Association Langas į ateitį takes the lead of National Digital Coalition in Lithuania

The ceremony of  Memorandum of Understanding  signing by National Digital Coaliton partners took place during ICT2013 conference CREATE,CONNECT, GROW in Vilnius on November 7th. Lots of attention, lots of important people and mass media. The ceremony was honored by EC vicepresident Neelie Kroes who gave a speach and above all - signed the Memorandum together with 11 Lithuanian partners.

Short prehistory

In 2002 association Langas i ateiti (eng.Window to the Future) was established by Lithuanian socially responsible businesses with the goal to increase the usage of Internet. Exciting 10 years passed very fast!  We initiated first hundreds of  public Internet access points, trained  over 120 000 adults on computer literacy basics, encouraged Lithuanian society to use e-government services,  presented  rules to be safe online, promoted   Internet  learning.  We have gained great experience, learnt a lot and had moments to remember. Our courses participants feedback and  numerous Lithuanian and EC  awards  proved we were on the right way. The number of  Internet users was increasing rapidly. One of our main strong points was cooperation with central and local government,  other NGO as well as local communities.  In 2003 Lars A.Jeurling, Senior consultant of World Bank said: “Langas į ateitį (Window to the future) could be a model example for other countries .It is a rare case when private and public institutions successfully cooperate”.

The background  of National Digital Coalition birth in LT

When recent unemployment, especially of young people,  hit record levels  in EU and Lithuania  but at the same time  thousands of ICT specialists are in need  Langas į ateitį decided to review our strategy. Actually we were inspired by Telecentre-Europe , the member if  which Langas į ateitį is since 2008. The idea of creating local coalition for digital jobs was born. To our great suprise after Dublib DAA  in June in a pretty short time  we organized a team of enthusiastic personalities (digital champion, young advisors to VP N.Kroes among them)  to do the preparatory job and establish National Digital coalition. 11 important  different actors were sellected: 3 ministries responsible for DA,  unempoyment and ICT  professionals, 2 universities and 6 NGO involved in information society development  projects. We decided to unite forces again  to improve the situation in the country and  support  EC invitation to join Grand Coalition for digital jobs. 

Next steps

All nice holidays are over and we look forward to  the very interesting and challenging future:  implementation of the goals forseen by National digital coalition members in Lithuania: to substantially reduce the shortage of ICT professionals, to attract more young people to choose ICT and other sciences porfessions, raise public awareness of the importance of digital skills and competences. We will use our  experince again – unite forces and win.

Please visit our National Digital Coalition website: www.skaitmeninekoalicija.lt

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