On 14–15 of February the Annual meeting of Telecentre Europe members took place at the Microsoft office in Paris. Representatives of 24 networks gathered together in order to make a summary of done activities and to establish new strategical directions of activity.
The main subjects of discussion were the report of activity 2012 and elaboration of a new strategy for 2013 - 2017.
The Telecentre Europe started in 2007 in Barcelona with the first meeting. Currently there are 35 formal members in 27 countries. During 2012 the membership increased 50%.
In 2012 Telecentre Europe managed to consolidate its own positions as an important player. The high representation at the European level allows the organization to have a good communication with different state holders and European Union institutions.
A good result is expected from the recently started MIREIA project. The action represents a good opportunity to map the telecentres and to show the existence of a huge inclusion sector. One objective of the program is the creation a high level of legitimacy of telecentres in Europe. This project proved that the work of telecentres has to be visible and appreciated.
The new strategy 2013 - 2017 will be based on three pillars:
- Education and training,
- Advocacy and campaign,
- Research and innovation.
For the proposed pillars telecentres have to provide training courses in new areas. The nowadays reality is that at the moment the telecentres are not ready to provide courses for specific target groups (elders and care workers, kids, youth, unemployed).
The idea to add "Sustainability" as a new pillar constituted another subject of the discussions among members. An example could be the transfer of the successful finished projects to other networks. Another example that will contribute to spread specific projects and training models is sharing of facilitators between different countries. Also the Telecentre Europe is orientated to capacity building of non-EU networks with Telecentre.org.
The new technologies develop quite quickly and telecentres have to be ready to provide efficient services. Five years ago the digital inclusion was more about disadvantaged people. At the same time training courses for basic skills are not any more the priority of telecentres. Today the policies and trends are different. Telecentres have to rise attention about e-skills, youth employment, new opportunities for women, social investment and entrepreneurship.
One of established strategical direction is the participation in the decision making process at the European Union level. Participants agreed that the Telecentre Europe has to represent a strong voice at the European level. But, at the same time telecentres also have to remain connected to local situation in each state.
In order to achieve better results, is planned to be established working groups for such areas as: advocacy, education, e-government where telecentre managers can participate.
The 2013 will bring new important events for Telecentre Europe.
In the period 18 - 24 March, 2013 the Telecentre Europe is preparing the Get Online Week. Telecentre networks which will be active participants will be rewarded with a grant equivalent of 3500 Euro.
In 2013 the SPARK event will take place for the first time in Europe. Telecentre-Europe as well telecentres from Spain are actively involved in organization of the event.
The annual Summit of Telecentre Europe will be organised this autumn in Malta.
A new modification was introduced in the structure of Telecentre Europe. New members can be individual telecentres, formally established there is recognized the role of associate members that can be located outside of European zone.
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