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Month: January 2024

EcoSTEAM: EcoSTEAM Development

EcoSTEAM Development is an Erasmus + funded project aiming to enhance the understanding of methods and pedagogies surrounding STEAM Education and how those effectively support the development of learning activities and projects that raise the environmental awareness and consciousness of secondary school students, specifically in the field of environmental sustainability and the mitigation of climate change implications. It strives to increase interest in scientific topics among young people while contributing to various innovative educational projects, further establishing their scientific citizenship and future employability in STEAM fields within the EU. 

Moreover, EcoSTEAM aims to strengthen STEAM education networks within Europe, connecting experts from four different regions within the continent and beyond (Cyprus, Lithuania, North Macedonia and Turkey). The strengthened collaboration will be utilised to carry out future STEAM activity pilots, further analysing their impact on student performance, including their levels of sophisticated consumption and scientific citizenship, ultimately building a clearer understanding of the effects of STEAM Education incorporating elements of environmental agency. The pilot schemes will inform the existing momentum of joint efforts focusing on tackling related global educational, social, and environmental issues and the need for environmentally and scientifically sophisticated future citizens.

AELIA: Applying a multi-stakeholder and whole-institutional approach to education for sustainability

The AELIA project aims to facilitate the acquisition of skills and competences necessary for the green transition among all citizens. To achieve this goal, the project will employ a comprehensive, multistakeholder, whole-institutional approach that encompasses both formal and non-formal education settings, businesses, civil society, and the public sector. Participants from these diverse sectors will engage in all phases of the project, adhering to a quadruple helix innovation approach. This collaborative endeavor seeks to establish an enabling learning ecosystem, fostering transformative change at institutional, individual, and societal levels.

STAGE: Scientists and Public Engagement

The main goal of the STAGE project is to equip scientists and science communicators with the skills and knowledge necessary to increase public engagement in science. The project promotes the underlying objective of the European Education area through training the future generations in co-creating knowledge for a resilient, inclusive and sustainable society and addresses the priority of developing STEM in higher education and, in particular, promoting women’s participation in STEM. Through the implementation of the project, we aim to predominantly train female scientists to communicate science effectively and engage the public in climate change action.

Youth Leadership in Peacebuilding and Social Change: The case of Cyprus

By Katerina Panagi

In an ever-evolving global landscape, the role of youth in shaping the future has become increasingly significant (World Bank, 2019). The paradigm of leadership is shifting towards a more inclusive and dynamic approach, with young leaders emerging as catalysts for change. “Leaders of Tomorrow: Youth Leadership in Peacebuilding and Social Change” encapsulates the essence of how the younger generation is actively contributing to creating a more peaceful and equitable world.

The Changing Face of Leadership:

Traditional notions of leadership often associated age with experience and wisdom. However, the 21st century has witnessed a departure from this mindset, acknowledging the unique perspectives, energy, and innovation that young leaders bring to the table (Hassan, 2020). Today’s youth is stepping into leadership roles, not as mere successors but as pioneers with fresh ideas and a passion for positive transformation.

Youth as Agents of Peace:

One powerful case study illustrating the impact of youth in peacebuilding is the situation in Cyprus. The island nation has been divided since 1974, with a UN-patrolled buffer zone separating the Greek Cypriot south and the Turkish Cypriot north. Amidst this long-standing conflict, youth-led initiatives have emerged as ways of hope.

Young leaders in Cyprus, regardless of their ethnic background, are actively engaging in peacebuilding efforts. Organizations like the Cyprus Youth Council are bringing together young people from both sides of the divide, fostering dialogue, and promoting understanding. These initiatives leverage the power of youth to transcend historical grievances and work towards a shared vision of a united and peaceful Cyprus.

Winds of Change aims to give rise to the first bi-communal Cypriot sailing team to sail around the divided island together. The project creates an opportunity for young people from all over the island to come together and join a journey with a common purpose.

They highlight the use of sport as a powerful peace catalyst. Winds of Change wants to challengeempower, and inspire young people to connect and to build peace togetherTheir project fosters mutual understanding, celebrates diversity and promotes the sense of belonging to a common team with a common vision.

Social Change and Activism:

The digital age has given rise to a new era of activism, with youth at the forefront of social change movements. From climate change to gender equality, young leaders are unapologetically advocating for a better world (Thunberg, 2019). The power of social media has enabled them to mobilize large audiences, raising awareness and demanding action from governments and institutions.

