference, held on 25th September at Corpus Christi College. The conference gathered various researchers and professionals in e-Government, discussing long-term sustainability strategies for digital public services and showcasing new technologies that could be used to promote social inclusion. Amongst them, Dorota met representatives of projects such as SEED (Speeding Every European Digital) and DIEGO (Digital Inclusive e-Government), who she welcomed as a possible contact to work together on raising citizens’ awareness about existing e-Government services.
Agriculture Paper launch, Westminster
On the 17th September, Dorota represented both the Organic Lingua and afINFRA projects at a paper launch briefing organized by Imperial College at Portcullis House, Westminster. The event marked the launch of the Montpellier Panel Briefing Paper, entitled ‘Women in African Agriculture: farmers, mothers, innovators and educators’. The session invited contributions from all on exciting research and technological developments that could help promote sustainable growth in African agriculture. Dorota was privileged to participate among a panel that included Senior Advisors and Chief Executives from the Agricultural Research for Development, the Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Organic.Lingua was welcomed as a potential tool to address the lack of cross-ministerial communication on agricultural policy.
Found in Translation – Organic Lingua Perfecting Multilingual Technologies in Paris
Ben travelled to Paris this week for the 4th meeting of the Organic Lingua project. The meeting, hosted at the beautiful headquarters of the French National Agriculture Research agency (INRA) was a chance for project partners to come together and discuss the progress of the groundbreaking specialist translation software. Large scale validation and testing of the translation software is now well under way, with project partners XEROX research and CELI perfecting the state-of-the-art technology to make it easier than ever for users across Europe to use the Organic Edunet portal seamlessly. Discussions also focused on the way to harness links with other EC projects agINFRA and Open Discovery Space active in the areas of online learning and agriculture. What seems clear is that Organic Lingua is set to cause a stir in the world of specialist translation software. Find out more and get involved at http://www.organic-lingua.eu.
OurSpace Sucesfully Completes the Second Review Meeting
On the 19th and 20th of September Dorota represented 21c during the second year review of the OurSpace project by the European Commission in Brussels. The purpose of this meeting was twofold. Firstly, all project partners presented their achievements for the second year, including demonstration of all features and functionalities of the OurSpace platform as well as illustration of dissemination and exploitation activities undertaken by the consortium.
The Reviewers and the Commission provided very positive feedback and made reference to specific points for further improvement. They noted the project’s potential for long-term sustainability and its capacity to generate high impact, key factors assisting towards future applicability and success.
Citadel on the Move Develops in Manchester
Ben was in Manchester this week, attending the last in a series of Citadel on the Move stakeholder workshop to gather user feedback on the pioneering mobile application templates developed by the project. During a lively discussion, developers and stakeholders provided Citadel with feedback from their extensive experience. Key discussions focused on the developing role of Linked Open Data (LOD), the need for standardization in government data and the thousands of potential applications which can be developed from the Citadel on the Move templates. Participants at the workshop included Open Data Manchester CTO Ric Roberts along with representatives of Manchester City Council and IOT technicians.
Open Data Meets Open Sunshine in Samos
Susie and Julia endured the hardship of a 3 day Open Data and Interoperability Summit in Samos Greece (July 2-5). Despite the glamourous setting and constant sunshine, they both learned a great deal from the event – which attracted Open Data experts from around the world and featured state-of-the–art updates from Europe’s leading R&D initiatives in the Open Data field. Julia even managed to Chair an interactive session on regional Open Data initiatives from around the world, whilst Susie gained invaluable insights for the Citadel on the Move Open Data Standards plan. Indeed, all kidding aside, the combination of seaside, sun and global expertise makes the Samos Summit a ‘not to miss’ event in the European eGovernment calendar. We can’t wait to see all our friends there next year!
Flanders Embraces Open Data
Julia discussed the nexus between Smart City thinking and Open Data during a massively over-subscribed Open Data Day hosted by the Flemish eGovernment Authority in Brussels. Julia also Chaired a special panel on Open Data trends across Europe featuring Andrew Stott, former Director of Digital Engagement and Transparency at the UK Cabinet Office and Chris Taggert from Open Corporates. Andrew convincingly argued that it often costs governments more to charge for data instead of opening it open freely. Chris gave the audience a jolt when he described the way in which firms like Walmart now track so much data on costumers that they often know if a woman is pregnant before she does!
Open Data Strategies and Standards
Susie recently represented the Citadel on the Move project at a workshop on ‘Using Open Data’ for policy modeling, citizen empowerment and data journalism at the European Commission Headquarters in Brussels. The event organized by the W3C on the 19 and 20 June featured a wide range of talks and discussions with contributions from experts such as Andrew Stott, UK Transparency Board & the former UK Gov Director of Transparency & Digital Engagement, Gianluca Misuraca, JRC-IPTS, Jose M Alonso, World Wide Web Foundation, Phil Archer W3C and Jeanne Holm, data.gov & NASA amongst many others.
Open Data is a hot topic in Brussels this summer with The European Commission’s Open Data Strategy being seen as typical of many governments’ promotional efforts. Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes cites three reasons why open data is seen as being so important: (1) promoting the development of new businesses; (2) promoting government transparency, and (3) increased evidence-based policy making.
Discussions at the W3C workshop focused on the need for data to be opened in a proper format, be machine readable and free. In addition the idea of relevant feedback loops for users to improve data and hold government to account was a reoccurring theme. Citadel on the Move’s project work aims to take these areas into consideration when working on recommendations for open data standards. For a full report of the W3C event visit http://www.w3.org/2012/06/pmod/agenda
Following the workshop, Citadel on the Move hosted their own project meeting to arrange the forthcoming stakeholder workshops and their new online platform that will be launching soon. Watch this space for further announcements.
eParticipation in Times of Recession
Julia chaired an expert panel on eParticipation at the 25th Bled eConference last week, presenting Puzzled by Policy and Citadel on the Move as key examples of innovative citizen engagement. Invited speakers were asked to consider the continuing value of eParticipation as a way of engaging citizens during a recession. Other questions under discussion were enduring problems of citizen apathy, the new place of service co-creation in policy-making and the evolving relationship of citizens to their governments through social media. Speakers included 21c associate Dr. Francesco Molinari, Puzzled by Policy project partner Simon Delakorda, top commission policy advisor Bror Salmelin and Prof. Maria Wimmer, leading eGoverment expert and academic.
Growing pains? Young People’s Attitudes to Politics
On the 12th of July Dorota from 21c represented the OurSpace project during a meeting organized by the Hansard Society at the Houses of Parliament. The event named “Growing Pains? Young People’s Attitudes to Politics” followed up on recent findings from the Hansard Society’s Audit of Political Engagement which suggested that over the last decade more young people (18-24 year-olds) feel knowledgeable about politics and more say they are certain to vote. The Audit also suggested that as young people age, they do become more politically engaged. The event discussed young people’s attitudes to politics and the problem of connecting young people with institution and individuals who represent them in the democratic process. It attracted over 60 participants, including policy-makers, scholars and journalists. OurSpace project was positively accepted by the participants and featured as a tool that has a potential to strengthen democracy processes by bringing young people closer to political decision-making.
OurSpace – Just Click and Chat!
