Teac Scoop 2015

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MK: What is your exact title and role in the European Telecentre program? Masha: During the year I work at Telecentre Europe as communication manager, and one part of my work is related to organising and promoting the annual event of our organisation. This implies thinking and brainstorming about the content of the conference during some months : the topics, the exact speakers we want to invite – and then to make it happen, basically. We had already determined the place of the conference which is Belgrade; our Serbian member friendly offered that they would organize it. We were very happy because the organizational aspect and logistics is always very intense and not easy to do from Brussels in a new location each year. My role is mainly to oversee the whole process of event organisation and to make sure to translate the vision of our management to reality. My main objective is to get our members together , help them meet and network, learn new things and have a good time. MK: Are you located in Brussels?

Masha: Yes, we are, and every year we take the conference to a different place – last year it was in Zagreb, this year it’s Belgrade, next year it will be in Belgium. We organize it from here, together with our members who are at the actual place. MK: What was the biggest challenge you had to face during the organization process? Masha: Well, the biggest challenge was probably making sure to find good speakers; especially while having in mind that our conference is just after the summer. It’s difficult for people to confirm that they will come during the summer, because they are often on holidays for example. That’s a big challenge but even if you organize everything before the summer, people can change their minds during the summertime. It’s not easy to organize a conference that happens just after the summer. And finding engaging speakers is always a challenge! MK: Do you expect anything from the conference? What would be the ideal outcome for you? Masha: The ideal outcome is that Telecentre Europe member community grows stronger,

also that we find new projects to work on together, to get inspired by new ideas, to look with optimism into the future, and that we open up for new people and new ideas that come from outside of our community. Also, to really learn more about Serbia and the ideas, people, and organizations that are working there on the fields of digital inclusion, education, or employability. MK How many attendants are expected? Masha: We are expecting about 150 people, they have all registered before. MK: It’s quite a lot. Masha: Yes, and we are growing every year – more and more people register to come to our conferences and we are very happy about this, because in the beginning the conference was for our own community, Telecentre leaders. It was called the Summit. We decided to change the name and call it the „Annual Conference” to make it more open, to show that it’s not a summit only for certain people who lead their telecentres or organizations. So it became a general form for anyone who is interested in telecentres, digital inclusion or digital skills. MK: How many good practices are about to be shown? Masha: It is difficult to estimate. We can say definitely the winners of the Unite-IT Award – they already have four good practices. Then we have more GP-s throughout the different sessions: the e-participation session on day two we’ll talk about the good practices of digital citizenship and e-participa-


tion in Serbia. On the first day, possibly within the plenary, we will hear some interesting good practices, also from Serbia and Latvia. And then, during the panel of youth-employment, we’ll see an interesting discussion where the problem of youth-employability is discussed from different perspectives – from the private, the public, or the NGO sectors. MK: Can we say that this conference is more focused on the youth-employability? Masha: Not really. We can say that this conference is, like every Telecentre Europe Annual Conference, always focused on three main themes, but these change each year. This year the themes are youth and mobility, digital inclusion, and e-participation. This year we have three projects financing the conference. In this case these are: the e-Europa Project, the I-Linc Project and the Unite-IT Project. MK: Would you like to share some thoughts in addition? Masha: Yes, we would like to tell the participants that we invite them to come with an open mind. Be ready to learn and also be ready to contribute – to discuss, and to tell us what they think. We are curious about their ideas, so that we introduce some new topics into the conversation, such as the e-participation or the youth-employability. We really want to hear their views, to get them excited about these topics, so they can go back to their organizations and initiate projects on these topics as well.

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