SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.

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SDA AT THE 2023 EDITION OF THE COVENANT OF MAYORS INVESTMENT FORUM - ENERGY EFFICIENCY FINANCE MARKET PLACE


The 2023 edition of the Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum - Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place took place in Brussels, jointly organised by the European Commission’s Directorates-Generals for Energy and Climate Action and the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) in collaboration with the Covenant of Mayors.

The conference included plenary sessions with high-level representatives from the European Commission, cities and the investment community.

One of the successful and pioneering projects invited to be presented to encourage change at the local level, was SHEERenov, and its follow-up – the current project INSPIRenov. They were presented by Sevdalina Voynova with SDA and Mariyana Hamanova with Cleantech Bulgaria. The efforts and experience of Sofia provoked signifinat interest, particularly the one-stop-shop for energy efficiency and the developed financing models for energy efficiency in the public and private sectors and boosting investments in home renovation.

The event brought together over 150 participants - cities, industry and financial institutions, to exchange good practices and successful solutions to common challenges.

       

LEAD ONLINE PARTNERS GATHERED IN PATRAS TO LAUNCH THE PILOT PHASE OF THE ONLINE GAME HATE OUT!

Exciting times at the LeadOnline Project! Project partners gathered in Patras to kickstart the pilot phase of the online Hate Out! game and to strategize upcoming activities.
Setting off on an adventurous journey, Denitza Lozanova, Lead Online Project Manager, along with partners from ZARA - Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit, Centar za mir, nenasilje i ljudska prava - Osijek, FORMA.Azione Giove In Formatica, Future Needs, and Associatia Divers, safely arrived in Patras. We were there to join forces with our partner the Ελληνικό Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο ΕΑΠ - Hellenic Open University for the Hate Out! Game event, collaborating with educators and then to dive deep into the meticulous planning of National HateOut!Game Days, LeadOnline Talk, Resources to Combat Online Hate Speech, and the upcoming Valorisation Conference set to take place in Brussels on February 6, 2024.
Stay tuned for more updates and valuable resources from the LEAD-Online EU project ! Follow us for the latest news.

      

OUR HATE OUT! GAME WAS PRESENTED FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE ONLINE AND VR GAMES EXPO DURING THE PLAYING MAN: SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE

On October 24, 2023 we held another series of our LEAD-Online Talks, participating in the exhibition of online and VR games during the conference The Playing Man: Skills and Knowledge, a project of Interculture Consult, implemented with the support of the National Culture Fund, and targeted towards representatives of the business, educational and cultural sectors, with our HATE OUT! game.

HATE OUT! is an online game that aims to educate young people on how to counter hate speech in the modern online environment. Players take on the role of a community builder who, through their choices, strengthens or weakens the bonds between community characters.

We presented the game for the first time to a wider audience - the participants of the Playing Man: Knowledge and Skills conference.

Representatives of institutions, various businesses and organizations came to our booth during the event, acted out scenarios from the game and shared their experiences in the field of countering hate speech online.

Our game was developed within the LEAD-Online EU project, which is co-funded by the EU Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme. If you also want to try out the HATE OUT! game, come to SGN 2023: HATE OUT! at SofiaLab on 4 November!

      

      

Проектът е съ-финансиран от програма „Граждани, равенство, права и ценности“ нa ЕС.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SUPPORT OF RESPONSIBLE TERRITORIAL POLICY MAKING

The Final Conference of the RRI-Leaders project, entitled “Territories as Leaders in Responsible Research and Innovation”, held in the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels on October 19, 2023, was both a celebration of three years of intensive work and an "open market" to share and exchange ideas on how research and innovation can be built further on more open and responsible foundations and used by territorial authorities. More than 60 people attended, representing a full range of R&I actors at regional, national and European levelsproject partners in ongoing or recently completed RRI-focused projects, stakeholders from the city of Sofia (Bulgaria), the region of Western Macedonia (Greece), the municipality of Thalwil (Switzerland), the city of Sabadell (Catalonia, Spain), RRI policy supporters, regional development agencies, business and industry associations, decision-makers in STI at different levels of governance (local, regional, national), as well as representatives of the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, the Committee of the Regions.

The focus of the policy conference was the diverse experience of European territories in integrating Responsible Research and Innovation in territorial policymaking. Snezhina Gabova with Sofia Development Association presented Sofia experience leveraging RRI principles in the design of cultural policies and the development of the new Sofia Culture Strategy 2023-2033, Culture and the Arts - New Energy for Sustainable Development of Sofia 2023-2033.

The event included discussions with the stakeholders and presented recommendations to policymakers at different levels.

You can find more information in the conference booklet.

      

      

 

 RRI Leaders is funded by Horizon2020.
 
                           

 

POLITICS OF TECHNOLOGIES AND HATE SPEECH ONLINE

Conference Poster 1The internet and social media are the places where today young people most often encounter online hate. While digital technologies come with benefits, they also present potential threats and challenges with respect to the spread of hate speech online. Understanding young people’s attitudes and behavior toward the phenomenon is crucial for combatting it because acceptance of such content could further exacerbate nascent social, cultural, and political tensions in our societies, which are already flooded by disinformation and fake news.

An international symposium organized and hosted by the University of Ioannina (Greece) on 12-14 October 2023 brought together scholars from various countries to debate on these and many other topics related to modern technologies. Conference speakers included over 50 scholars of philosophy, political science, sociology, education from universities in Austria, Greece, Italy, Denmark, Romania, Lithuania SDA’s Snezhina Gabova presented the research results of the studies conducted under LEAD Online and the online HateOut! game expected to be launched this month. To learn more about the project and to test the game, check out our Facebook at LEAD-Online.

The project is funded by the EU's Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme. 

CIVIC EDUCATION, CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND PROTECTION FROM SEXUAL VIOLENCE


As part of the information and capacity building activities for municipal staff from child protection services and social workers, SDA hosted a meeting together with the 24 district commissions for the prevention of antisocial behavior of minors on Oct. 6, 2023. The event was dedicated to core aspects of civic education as a way to strengthen the prevention of sexual violence against children and the protection of children’s rights. Speakers included representatives of SDA, civic education experts and lecturers from Sofia University, practitioners working in the field of prevention of sexual and domestic violence, children’s rights experts. Discussions emphasized the need to include both adults and children with a refugee background in city-wide sexual violence prevention and awareness-raising activities, as well as to invest efforts in ongoing capacity building for practitioners and experts in this area from the city administration. The event is part of the activities of the project "Support for the development of integration policies and services for refugees in Sofia", funded by UNHCR – Bulgaria.

The project Support for the Development of Integration Policy Framework and Service Provision for Refugees in Sofia is supported by UNHCR – Bulgaria.

 

      

      

 UNHCR visibility vertical Blue CMYK v2015  

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