The 6th meeting of the OurSpace (www.joinourspace.eu) project team took place in early June 2012 at Google offices in Madrid. With one year to finish, the pilots have successfully concluded the initial testing and evaluation stage and the project is ready to roll out the final platform across the four pilot countries (UK, Greece, the Czech Republic and Austria) and Europe. Mass participation is anticipated from users attracted by the influential project partners such as the British Youth Council, The Czech National Youth Parliament or Café Babel but also through the promotion of OurSpace via gadgets and apps including the android app, Facebook app and iGoogle Gadget. For more information and to download the apps, please click here.
Sweden Showcases Open Innovation in Action
Julia had the honour to deliver the keynote address at Offentliga Rummet – an annual Swedish ICT conference that examines how government authorities, county councils, regions and local authorities can improve accessibility and broaden citizen participation in the public sector, both with the help of new technology and by starting to think along new lines. In a talk entitled ‘Turning Turtles into Gazelles,’ Julia discussed the challenges and opportunities that Open Innovation presents for the public sector in terms of delivery more citizen-centric services. During a follow on seminar, participants shared the common challenges that public administrators across Europe face in terms of introducing innovation and driving transformational change within public sector organizations. Seminars, demonstrations and talks at Offentliga Rummet dealt not only with practical experience (such as working with NASA to build compact new satellites that will transform the way in which machines and people communicate) but also with current technological developments, changes in regulations, new forms of cooperation and national strategies. Throughout the conference, the issue of how ICT can pave the way for a robust, more dynamic democratic dialogue represented a common and welcomed theme!
Saving Energy in the Desert
ICONET-GCC, a European Commission funded project to develop and support the bi-regional dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council and EU Member States, invited Julia to Chair a Session on Energy Security at the projects concluding conference in Abu Dhabi (May 6-7). The session consisted of 5 lively and informed presentations by experts from Europe and the Gulf, followed by extensive question and answer exchanges. Speakers all agreed that regardless of whether an area is energy ‘rich’ such as the Gulf or energy ‘dependent’ such as Europe, the long-term availability of sustainable energy resources is a matter of global concern. The Masdar Institute, lead for INCONET in the Gulf, has been addressing the shared renewable energy challenge between the Gulf and Europe by focusing on CSP with storage allows the reduction of the second peak and PV which operates adequately over a wide range of atmospheric conditions (especially during prevalent low-DNI days). INCONET members see a need for further EU-Gulf cooperation commissioning special reports on clean energy topics of mutual importance and organizing Clean Energy career fairs to enhance linkages among stakeholders. Nevertheless, it was clear from the discussion that energy cooperation is still stronger between the Gulf and the USA than Europe. Small Gulf-based institutes (where staff time rather than money is a priority concern) find it easier to forge collaborative ties with American institutions of higher education as the system and procedures are more uniform than in Europe. Furthermore, these same organizations find it hard to navigate the time-consuming and complex nature of many EU funding streams.
Organic.Lingua Excels at the First Year Review in Luxemburg
The Organic.Lingua team met on the 2nd and 3rd of May 2012 in Luxembourg for the first year review of the project by the European Commission (EC). The purpose of this review meeting was twofold. Firstly, it was an opportunity for the project partners to present the up-to-date progress of the project per Work Package and outline the key plans for the next two years. Secondly, the EC representatives had a chance to evaluate in detail the project’s achievements since the project launch in March 2011 and give individual partners feedback on the progress made by their organisations and question any uncertainties or deviations from the Description of Work.
The overall review of the project was very positive. The reviewers were impressed with the partners’ presentations and demos of the linguistic technologies that showed that for certain domain areas (such as agriculture) the Organic.Lingua tools can outperform Google translator. In addition, the reviewers particularly praised the excellent management of the project and the successful establishment of collaborative links to other projects developing multilingual data repositories. Also, Organic.Lingua was positively evaluated based on its sustainability outlooks by securing partnerships with major open data repository projects such as Open Discovery Space and agINFRA. This meeting has confirmed that the Organic.Lingua team has had a very productive year in furthering the development of a multilingual service for the Orgnic.Edunet portal. In this context, the review meeting was a great boost for the team to maintain the developed operational standards and objectives in the next two years.
Users Steer the agINFRA Design to Perfection
On the 24th-26th April, Ben represented 21C at the 2nd project meeting of the agINFRA, hosted by The University of Alcala in Alcala des Heneares, Spain. Each of the 12 international partners working on this Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (I3) gave detailed presentations on the progress of their Work packages. Partners discussed important details of how this innovative infrastructure would revolutionize data-sharing in agricultural research. Also discussed in detail were the results of the User Needs analysis, which provided project partners with an accurate glimpse into the needs and priorities of Europe’s top researchers in the field. The next phase of the project will see the development and introduction of the Infrastructure itself. Read more about the project here.
21c to Advise new Smart City Institute in China
Julia has been asked to become a founding member of the Guest Expert Group for the newly opened Pudong Smart City Research Institute in Shanghai. The Institute is a non-government organisation, backed by local government. It provides consultancy services and project execution through government grant funded projects. It is a think tank. The institute will be headed by Mr Feng Songlin (President). Mr Wu Hequan will be the chair of the Expert Committee. They are both national ICT figures in China. The Guest Expert Group is a group of invited experts from outside China to provide consultant service, event support, training and even project implementation coordinated and organised by the Internation Dept of the Insititute, headed by Chongyou Du. The Group will be coordinated by Alex Bassi and Rob van Kranenburg and aims to establish long-time cooperation.
Revolutionizing Education – Open Discovery Space Launches in Athens
51 organisations from 23 countries gather in Athens on April 23 for the kick off of Open Discovery Space – an innovative new EU funded project that aims to create a socially-powered, multilingual open learning infrastructure to boost the adaptation of eLearning Resources.
Open Discovery Space will engage students, teachers, parents and policymakers in a first of its kind of pan-European effort to address the key challenges facing the European eLearning environment. This goal will be achieved by engaging teachers and pupils in the co-creation of innovative, new educational practices rather than simply introducing them to the ‘new.’ In so doing, Open Discovery Space will advance the modernization of school education by increasing the digital competences of key stakeholders whilst simultaneously stimulating demand for innovative eLearning resources. Ultimately, the project will engage stakeholders in the production of new user-generated educational activities in a socially-empowered, multilingual environment and empower them with integrated access to unique eLearning resources from educational repositories around the world.
21c Launches New Internet of People Consultancy
Julia spent an inspirational day brainstorming in Brussels recently with IOT experts from across Europe. The group many of them members of the prestigious Internet of Things Council has come together to launch a pan-European IOP consultancy to help public and private sector organisations navigate the rapid advance of ubiquitous and connected computing. By 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices all underpinned by IOT and empowered by Open Data, said Julia. This shift represents a radical transformation in the way we lead our lives and do business. Our new IOP consultancy will draw on the best talents Europe has to offer to help clients understand what is coming and work smarter.
Easter Weekend in the Kingdom of Bahrain
Julia delivered a talk at this year’s Bahrain International eGovernment Forum , taking place from 9 – 11 April. This conference is one of the foremost events in the eGovernance calendar, uniting experts from all corners of the globe to share the latest developments and insights from ICT technologies, innovations and eGovernance initiatives. The Bahrain IT Expo is run in conjunction with the eGovernment forum, allowing the public and private sector with the opportunity to exhibit their products and showcase the latest trends and IT solutions. Julia presented a talk entitled ‘The Internet of Things and Open Data: A Gateway for Smart Cities’ as well as leading panel discussions on e-Participation and e-Innovation/Open Data.
