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.



During the third project meeting in Prague the host organization People in Need initiated a joint walk with representatives of Pragulic - team of young people who use social entrepreneurship in a daring and entertaining way and who want to change the public opinion of the homeless – one of the hated community and make it easier for people without homes to return to ordinary social life.

The Positive Messengers project partners presented the project and exchanged experiences with representatives of the local community on the creative ways of engaging communities in meaningful social causes.


How to create a “tasteful training menu” as project legacy discussed Coalition of Positive Messengers partners and exchanged experiences from the conducted and planned trainings during an interactive workshop. Partners proposed different “starters” such as talk on human rights and hate speech, multi culti city quiz, “mains” such as talks on the media responsibility and regulations, rewriting good news, dramatizing hate speech and lot of other useful methodologies, approaches to conduct training on how to counter hate speech online.

How to reach the target of 30000 people was the topic of two other discussions and workshops with experts invited from the host People in Need who created and are managing the biggest public media campaign in Czech Republic “Hate Free”. We learnt from Jana and Jaroslav but also made new friends of our Coalition of Positive Messengers who will spread our messages around.

Creating good news in order to counter online hate speech

Creating good news in order to counter online hate speech was the main topic in the second training under the Coalition of Positive Messengers to Counter Online Hate Speech project organized by SDA team in on November 23 in Sofia.

Leading journalists, media experts, human rights, ICT and campaigning specialists together with journalism students, advocacy organizations, public administration, migrant community and other NGO representatives rewritten news, identified in the media content monitoring as spreading hate speech. We managed to create new positive narratives in order to counter online hate language.

During the discussion the hot issue was the limit between hate speech and freedom of speech.

Through design thinking method participants separated in different teams ideated and prototyped project for creative tools that could be used to serve our main objective: more effective response to online hate speech and raising awareness among society.


Castilla y León University-Business Transfer

Castilla y León region hosted an interregional learning event on November 14 – 16, 2017, featuring their regional policies to foster university-business knowledge transfer. The workshop and study visit were part of the InnoBridge project, funded by INTERREG Europe, and Sofia Development Association is a partner in it.

Castilla y León use structural funds to directly fund universities with the objective is to connect them and enterprises within the framework of smart specialisation of Castilla y León, identifying niches of scientific and economic specialization. Specific initiatives include University-Business challenge, INFRARED (sharing scientific equipment) and entrepreneurial Campus.

The project partners with the participation of some of their stakeholders worked together on the transfer of good practices and the development of their action plans to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in their regions.


The 48-hour health hackathon HACK4HEALTH Sofia - Izmir, organized by Sofia Tech Park in partnership with Sofia Municipality (Sofia Development Association), Webit Foundation and NGO Links, was completed successfully. It began on 9 November with an inspiring speech by Plamen Russev, an address by Todor Mladenov (Sofia Tech Park), the professional moderation of Sevdalina Voynova and the support of Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality, and Mtel.

Many thanks to the mentors! Gergana Panayotova, Global System Solutions - the company that developed the Health Portal of Sofia Municipality -, Boris Kolev, entrepreneur, and Stoyan Dipchikov and Stoyan Ivanov, programmers. They worked hard with the teams.

A total of 20 teams from Izmir and Sofia participated in the hackathon, which developed technological solutions to enhance the operational efficiency in healthcare, applications for training professionals, inclusion of the patient in the clinical process, public health.

The team of the School of Technology “Electronic Systems” at the Technical University of Sofia managed to impress the Izmir jury and received a third prize in the hackathon. Moreover, the students also won the special award of Sofia Municipality (Sofia Development Association). The TU team developed a demo of a platform that helps patients determine their health status according to laboratory test results.

The Mtel award went to Peter Zhivkov. His team developed a unique dirty air mask which is controlled by a mobile application that monitors air pollution in real time.

The prize of NGO Links went to the team of Ilian Iliev who made suggestions for improvement to the Health Portal of Sofia Municipality.

All distinguished teams received an invitation to participate in Webit 2018, as well as awards from the organizers from Sofia Tech Park.



Sofia Development Association invites you to an interactive seminar on countering online hate speech and creating positive messages.

Date: 23.11.2017
Time: 10:00 – 16:00 hrs.
Place: Sofia, 1 Parizh Str.,

In September 2016, we started work on a two-year project “Coalition of Positive Messengers to Counter Online Hate Speech”, co-funded by the European Commission - DG Justice.

Our main goal, together with our partners from 6 other European countries, is to support a coalition of people, institutions and organizations across Europe, who oppose online hate speech, but not with hatred and violence, but with positivity and creation of an environment of tolerance and acceptance. We want to contribute to creating a community of people who protect the rights of everyone to be admitted to society, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality. You can read more about the ways of countering hate speech on the multilingual platform we created

We would like to invite you to join our coalition of positive speakers. To this end, we organize an interactive seminar at which to discuss the possibilities for countering hate speech disseminated on the Internet, as well as best practices from other European countries that we could apply in Bulgaria.

Together we can create positive discourses and tools that will enable us to limit online hate speech.

The seminar will be interactive with very short presentations, work in small groups, role-playing games, design thinking. The work of the seminar will be supported by leading journalists, experts in digital security, integration and protection of human rights.

If you have an opinion on these important questions or would like to learn more, we will be glad to see you at the seminar.

You can register with a name, phone number and a few words about your interest in the topic, as well as about what you are occupied with, at email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Deadline for registration: 20 November 2017

Maximum number of participants - 35 people.


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