TEAC Conference Report Dec. 2015 - Page 4

Introduction and background Telecentre Europe (TE) organises two annual events every year, one dedicated exclusively to our members (General Assembly) and another open to our wider audience of stakeholders: Telecentre Europe Annual Conference (TEAC). The objectives of the annual TE conference have always been to share knowledge, welcome new members, evaluate the challenges ahead for telecentres and promote our messages to policy makers, businesses and interested stakeholders. 4 the conference: more recently Zagreb, Malta and Warsaw. The aspect of this “travelling conference” is very well accepted among the participants. The event gathers a majority of members of TE and non-governmental organisations active in the field of digital inclusion and empowerment. However, it also attracts policy makers and company representatives who are willing to learn from our In its 8th year, TEAC15 took the structure of a 1.5-day event, hosted by three European funded projects: UNITE-IT, E-uropa and I-LINC. Telecentre Europe is the leading partner in the project consortiums, composed of TE members and partnering organisations. It is a challenge but at the same time a satisfaction to organise the annual conference around our key projects’ themes and priorities, making it possible for conference attendees to listen to diverse topics throughout the conference and network with a wide variety of stakeholders. Every year the conference is held in a different location and in 2015 the turn was given to Belgrade (Serbia), kindly hosted and co-organised by our Serbian member International Aid Network (IAN). As with previous years, the setting gave us an opportunity to tap into local knowledge and to involve local professionals and enthusiasts. Before Belgrade, many other European capitals hosted experiences and share their views. Altogether there were 143 participants from well over 20 countries. The common theme for the 2015 conference was “Digitally empowered Europeans”, a tagline reflecting Telecentre Europe’s vision for European citizens. It is also a point we would like to be implemented more within the Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy published by the European Commission. As Mara Jakobsone, the Telecentre Europe Board Chair, illustrated in her welcoming presentation, telecentres will play a role in the DSM strategy as they are already empowering citizens with digital skills. Due to its focus on youth employability and digital skills for jobs, TEAC15 was also on the official calendar of the European Commission’s ongoing campaign eSkills for Jobs.