Julia Talks Smart in Qatar
On March 5-7, Julia had the honour of the attending the second edition of Qatar`s only ICT-industry focused Conference & Exhibition at the Qatar National Convention Center. The event – QitCom 2012 – featured more than 200 local and international companies, innovative technology solutions from around the Arab world and visionary keynote addresses by eminent speakers such as the world-renowned physicist Professor Michio Kaku. Following her promotion of open data and open innovation during last year’s inaugural conference, Julia used her panel discussion to urge Qatar and other Gulf states to make their cities and states ‘smarter’ by tapping into the unleashed potential of their strongest asset – their young people. She highlighted the way in which pioneering ‘Smart City’ projects such as Citadel on the Move and EPIC are using the open innovation methodology underpinning Living Labs to drive bottom up entrepreneurship and change in Europe, and encouraged Qatar’s leading R&D innovation center – QUWIC – to give Europe a run for its money by becoming the first Living Lab in the Gulf!
Echoes of the International Women’s Day: the UK Launch of the ‘Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index’
Susie and Oli represented the Organic Lingua project and the agINFRA project at the launch of the ‘Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index’ (WEAI) at the Houses of Parliament on the 7th of March 2012. WEAI is a measure that captures the empowerment and inclusion of women in the agricultural sector in order to identify ways how possible constraints and obstacles could be overcome. Apart from gaining an understanding about the possible uses of the index in research and monitoring, this event was a great networking opportunity with people from various international organisations related to agriculture and development. The main speakers included: Dr Meredith Soule, Senior Technical Advisor, USAID Bureau for Food Security, Dr Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow, the International Food Policy Research Institute and Dr Sabina Alkire, Director, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, University of Oxford.
The 21c team met professionals working on agriculture-related topics, raised awareness of both projects and established roots for possible future cooperation.
OurSpace Nearly Ready to Welcome its First Users!
The OurSpace project, funded under the CIP PSP eParticipation call, is just a step away from welcoming its first users. OurSpace (www.ep-ourspace.eu/) is a platform for young people where they can freely talk, write, share, participate, vote, “allow”, propose, and contribute towards ideas and policies that directly affect them but are usually decided without them. The OurSpace platform has been designed for young people and by young people. Having on board major youth councils and national young parliaments (British Youth Council, Czech National Youth Parliament, Café Babel Magazine and Café Babel Greece) OurSpace demonstrates a great potential to engage masses of youngsters and to become the new youth platform to discuss current affairs and problems in Europe.
The OurSpace consortium gathered in Paris in mid-February to fine tune the platform functionalities that will apart from the traditional eParticipation features also include an Android App, Facebook App and iGoogle Gadget. Oli represented 21c Consultancy – responsible for the coordination of the UK pilot and for the development of the OurSpace Sustainability and Business Plan.
Open Data: Gold Mind or Gold Bust
Julia was featured as an internationally recognized expert in the field of citizen-centric eGovernment on the Open Data Forum, a platform for sharing knowledge and practice in the area of “Open Data”. She has been asked to comment on the European Open Data Strategy launched in December 2011 by the European Commission.
Open Data Strategy is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU’s economy each year. The strategy’s central claim is that Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services. To read more about this idea and Julia’s view on its potential impact, please visit: http://www.opendataforum.be/blogs/random-blog/open-data-gold-mine-or-gold-bust <http://www.opendataforum.be/blogs/random-blog/open-data-gold-mine-or-gold-bust> .
Puzzled by Policy Platform Grand Launch in Budapest
On the 15th and 16th of February Dorota represented 21c Consultancy during the 5th Puzzled by Policy (PbP) project meeting hosted by the National Infovommunications Service Company in Budapest. The aim of PbP is to provide citizens with an engaging and easy-to-use platform, where they can learn about and give their voice to policy issues. 21c is responsible for the exploitation and sustainability of the project.
The PbP platform went live on the 8th February. It allows citizens to visually compare their views on immigration with national and EU immigration policies as well as with the opinions of other relevant stakeholders. Users have also an opportunity to join debates on specific aspects of immigration.
A week after official launch of the platform all PbP project partners gathered in Hungary to discuss the current state of the project. The meeting was followed by the press conference and roundtable discussion, with decision makers, journalists and representatives of NGOs all present. As a result, invited guests had a chance to become familiar with the project and give relevant feedback.
QITCOM 2012 is a Must-Attend Event!
In less than a month, Julia will deliver a key note speech at the QITCOM conference 2012 held on March 5-7 at the Qatar National Convention Center. The second edition of Qatar`s only ICT-industry focused Conference & Exhibition will attract leading global companies and local organizations looking to showcase their products, services and projects. QITCOM 2012 will feature: a world-class conference featuring visionary keynotes and panel discussions, an exhibition featuring more than 200 local and international companies, an awards program highlighting innovative technology solutions from around the Arab world, a region-leading platform best venue for technology industry networking, business opportunities, and deal-making
For more information please visit http://www.qitcom.com.qa/2012/Default.aspx
Snow Stops Julia from Talking ‘Smart’ with European CIOs
Hard as it was for colleagues in Helsinki to believe 6cms of snow prevented Julia from joining CIOs from the Major Cities of Europe in Helsinki on February 6. Julia was due to join CIOs from Helsinki, Barcelona, Rome, Greater Lyon, Hamburg, Rechenzentrum and Birmingham at a special workshop devoted to progress and plans in making cities smart. Thanks to the power of the technology, Julia’s presentation on Smart City Projects Across Europe had better luck than her in making it to Finland. View full presentation here.
Citadel on the Move Kicks Off in Gent
The Flanders Region eGovernment Services (CORVE) kicked off a major new European project – Citadel on The Move – in the City of Ghent on 1 February 2012. Citadel on the Move is co-funded by the European Commission Information Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP) for Smart Cities. The goal of Citadel on the Move is to demonstrate that it is possible to combine Open Access Data and Mobile Application tools to create ‘smart,’ innovative citizen-generated services that can be used across Europe. Ultimately, Citadel on the Move seeks to advance nothing less than digital materialisation of European integration through the creation of ‘smart’ mobile Services that can be shared and used anywhere.
The project unites all of Europe’s leading local government organizations with Living Lab experts, specialist technology researchers and expert SMEs in a common effort to harness the power of user-driven open innovation systems to develop citizen-generated ‘smart city’ mobile applications that can be potentially used and shared in any European city – large or small. The vision behind Citadel on the Move lies at the heart of the Citadel Statement (December 2010), which aimed to accelerate ‘the uptake of innovative ultrafast Internet based technologies and services in cities based on shared platforms.’ The ‘Citadel Statement’ is a pan-European declaration which was initiated by the Flemish Region in the City of Ghent during Belgian Presidency of the EU and supported by 64 organisations representing more than 200 cities on five continents.
Urban Renewal in Marseille
Julia and Susie headed to sunny Marseille for a two day workshop on the city’s impressive urban regeneration scheme. The workshop was held at the dockside offices of Euroméditerranée – the largest urban renewal project in Europe. A joint initiative of national government and local organizations, Euroméditerranée is charged with the ambitious goal of redeveloping and growing Marseille to such a degree that it becomes recognized as one of Europe’s major cities.
