easyRights showcased its tools at the Major Cities of Europe Conference in Larissa, Greece
The innovative technological tools designed and implemented by the easyRights project were successfully presented in the annual conference Major Cities of Europe, which took place in the city of Larissa, in Central Greece from 2 to 4 November 2022. The Conference was hosted by the Municipality of Larissa (an easyRights partner), under the auspices of the Greek Ministries of Digital Governance, Interior and Tourism, as well as other national and local authority institutions. The topic of the conference, which was held in person, was “From Chaos to Cosmos: Innovative Communities, Places and Cities” and brought together various stakeholders, local authorities, IT experts, researchers and academicians from many parts of Europe and further afield, in order to discuss the challenges that modern communities face in the post-covid era and suggest solutions that aim to the digital transformation of cities, with the ultimate goal of achieving social inclusion and life quality standards for all.
This year’s conference organization was very successful and the quality speakers had the opportunity to present in front of a large and attentive audience as well as to participate in discussions during round tables and world café sessions. The topics of the conference focused on the unforeseen common challenges that modern communities are facing and have resulted from various global threats, such as climate change, the pandemic, war, energy and economic crisis, immigration and increasing refugee influx. As stressed, these pressures require the transformation of cities, which should also be responsive to the citizens’ expectations and particular needs. Admittedly, the role of digital technologies can be essential in the efficient interaction among services and citizens and the design of revised policies that can ensure security in the case of emergency situations. A clear take-home message of the conference was the need for all the stakeholders and individuals to collaborate for the co-design of effective solutions to these common and, in some cases, chaotic challenges, by fostering the concepts of cosmopolitanism and inclusion.
Within this context, easyRights participated in the conference with two presentations, which focused on the ICT solutions developed by the project as a means of promoting the migrants’ effective integration in the host communities as well as on the ways in which these innovations can help towards more inclusive public services, by reducing the existing language and bureaucratic barriers in the cross-cultural communication among public servants and newcomers. Moreover, the project coordinator, Professor Grazia Concilio, participated in an Open Meeting, whose topic related to the climate transition and the ways in which EU missions can boost resilience in cities. The easyRights delegates also had the chance to discuss the potential of the project’s technological tools during round tables, press interviews as well as in information booths, thus communicating to a wide audience of experts and general public the innovations and implications of the easyRights project.
Note: Special thanks to Eleftheria Nteliou for preparing this article.