In addition to online activism, youth-led organizations in Cyprus are actively involved in on-the-ground initiatives. Whether it’s community development, education reform, or healthcare advocacy, young leaders are demonstrating their commitment to creating a more just and equitable society, even in the midst of a divided nation.

Challenges and Opportunities:

While youth leadership in peacebuilding and social change is gaining momentum, it is not without its challenges. Limited access to resources, lack of representation, and scepticism from older generations can hinder the efforts of young leaders (United Nations, 2020). However, these challenges are not deterring the youth, who view them as opportunities to innovate and collaborate.

Governments, institutions, and older generations must recognize the potential of youth leaders and provide the necessary support and platforms for their initiatives. Mentorship programs, funding opportunities, and inclusive policies can empower young leaders to maximise their impact and contribute to sustainable change (International Labour Organization, 2017).

The leaders of tomorrow are not waiting for the future; they are actively shaping it. Youth leadership in peacebuilding and social change is a testament to the resilience, creativity, and determination of the younger generation. The case of Cyprus highlights how young leaders can play a pivotal role in bridging divides and fostering peace even in the most challenging circumstances. As we navigate the complexities of our world, it is crucial to amplify the voices of these young leaders, acknowledging their contributions and fostering an environment where their visions for a better future can flourish. The future is in capable hands – the hands of the Leaders of Tomorrow.


  • World Bank. (2019). Youth, Peace, and Security: A Global Progress Study.
  • Hassan, R. (2020). Youth Leadership in the 21st Century: A Paradigm Shift. Journal of Leadership Studies, 7(2), 112-129.
  • Thunberg, G. (2019). No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference. Penguin Books.
  • United Nations. (2020). World Youth Report 2020: Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 Agenda.
  • International Labour Organization. (2017). Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017: Paths to a Better Working Future.

RELIEF: euRopean bio-Economy aLliancE in Farming

Agriculture, crucial for economies and social development, confronts various challenges including market globalisation and climate change. With a projected 70% increase in food demand by 2050, sustainable solutions are imperative. Bioeconomy, reliant on renewable biological resources, offers a promising avenue. However, Europe’s bioeconomy potential remains largely untapped due to skill shortages and educational gaps.

To address this, the EU emphasises investing in education and innovation to empower the workforce with new initiatives such as RELIEF. At the core, the project aims to bridge these gaps by offering comprehensive training and educational programs, fostering a multidisciplinary approach to equip agriculture professionals with the skills needed for a sustainable bioeconomy-driven future.

AdultDigitalUp: Improvement of the Digital Skills of Adults in Cyprus

The project AdultDigitalUp strives to support Cypriot authorities to improve digital literacy of adults. According to the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI, 2020), Cyprus ranks 24th amongst Member States with 55% of the population lacking basic digital skills. To tackle that, AdultDigitalUp aims to: 

  • Conduct a thorough needs analysis to identify adults’ learners’ needs and gaps as they relate to digital skills. 
  • Develop comprehensive training material and tools for adult educators via blended learning methodologies and strategies 
  • Design and implement blended learning training for adult educators in Cyprus engaging more than 120 adult educators and providers.

 To that end, AdultDigitalUp will support the design and implementation of public strategies and actions for digital skills development in Cyprus by successfully equipping stakeholders with innovative resources, tools, and methodologies.

OTTER: Outdoor Science Education for a Sustainable Future

OTTER is a H2020-funded project aimed at enhancing the understanding of methods and pedagogies surrounding Education Outside the Classroom (EOC) and how those can effectively support the acquisition of scientific knowledge and transferable skills amongst students, specifically in the field of environmental sustainability and the reduction of plastic waste. It also strives to increase interest in scientific topics among young people, while contributing to a range of innovative educational projects, further establishing scientific citizenship within the EU. Moreover, OTTER aims to strengthen education outside-the-classroom (EOC) networks within Europe, connecting experts from four different regions within the continent (Finland, Hungary, Ireland and Spain). The strengthened networks will be utilised to carry out a programme of EOC pilot schemes, further analysing their impact on student performance, including their levels of sophisticated consumption and scientific citizenship, ultimately building a clearer understanding of the effects of Education Outside the Classroom (EOC) on EU citizens. The pilot schemes will share a common theme revolving around issues of plastic waste and recycling, building on the existing momentum of joint efforts focusing on tackling related global educational, social, and environmental issues, as well as creating a more engaging learning environment outside of the classroom.

