GOW 2016 in Emilia Romagna: the second time is always better!

This was the second GOW run in Emilia Romagna by the Pane e Internet (PeI) network. 62 live events were organised during the week, with over 1600 participants, compared to 1200 in the GOW 2015. This time we witnessed the active involvement of the 7 newly established PeI Points and, as last year, the important contribution of several regional and local partners, some of them new to this initiative, including a number of secondary schools.

Nine PeI digital literacy courses were launched during the GOW and another 15 courses already under way devoted the week’s sessions to safe Internet use and confident navigation. Altogether about 350 people were trained, mostly mature adults, elderly and unemployed people.

Six “Internet in the library? Easier together” events were also organised in public libraries in various locations to present PeI’s digital facilitation services and recruit volunteers for them. A significant development illustrated in these events is the new opportunity for upper secondary school students to do their compulsory work-study alternation activity (200 or 400 hours depending on school type) working as digital facilitators at libraries of the PeI network.

In Rimini and Pavullo (Modena), PeI digital facilitators were trained on digital employment services and how to exploit the Internet for job searching, given that a growing number of PeI’s customers are asking for support in this domain. The Skillage and YouRock services were introduced in the Pavullo training. YouRock, in particular, was also the focus of specific sessions run by the Informagiovani service for young people run in Castelfranco Emilia (Modena) by staff from Open Group, the largest welfare and educational services cooperative from Bologna, which became GOW partner this year.

Secondary school students were also the main target of 9 “Digital Jobs: meet the professionals” events. These were organised with the support of free-lancer Giovanni Arata, in collaboration with schools, Unioncamere Emilia Romagna (regional chambers of commerce association), IFOA (training and employment 

services provider), Coop Alleanza 3.0 (the largest consumers cooperative in Italy, which promotes intergenerational digital training and 3D printing in several schools in Emilia Romagna) and ASPHI, which presented Click4All, a makers’ project for people with disabilities, winner this year of Fondazione Vodafone Italia’s Think for Social contest. Attended by almost 400 people, these highly interactive events aimed at showing young people the many new work opportunities created by the ever evolving digital economy. Jobs presented in these meetings by about 30 professionals, entrepreneurs and researchers ranged from big data analyst, to food and Google certified photographer, from social media manager to data journalist and urban digital planner.

Parents of young children and teenagers, including migrant parents (in association with Ervet’s Digital Generation Gap project), were invited to several events devoted to safe internet use and personal data protection. Proteggiamo.org is a new local partner that contributed to run these events, along with AICA, the national IT professionals association.

Last but not least, Open Group –a new partner of this initiative- in fact opened the GOW 2016 in Emilia Romagna during the ABC Digitale event on March 11-12 in Bologna, attended by almost 400 people. Several digital activities –in collaboration with Bologna’s CoderDojo, FabLab, ASPHI and others- were organised for children, young people and parents during the two days. On Saturday, a desk to illustrate and promote the use of YouRock was also present. On March 14, Radio Città del Capo –part of Open Group- devoted to the GOW 2016 and its priorities Pensatech, the weekly radio program on digital technology and innovation.

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