Over the next year, the 21c team will work alongside colleagues at Items International to help promote Marseille’s growing digital hub to ICT and digital media companies across Europe. With a wide array of affordable serviced office space, strong business support services and tax incentives to promote local job creation, the Belle de Mai Media Cluster in Marseille offers ICT and digital content companies of all sizes a gateway to Europe and the Mediterranean.
Puzzled by Policy at the ‘New Technologies and Human Rights’ Seminar in London
On the 15th of December 2011 Dorota from 21c Consultancy participated in a seminar organized by the University of Essex and the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolutions (IDCR) to present the Puzzled by Policy project and to network with relevant stakeholders.
The event brought together scholars, practitioners and experts from the University of Essex and partner organisations that are currently using new technologies for human rights awareness, analysis, and advocacy. The seminar aimed to explore the different ways new technologies can be used to monitor, map and document human rights developments at the local, national and international level. These challenges and opportunities were discussed by experts in the field namely by Ken Banks (FrontlineSMS), Jonathan Crook (Cyberalpha), Aygun Kazimova (Maplecroft) and Dr Anita Breuer (German Development Institute).
Puzzled by Policy was positively accepted by the attendees and links were established with the head of the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution.
Sometimes Small Really is Better!
On the 7th of December 2011, Julia gave a lecture on the changing face of eParticipation at the Institute of European Studies (IES) of the University of Brussels (VUB). In a small, round table discussion, Julia pointed out that these days, policymakers are much more likely to discuss citizen engagement in the context of the co-design and co-production of public services rather than democratic policymaking. ‘This shift in emphasis’ she argued, ‘is hardly a co-incidence. Politicians failed to proactively embrace new social media tools like Facebook to improve policymaking because it was inconvenient and intruded on their own domain. Not surprisingly, they now want to use these same tools to get citizens to help them deliver improved public services at reduced costs.’ Following a lively and engaging discussion with students from VUB, Julia concluded ‘Given everything that has happened this past year – from the Arab Spring through to the Occupy Wall Street Movements – politicians dismiss genuine eParticipation at their peril.’ Julia was accompanied to the lecture with a young ‘eRevolutionary’ in the making: her six year old son, Alexander.
‘Absolutely fantastic to hear you speak! I really enjoyed the discussion afterwards, too.’
DR. JAMAL SHAHIN, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Information Society Cluster (IES)
Organic.Lingua at the International Agricultural Investment Meeting at UK Parliament
On Monday the 28th of November 2011 the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Development in cooperation with APPG for Agriculture and Food for Development organised an event at the House of Lord focused on challenges facing international investment for agricultural development. Dorota from 21c represented Organic.Lingua at this event gathering over 50 experts interested in problems of agricultural development: members of APPGs from all parliamentary parties, scholars and representatives of NGOs focused on agricultural, environmental and poverty problems.
Four guests were invited to give a speech on various dimensions of agricultural investment: Lorenzo Cotula (Researcher International Institute for Environment and Development), Nick Tapp (Bidwells), Sally Baden (Oxford International) and Chris Brett (Olam International). The speakers discussed the current situation in developing countries, potential barriers and opportunities for businesses as well as humanitarian responsibilities and the need to protect small-scale farmers.
Organic.Lingua was positively accepted by the attendees as it addresses one of the key priorities identified during the meeting: the need for infrastructure and capacity building of small scale farmers.
Julia Delivers Keynote Speech at Ministerial Conference in Poznan
In the area of eGovernment, the Polish Government together with the European Commission hosted the 6th European Ministerial eGovernment Conference and Exhibition “Borderless eGovernment Services for Europeans” in Poznan, 17th -18th November, 2011. This event was one of the largest and biggest EU events in Poland during the six month period of the Polish Presidency, with approximately 800 delegates.
The Pre-Conference that took place on the 16th of November was jointly organized by two governmental agencies involved in innovation: VINNOVA from Sweden and Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) from Poland.
Julia delivered the keynote speech at the Pre-Conference focused on the latest trends in eParticipation ‘Living Labs and Social Media – On How to Turn Turtles into Gazelles’ discussing how increased citizen expectations and the current economic crisis are creating new demands on the public sector to deliver private sector levels of service.
The Pre-Conference showed the results of important European eGovernment research in generating and implementing new e-visions and e-solutions for public service delivery, as well as the possibilities to build new strategies upon current results.
Watch the Pre-Conference Opening Ceremony here.
EPIC and The UK G-Cloud
Susie and Oli represented the EPIC (European Platform for Intelligent Cities) project at the recent Public Sector Enterprise ICT Conference held in London on the 15 November. The prestigious annual conference focused on what public sector ICT will look like in five years. Innovative speakers such as Andy Nelson, the Chief Information Officer at the Ministry of Justice UK spoke about the future of Cloud computing in government, what barriers need to be removed to ensure take up and what new opportunities exist for emerging suppliers and SME’s. The EPIC Team were pleased to see that the UK G-Cloud programme currently underway in the UK shares many of the same goals and objectives of the EPIC project and that the Public Sector are beginning to realise that the deployment of Public Sector Networks (PSN) and Cloud technology is essential if public sector bodies are to keep up with their private sector counterparts. Susie and Oli distributed EPIC leaflets and discussed the project and its aims with a range of local government staff and private sector practitioners. In addition they learned more about innovative cyber security solutions that protect data stored in Clouds yet are flexible enough to easily facilitate secure mobile working from anywhere. Further information about this event can be found at http://www.publicsectorict.co.uk
New 21C Infrastructure for Sharing Scientific Data
Sharing research data is “an intricate and difficult problem” (Borgman, 2011, JASIST). There is relatively little sharing taking place and few standards for giving data the required computational semantics to make sharing an automated process. Yet, reusing data is one of the core principles of science and poses a major concern for scientists and policy makers alike.
To help address this challenge for agricultural scientific communities, 21c have begun to work with a team of eleven global partners to deliver a new Innovative Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (I3) – agINFRA – that will remove existing obstacles concerning sharing, processing and accessing scientific information and data in agriculture, as well as improve the preparedness of agricultural scientific communities to face, manage and exploit the ever-increasing abundance of multi-disciplinary data that is available to support agricultural research.
Susie represented 21c at the inaugural agINFRA project meeting that took place in Rome between the 8th and 10th November, 2011, hosted by FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation). A series of presentations and interactive workshops from the consortium of world-leading scientific and technical research institutes, specialist SMES, agricultural enterprises and NGOs enabled the Team to begin the design and development process for creating the innovative scientific data infrastructure. The project meeting highlighted the wide variety of agricultural databases and data types that would need to be supported by the infrastructure, the types of users that would access the data and the service components that would facilitate quicker and easier data generation, certification, curation, annotation, navigation and management. agINFRA’s next phase involves undertaking user needs research to develop content and technical requirements.
EPIC Takes Centre-Stage at eChallenges 2011
Julia argued that cloud computing represents a powerful tool for ‘Smart Cities’ at this year’s eChallenges Conference in Florence (26-28 October).
In Session 2b eGovernment Issues, Julia presented the EPIC White Paper ‘Is There a Need for a Cloud Computing Platform for European Smart Cities’ which she co-authored with colleagues from IBBT in Brussels and the National Technical University of Athens to decision makers and eGovernment practitioners from across Europe. She was joined on the panel by experts including Klaus-Peter Eckert (Fraunhofter FOKUS) who introduced cloud computing in the German public sector, Andreas Nilsson (Stockholm University) who discussed the implications of cloud based delivery models on public IT procurement, and Jonathan Sinclair (SAP Research) who reviewed auditing issues for cloud based business services. Jim Yip from the University of Huddersfield (UK) Chaired the session.