FuTourisme Agrees on Tourism SME Funding, Training and Support

CARDET is excited to announce the official launch of its new fuTourisme project, an extraordinary initiative driven by CARDET and seven European partners from Italy, Greece, Germany, France and Spain, to present an antidote to the challenges faced by experiential tourism SMEs through twin, digital and sustainable, transition.

Earlier this month, the project officially kicked off following the first partner meeting in Salerno, dedicated to devising a systematic approach to approaching the shortcomings and challenges experienced by SMEs in the post-Covid era. This intervention comes at the backdrop of the recent study conducted by the European Commission that constitutes that despite contributing to about 10% of EU’s GDP, tourism SMEs are still generally characterised by a low degree of digitalisation, suffering from the lack of skills, finance, infrastructure, as well as mentoring and policy support.

Realising the endless opportunities and potential that the digital and green transition can offer to this highly competitive sector, CARDET and the partners have agreed on a number of important steps to ensure the most holistic and proactive approach to this subject matter. By taking into consideration the Transition Pathway for Tourism and the SME Strategy devised by EC, the consortium will now proceed to compile a compendium of lessons learnt & best practices on environmental, economic and social sustainability, including SMEs digital and sustainable needs, e-Platform development, training & coaching implementation, as well as self-assessment tools and sustainability certification pathway.

To that end, the consortium is also gearing up to launch an Open Call for financial support to tourism SMEs to proactively support business owners through the implementation of sustainable and digital practices. This will help tourism SMEs to tailor the twin transition to their individual business models and address the specific shortcomings experienced with additional funding. The call will be announced in May 2024 alongside clear guidelines on application.

Without a doubt, these important institutional, educational, and financial aspects combined will assert the way for more resilient experiential tourism and boost the sustainable growth and success of individual small businesses. Help us spread the word on this important initiative and visit fuTourisme website for more information and updates on this exciting new project.

Supporting the Expansion and Strategic Development of Early Childhood Education and Care in Cyprus

Early childhood offers a critical window of opportunity to shape the trajectory of a child’s holistic development and build a foundation for their future. Afterall, it is in the earliest years of a child’s life where the foundation and capacity to learn is laid, thus making ECEC beneficial for all children, from all backgrounds. It helps to address and prevent any early skills gaps and it is also considered an essential tool to fight inequalities and educational poverty. In turn, quality, affordable and accessible ECEC also allows for increased parental workforce participation.

The European Pillar of Social Rights states that all children have the right to affordable Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) of good quality. Cyprus, among other member states acknowledges the importance of providing affordable high-quality ECEC and is committed to challenging the shortcomings of the current system. Indeed,  this goal has been placed at the top of priority list through the Recovery and Reselience Plan adopted in 2021.

To help better address the challenges, this Project aims to support Cyprus in raising the quality, affordability, accessibility and inclusiveness of ECEC, by guiding investments and reforms in the sector as outlined in the national RRP for 2021-2026. This includes a mapping to inform the expansion of facilities, development of a quality framework, and undertaking a range of evidence generation to inform a national ECEC Strategy due to be adopted by the Council of Ministers by the end of 2024.

SwitchOff: Supporting worker’s well being during remote work

During a typical workday people engage in a variety of activities such as arranging meetings, checking emails and so on. Such activities typically require mental effort and prolonged engagement that can lead to psychological and physiological reactions, consequently generating strain and fatigue. A key element of replenishing vital mental energy is “psychological detachment”.

This refers to the act of mentally switching off from work during non-working hours, and requires the absence of all work-related thoughts and activities.

The SwitchOff project aims at helping managers and VET trainers acquire the appropriate competencies and knowledge on how to facilitate recovery in the workplace and help remote workers disconnect from work and restore their personal resources (emotional, cognitive, physical) at the end of their working day.

The SwitchOff project focuses on assisting remote workers and managers on how to effectively use ICTs and disconnect from work, during non-work hours.

Partners will create a set of activities, including a Toolkit, training programme, an e-learning platform (including a self-evaluation tool) with rich material and practices on how to best recover from work.