VINNOVA Leads Drive for Citizen-Centric eGovernment Services
Julia had the honour to serve as Chairperson of the Review Panel for the second call for ‘Citizen-Centric eGovernment Services’ in Stockholm (October 31 – Nov 1). The Call was lead by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems – VINNOVS – in collaboration with NordForsk , the Icelandic Centre for Researdch (RANNIS) and the Estonian Ministry for Economic Affairs and Communications. The aim of the Call is to strengthen the Citizens’ Services concept and facilitate collaboration between Nordic-Baltic states. Applications invited for the second call were invited to develop a prototype of new national eGovernment services, or immense improvement of existing e-services based around citizen needs. After the Review Panel assessed 17 applications from Sweden, Iceland and Estonia, Julia presented a final short-list to the Funding Steering Committee. The new winners can be found at www.VINNOVA.se/citizenservices.
Cross Border Mobility in Action at Global Forum 2011!
International experts from Europe, Asia and the Americas gathered in Brussels this week (November 7-8) to discuss their Vision for the Digital Future. Julia addressed a key sub-theme of the event Mobilising Organisations and People for Sustainable Growth during a session on ‘Increased INTEROPERABILITY between States.’ In her talk, Julia showcased the way in which EPIC – a CIP-funded Smart City project – is helping to address cross border mobility by delivering a pan-European service delivery infrastructure for ‘one-stop eGovernment.’ Julia focused on the EPIC relocation pilot to showcase the value of an interoperable eGovernment service that is capable of dealing with multiple agencies and organisations across multiple borders.
OurSpace Platform Taking Off in Time for Christmas
On the 3rd and 4th of November Oli attended the 4th plenary meeting of the OurSpace project in Prague, Czech Republic hosted by the Czech National Parliament for Youth (DUHA). The key aim of the OurSpace project is to contribute towards bringing the European Commission closer to the youth by improving young peoples role within the democratic system of the EC through the use of Information and Communication Technology.
The project has been running for over a year now and the consortium is ready to roll out the first version of the platform for internal testing by the end of December. The OurSpace platform was created with the technological support of Google and ATC and will be promoted by several national and international youth parliaments and organisations. OurSpace will be available on Facebook and as a mobile application to ensure mass participation of young people across Europe. For more information about the project please visit: http://www.ep-ourspace.eu or join our Facbook page by searching ‘OurSpace-The-Virtual-Youth-Space).
21c Dons Judging Hat for the 2011 eDemocracy Awards
The 2011 eDemocracy Awards were held at the World eGov Forum in the city of Issy-les-Moulineaux, a hub of internet and media activity near Paris, and 21c’s Dr Julia Glidden was invited to sit upon the judging panel.
Following the award ceremony at the prestigious venue of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs where Robert Schuman called for a United Europe in 1950, Dr Glidden introduced the Puzzled by Policy project to fellow judges and award finalist and winners, including:
- Founders – Gunnar Grimsson, Robert Bjarnason and Oskar Sandholt – of the Iceland-based Citizens Foundation (website: www.citizens.is) which won the European Award. The Citizens Foundation promotes democracy online through platforms such as the Icelandic ‘Shadow Parliament’ and a ‘Better Reykjavik’.
- Vice-President – Erik Telford – of the Franklin Centre for Government and Public Integrity – which was short-listed for the International Award. The Franklin Centre promotes the use of online campaign tools among American citizens.
- Christophe Leclercq, founder of Fondation EurActiv PoliTech which co-hosted the awards. Foundation EurActive PoliTech is Europe’s largest online public policy platform.
- Hugo Passsarello Luna, a journalist from Argentina Elections.Com. Argentina Elections.com provides independent information and analysis about elections in the Argentinian Republic.
Discussions were also held with the other two short-listed entries in the European e-Democracy awards- Europatweets.eu, founded by Henri Lastenouse, aggregating twitter feeds from EU politicians and experts, and the Scottish Ideas for global citizenship, enabling organisations and individuals involved in development and global citizenship education to share and prioritize their common ideas.
Oli Puzzled by Policy in Ljubljana, Slovenia
On the 12-13th of October 2011 Oli joined the Puzzled by Policy consortium at the 4th plenary meeting in Ljubljana to discuss the current state of the project and to prepare the team for the first review meeting with the European Commission that will take place at the end of November 2011.
The Puzzled by Policy Team is getting ready to launch the first version of the platform to its test groups by the end of November and to the general public by the end of this year. The platform is combining successful pre-existing eParticipation tools such as the EU Profiler with new widget technologies with the ultimate aim to reduce the complexity of decision making within the EU and reconnect citizens with politics and policymaking on the hot topic of immigration and migration.
21c is leading the exploitation and sustainability side of the project researching the potential adopters of the platform and developing the Business Plan to ensure Puzzled by Policy outcomes live beyond the timeframe funded by the European Commission.
Susie Facilitates EPIC Innovation in Deloitte’s iZone
Susie joined EPIC partners at Deloitte’s offices in Brussels on Tuesday 11 October to begin the Roadmap planning phase of the project. The EPIC Roadmap will be a help resource for administrations to use on their journey to becoming a smart city. The workshop consisted of a series of presentations, discussions and break-out sessions all designed to gather information from the Stakeholder value chain represented by the project partners (Cities, SME, Industry etc.) on their needs and vision for EPIC and for public sector cloud computing in general. Cities need to save costs yet deliver high quality effective services, whilst SME’s need access to tools and Partnerships to help them do business and reach markets across Europe. The Team will be working together over the next few weeks to begin Market Research and gather as much feedback from potential users as possible before finalising the Roadmap strategy. For more information visit www.epic-cities.eu
e-Democracy Awards 2011: Julia Judges the Finalists at Issy-les-Moulineaux
On the 12th of October 2011 at the City Hall of Issy-les-Moulineaux Julia joins a jury of internet specialists to judge nine finalists in the race for the e-Democracy Awards 2011. The finalists were selected by the American (PoliticsOnline), European (Fondation EurActiv Politech) and French (Blog Territorial) partners of the Awards and will compete in the respective three categories: International, European and French. To see the full list please visit: http://www.edemocracy-forum.com/awards-2011/
The e-Democracy Awards 2011 are part of the World e-Gov Forum which organises on the 12-13 October a two-day set of online conferences, for a true world tour of the best experts and best e-government initiatives.
Susie Represents Birmingham City University at the Second Organic.Lingua Project Meeting
This week, Susie represented Birmingham City University at the second Organic.Lingua project meeting. Susie presented the European dissemination strategy for the project and contributed to sessions around vision, technology and pilots. The meeting took place in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alcala, in downtown Alcalá de Henares a Human Heritage city listed by the Unesco. Organic.Lingua is a 3.5 million Euro budget project funded by the ICT-PSP program and is coordinated by the IE research unit of the University of Alcala. The key aim of this multinational effort is to enhance the existing Organic.Edunet portal (educational content on Organic Agriculture and Agroecology) by introducing automated multi-lingual services that will (a) further support the uptake of the portal from its targeted audiences, (b) facilitate the multilingual features of the portal, (c) and further extend its geographical and linguistic coverage. More detailed information about Organic.Lingua and its objectives, may be found at www.organic-lingua.eu
Julia Presents the Today’s Challenge for Local Government at the ICEGOV201 Conference in Estonia
Julia was invited to speak at the 5th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV2011) that took place in Tallinn, Estonia from the 26th to the 28th September, 2011. The prestigious event co-organised by the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance attracted thought leaders and practitioners from across the world. During her keynote speech Julia discussed today’s challenge’s for local government as increased citizen expectations and the current economic crisis create new demands. In this climate cities must deliver more for less, such as better infrastructure as well as more efficient and responsive services. Julia presented the concept of Living Labs, Social Media and growing trend of Smart Cities as a potential solution to this challenge and gave examples of initiatives, such as the EPIC project (www.epic-cities.eu) that deploy the Living Labs approach. Read more at http://www.icegov.org/.
EPIC Selected for eChallenges 2011
EPIC has been selected as a conference paper for the prestigious eChallenges conference taking place this year in Florence, Italy. eChallenges provides an international forum to share success stories and lessons learned from applied information and communication technology related research at the European Level (FP6 & FP7).
The EPIC paper is titled: ‘Is there a need for a Cloud Platform for European Smart Cities?’ and proposes an innovative solution for city administrators to provide ‘intelligent’ services to citizens and visitors exploiting Cloud computing and frequency identification technologies. Using the EPIC platform, cities can become ‘smart’ by extending their applications with a new set of technical, functional and business capabilities based on the particular requirements of each city and the needs of end users for applications. The applications deployed on EPIC will take the advantage of the platform services for scalability, sustainability and low operational cost becoming available to a pan-European (and possible worldwide) market. In addition, the EPIC Roadmap will simplify the process of extending existing applications or developing new ‘smart’ services for cities and leverage the involvement of enterprises and SME creating new business models and value networks.
The paper will be presented at 11:30am on Day one of the conference. For more information about eChallenges visit www.echallenges.org/2011.
EPIC’s eFuture at the BLED Conference
In June this year the EPIC Team developed a working panel for the Smart Cities Portfolio at the prestigious 24th Bled eConference in Bled, Slovenia. Chaired by Dr. Julia Glidden of 21c Consultancy, the panel highlighted the developments and achievements of the top projects co-funded under the last wave of European Commission’s ICT PSP Smart Cities call – namely Smart-IP: Smart Innovation and People presented by Prof. Pieter Ballon, Peripheria: Networked Smart Peripheral Cities for Sustainable Lifestyle represented by Alvaro Duarte de Oliveira and lastly the EPIC project represented by Dr. Glidden. The panel discussed the various merits of making cities ‘smarter’ while acknowledging the security concerns and the technical and procedural limitations that have to date prevented European cities from harnessing the full power of Living Labs.
CEO of the eGov Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrian Praises 21c’s Work
The 21c team was delighted to receive the following endorsement from Bahrain’s top eGovernment official, Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Qaed: ‘The eGovernment Authority has been dealing with Dr. Julia Glidden and her company 21c Consultancy for over two years. We are proud and happy with this collaboration with an internationally renowned and professional leader and company.’
Julia Chairing the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum
Dr Glidden had the honour of Chairing the prestigious Bahrain International eGovernment Forum http://www.egovforum.bh The event brought together the brightest minds and the latest solutions in the eGovernment arena with a focus on visions, experiences and future forecasts on e-Government technologies and innovations from across the world.
Watch the speach: Julia speaking in Bahrain
eParticipation in May
Julia Co-Chaired the eParticipation track at this year’s highly successful CEDEM 11 Conference sponsored by the Danube University Krems. This year’s events brought together over a hundred academics and practioners from across Europe.
Lifelong Learning in April
Julia was awarded a Grundtvig Fellowship to spend a week in Chania, Crete exploring ways in which teachers and educators can use new social media tools to foster greater civic participation. The Workshop was organised by the POLITICS project (www.politics-project.eu) which aims to develop digital storytelling skills.
WAVE passed the EC review and is now officially part of the eParticipation hall of fame!
On the 14th of April, Oli and Susie attended the final review for the WAVE project which took place at the European Commission in Brussels. Oli presented the outcomes form the pilot deployment and explained the key impacts for decision makers across Europe. The reviewers were impressed by the advances the team has made to the field of argument visualisation and the project was commended for its high quality deliverables and strong participation figures.
The WAVE project has been running for the past two years with the main aim to improve the inclusiveness andtransparency of EU decision making at the national and European level by using highly integrated, state-of-the-art Argument Visualisation techniques. WAVE has been successfully deployed in three countries, France, Lithuania and the UK having more than 7000 registered users. As a part of the sustainability strategy for the project, the WAVE tool kit can be downloaded from Sourceforge so anyone can integrate the WAVE tool to their platform and adjust it to individual needs: http://sourceforge.net/projects/waveplatform/
Well done to the WAVE team!
Local Digital Agendas meets Digital Agenda Europe
On April 4th and 5th, Julia was invited to attend a hands-on workshop hosted by the European Commission on the Local Digital Agenda. The workshop used TNOs ‘DeepDive’ methodology to identify a series of winning ICT prototypes to improve local government service delivery.
Step ahead for the Citadel Statement
The Citadel Statement took another step forward on April 4th when stakeholders from across Europe – including Global Cities Dialogue, LOLA, and EuroCities – gathered to consolidate their collaborative efforts, and identify ways to ensure that Citadel is on the agenda at the forthcoming Ministerial Conference in Poland.
Mad for EPIC in Manchester
Susie presented the EPIC (European Platform for Intelligent Cities) initiative on the 29th of March to a range of council administrators and decision makers in Manchester, one of the four key pilot cities in the project. Susie provided the context around the project explaining EPIC’s mission to fully harness the power of ICT by bringing together Living Labs, future internet and cloud computing technologies to enable cities across Europe to collaborate, innovate, create and deliver genuinely smarter citizen and business centred services. Her presentation was followed by a demonstration by Hildebrand of the smart web service ‘energyhive’ that will be piloted in Manchester using the EPIC platform.
‘energyhive’ is an energy monitoring project, which allows users to view household energy consumption via a web-based dashboard. The service collates household data at regular intervals via a number of energy monitoring units from within the home. This data can then be stored on a cloud-based storage system and the newly gained information can be used by both citizens and cities for intelligent and informed decision making. The purpose of the Manchester workshop was to communicate the SMART City concept to a representative stakeholder group and gather feedback and user requirements.
Breaking Down Language Barriers with Organic.Lingua
21c Partner, Susie Ruston and Prof Keith Osman from Birmingham City University represented the UK at the CIP-ICT-PSP project meeting as dissemination and exploitation specialists. Together a total of eleven project partners will work on Organic.Lingua to enhance an existing web portal (www.organic.edunet.eu) with educational content on organic agriculture and agroecology, introducing automated multi-lingual services that will further support the uptake of the portal from its targeted audiences, and further extend its geographical and linguistic coverage. The project will demonstrate and deliver a cost-effective approach for delivering language technologies based on open standards and open source software that can be utilised by other web portals. Further information on Organic.Lingua will be made available here in due course.
British Embassy in Athens Hosts ‘eGovernment: Better Services, Better Democracy?’ Conference
Last week, Julia attended an exclusive two-day round table discussion on the future of eGovernment at the British Embassy in Athens. The event, which was held in conjunction with Wilton Park, gathered prominent eGovernment experts from the UK and Greece to discuss topics ranging from the digital gap and reaching rural communities through to current and future challenges.
HM Ambassador David Landsman opened the conference which was then chaired by Richard Burge, Chief Executive of Wilton Park.
World’s Mayors Gather in Cologne for Spring ICT Summit
On February 21-22, Julia had the privelege to attend the Global Cities Dialogue Mayor’s Summit in Cologne.
TheSummit brought together 60 participants from 15 countries worldwide representing local authorities, intergovernmental organisations, the academic world and the global ICT industry. Discussion focused on the local Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), and whether the DAE could present a sustainable model for other continents. Mr Constantijn van Oranje-Nassua represented Vice President Neelie Kroes of the European Commission, who delivered a compelling keynote video message. Julia had the opportunity to present the Citadel Statement – a pan-European call for better national and EU-level support for local eGovernment – to a closed door session of the gathering.
Citadel Statement: Telling Member State And EU Decision Makers What European Local Gov Really Needs
By Dr. Julia Glidden from 21c Consultancy and Geert Mareels (Flemish Government). Published in eGovMonitor – Tuesday, 19 October, 2010
‘Lift Off Towards Open Government’ Conference on December 15-16th is focused on producing the Citadel Statement which would articulate the needs of local government in Europe to national and European decision makers.
The Flemish Government and a host of European local government partner organisations are working to ensure that the Belgian Presidency’s forthcoming ‘Lift Off Towards Open Government’ Conference on December 15-16th starts with a bang by identifying the top things that national and EU decision makers can do by 2013 to better support local eGovernment. The aim of this effort is to produce a pan-European ‘Call to Action’ – known as The Citadel Statement – that will help local government deliver on the key objectives of the Malmo Ministerial Declaration.
Read full article here.
EPIC Times in Helsinki
21c braved the cold Finnish weather to help launch our new EU CIP project EPIC – European Platform for Intelligent Cities, in conjunction with the Commissions Smart Cities conference. On the 16 and 17 November, Julia Glidden and Susie Ruston joined partners including IBM, IBBT, Birmingham City University, ENoLL, National Technical University of Athens, Navidis, and Athens Technology Centre amongst others, in a two day project kick off meeting.
As the key contributor to the development of the original project proposal, 21c was particularly pleased to see EPIC become a reality. Our idea was to uniquely combine innovation ecosystem processes, fully researched and tested e-Government service applications and new cloud computing technologies to create the first truly scalable and flexible pan-European platform for innovative, user-driven public service delivery.
In so doing, EPIC will present public administrations with a unique opportunity to cut costs and drive innovation by providing access to a market-leading shared infrastructure that facilitates rapid prototyping and testing. EPIC will provide added-value to cities by meeting their need to migrate to a ‘smart,’ industrial strength web-based service delivery infrastructure in a scalable and cost-efficient manner, and to easily access innovative new applications from across Europe. EPIC will also provide added-value to citizens and business by meeting their increasing desire to access localised, user-centred government services that are on a par with other private sector offerings i.e. quicker, faster, and more personalised.
21c heads up the dissemination and exploitation workpackage for EPIC, so if you’d like further information on this initiative please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@21cConsultancy.com
Puzzled by Policy Project Launch: Helping You be part of the EU
The long awaited CIP project ‘Puzzled by Policy’ developed by 21c kicked off in Athens this October with our team represented by Susie Ruston. Project partners from across Europe including Slovenia, Portugal, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Ireland and the UK met at the offices of GRNET (Greek Research NETwork) to discuss how to end general citizen detachment and disillusionment in policy making processes using innovative policy profiling and argument visualisation technologies. The aim of the project is to provide all citizens – regardless of their literacy skills or subject matter knowledge – a unique platform/portal to learn about immigration policy at the EU level and find out what particular policies mean to them on a national level, so they can contribute to the drafting of a common EU immigration policy. Equally important, Puzzled by Policy will help decision makers at both the national and European level better understand the impact of their policies on constituents by feeding citizen reactions back to them. Further information about the project will be provided here soon.
Creating the Citadel Statement
21c facilitated a workshop on Monday 11th October at the SOCITM conference in Brighton that brought together e-government experts from across Europe to discuss why e-government is not happening at the local level. The aim of the workshop was to create the basis for a formal consultation on ‘what local governments need from National and EU decision makers in order to better implement e-government’. The results from the workshop and the subsequent public consultation will be used to help formulate a shared European eGovernment Statement(provisionally named the Citadel Statement) that will be launched at the ‘Lift off to Open Governent’ pre-conference hosted by the Flemish Government on the 14th December in Ghent, Belgium.
Geert Mareels, eGovernment Manager for CORVE and the Project Sponsor, thanked 21c for its professional management of the workshop, and participants such as Peter Hautekiet from Vlaamse ICT organisatie claimed “It really was a nice workshop, thanks to the excellent coordination and preparation”.
Further information on the public consultation phase will be released soon.
New ICT PSP Project OurSpace Successfully Kicks Off in Athens on the 23rd of July
The OurSpace project, selected as one of the top proposals from the last ICT PSP call, has officially kicked off on the 23rd of July in Athens. The meeting was organised on the premises of NTUA by the project coordinator – the Athens Technology Centre – who will lead the OurSpace consortium for the next 3 years.
OurSpace plans to create a unique online collaboration space designed to actively engage young European citizens in the moulding of their future society. The platform will incorporate all the latest social media tools and applications and will be designed with help of the end-users themselves to ensure high attractiveness and usability of the platform.
The project success will not depend only on the technical delivery of the platform but mainly on the high participation rate of the end-users and OurSpace consortium has on board partners such as UK Youth Parliament, Café Babel Magazine or Google Ireland with links to millions of young people from Europe. 21c will participate as the dissemination and sustainability expert ensuring the project achieves high visibility in Europe.
21c Hosted the UK eGovernment Study Tour for the Kingdom of Bahrain
The Kingdom of Bahrain has recently moved from 42 to 13 on United Nation’s 2010 Global eGovernment Survey and is keen to build on this achievement through their upcoming five year strategy. To design the most effective approach, the Bahraini key eGovernment Authority representatives have asked 21c Consultancy to host a Study Tour to meet with leading UK figures involved with implementing eGovernment.
For the 17th and 18th of June 2010 21c has arranged personal meetings with high dignitaries within the UK ICT central and local departments starting on the 17th with a presentation by Bill McCluggage, Deputy CIO, at the UK Cabinet Office on the UK eGovernment Strategy followed by a visit to the Local Government Information Unit where Jasmine Ali, Head of Children and Social Services, presented their approach to Web 2.0 and Service Delivery. The delegation had also a chance to visit the Department of Health and learn about the NHS Choices programme and meet Bob Gann the department’s Head of Strategy & Engagement.
The second day was devoted to local government strategy and the delegation travelled to Kent County Council to visit the leading centres for innovation in digital service delivery. The delegation was introduced to a wide array of award-wining digital initiatives, including Kent TV and ‘Pic n’ Mix’ Innovation.
The entire delegation led by the CEO Mohamed Ali Al-Qead was impressed with the tour and found information and knowledge presented enriching for the development of the Bahraini eGA 2011-14 strategy.
Julia Chairs the Jury of the eGovernment Excellence Awards 2010
Julia has been invited to chair the jury for the Bahrain eGovernment Excellence Award 2010, organized by the eGovernment Authority under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology. The eGovernment Excellence Award program is a significant force in recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector. This annual awards program spotlight concrete evidence that government can work to improve quality of life for citizens and that it deserve greater public trust.
eCitizen 2.0 Kick-Off Meeting Is Taking Place on the 16-18th Feb in Tampere, Finland
The eCitizen 2.0 project funded by the InterReg IV Call will officially kick off on the 16th of February in Tampere, Finland. Led by the Baltic Institute of Finland, the project brings together 11 Local Authorities from across Europe to stimulate new Web 2.0-inspired approaches to citizen-centred and driven service delivery.
Over the next three years partners will regularely meet in joint seminars to discuss key issues, challenges and opportunities in eParticipation and will explore the designated sub-themes for the end-of-project online manual on eParticipation. Partners will also be exposed to state-of-the-art developement in eGovernment on their Study Tours across Europe. The project is designed to enhance direct collaboration, peer learning between more and less experience project partners.
The European Commission has selected eCitizen 2.0 for grant funding as part of the intensely competitive InterReg IV Call. eCitizen 2.0 builds upon the knowledge and experience gathered in the InterReg III funded project – Challenge of eCitizen which ran between 2005-2007. Led by the Baltic Institute of Finland, the project
brings together 12 Local Authorities from across Europe to stimulate new Web 2.0-inspired approaches to citizen-centred and driven service delivery. As a cross-cutting theme, the project methodology will follow real administrative processes in the development of new policy guidance for the use of Web 2.0 tools in local government. eCitizen 2.0 will launch in January 2010 and run through January 2013.
The European Commission has selected Puzzled by Policy for grant funding under latest IST PSP Call. Puzzled by Policy will combine state-of-the-art profling, widget and arugment visualisation technology to make it eaiser and more convenient than ever before for citizens across Europe to understand complex immigration legislation. Project partners include: University of Galway, Ireland, Athens Technology Centre, Greece, and the European University Institute, Italy. Puzzled by Policy will launch in February 2010 and run through February 2013.
The European Commission has selected Our Space for grant funding under latest IST PSP Call. Our Space will create a unique online collaboration space designed to actively engage young European citizens in the moulding of their future society. The platform will be tailored entirely to the needs of the young European citizens and provide a common Social Networking space to support active participation and real time collaboration among the European youngsters. Project partners include: Google Ireland, Ltd, the European Youth Parliament and the UK Youth Parliament.
In the speech she noted that the ’21st century is a terrible time for controlfreaks,’ and argued that government and civil society alike have a mutual obligation to come to terms with the implications of Web 2.0. ”If we are going to ask our politicians to use social media to be more forthcoming and spontaneous,’ she argued, ‘then we can’t revel in the ‘culture of complaint’ when they get a few things wrong.”
The 5th Ministerial Conference in Malmo taking place on the 19th and 20th of November 2009 will now feature a special session on how Web 2.0 can be used to increase citizen involvement in the production and use of public services. Julia Glidden was invited to give a speech in this session and we can expect her to stress the new wave of communication, collaboration and co-creation that Web 2.0 has unleashed in the recent years! For those of you interested in the topic, please join Julia’s session ‘Experiences and Initiatives – Engaging the Citizens of the eUnion’ on Thursday November 19, 2009!
21/22 May 2009 Youth Participation and Social Network Sites – Action Learning Set
Julia represented 21c at a Youth Participation and Social Network programme in Warrington, Cheshire. This was organised by the Children’s services network (CSN) and Local Government Information Unit (LGiU). The main focus of the learning set was to highlight the wider issues of democracy and the democratic engagement of young people. Julia discussed digital democracy and delivered her presentation on “eParticipation in the Era of Web 2.0” bringing this in line with the younger generation. This was an extremely successful and educational seminar.
Reduction of Administrative Burden – Athens 11-15 May 2009
Julia attended the Seminar of Reduction of Administrative Burden organised by the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in collaboration with the Hellenic National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government (EKDDA)
The seminar focused around Transformational and Citizen-centric Government.
Julia addressed a group of senior Greek civil servants and discussed delivering best value in the public sector and the lessons that can be learnt from the Private sector. This was an extremely engaging and productive workshop and the presentations were warmly received.
Susie represented 21c at the kick-off meeting for WAVE (Welcoming Argument Visualisation to Europe) on 19th-20th February 2009. This was held in Thessaloniki, Greece.
All the partners of WAVE attended to discuss the expectations of each party, platform preparations and pilot implementation. Current climate change policies were highlighted and proposals for change were addressed.
Moving forward the tasks, deliverables and milestones were defined and the project is now in full swing with Susie providing an invaluable contribution to the project.
9-13 February 2009
The Seminar on Prospectives on eGovernment held in Maastricht was organised by the European Institute (EIPA) in cooperation with the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government (EKDDA).
The seminar focused on Transformational eGovernment and the existing and emerging trends in ICT. The opportunities and challenges of IT introduction for public services improvement was widely discussed throughout and many key figures were in attendance.
Julia addressed the delegates on the subject of implementing eGovernment in the context of the Knowledge Economy and eParticipation in the Era of Web 2.0. Julia carried out a successful workshop on the key success factors and barriers when introducing eParticipation.
21c organised a Registration-themed Road Show in Swindon on Friday 17th October to encourage the people of Swindon to register on the electoral roll. The event, co-hosted by Swindon Borough Council’s Election Team and GWR Radio, was entitled ‘Get the X Factor – Register to Vote’ and took place in Swindon Town Centre. The day featured: Live music from Delinquent and up-and-comer Laura Critchley
- Celebrity Look-alikes Simon Cowell and Batman
- Councillor involvement
- A magician
- Face painting
- Give aways
- X-Factor themed competition
The event was a great success on a rare sunny day in October and the message of registration was communicated to a wide variety of Swindon citizens. To see photos from the event, visit our photoblog here.
21c’s sub-contractor on the recently successful and award winning EU-Pay project – SpartaPay – has been nominated for a prestigious British Computer Society IT Industry Award. Sparta are nominated alongside the likes of industry giants Microsoft and BP. Huge congratulations – we hope EU-Pay’s winning streak will continue!
Julia addresses Irish eGovernment eSymposium
Julia Glidden represented 21c at the Irish eSymposium on 30th September in Dublin, where she delivered her popular speech on eParticipation in the Era of Web 2.0. The event was attended by key figures in the Irish and wider Europe eGovernment and eParticipation field and was a great success! To see photos from the event, visit our photoblog here.
21c Managing Director Julia Glidden spoke at the Local Government Information Unit’s Social Networking and Youth Participation Event on 26th September. She addressed delegates on the theme of eParticipation in the Era of Web 2.0, discussing the widening gap between young people’s use of the web and that of older people and particularly government. The presentation was very well received, as you can see from this blog about the event. In addition, the organisers conducted an anonymous survey of the delegates in which Julia was rated ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ by 98% of respondents and received the following feedback: ‘Julia Glidden – reality of speech, fantastic and so, so true’ ‘Very impressed by Julia and her enthusiasm’ ‘Julia Glidden’s presentation was excellent and very thought provoking. She should go on tour of all LAs’ It’s always nice to know that presentations are well-received and thought provoking!