The concept of SMART has been for a long time growing into our societies, but, to many people, SMART processes and applications still seem something unreachable and far away from their realities. The concept SMART is sometimes used as a synonym of “highly technologic” and, thus, “not accessible” by ordinary citizens without higher education. The constant improvement and miniaturization of electronic components and their reduced price have made various elements of high technology (smartphones, computers, etc.) available to the general population.
A consortium made up of 8 partners from 6 European countries (Croatia, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Poland and Spain), strongly believes that the use of new technologies and tech applications can be brought closer to people. It can maximize learning efficiency, encourage active participation of adults in society processes and, consequently, make them able to better their environment – on personal and community level – transforming it into smart. In the same line, it is crucial to improve learning opportunities of low-skilled adults, especially from the disadvantaged groups, such as young people and people with special needs, because of their stigmatization and exclusion from the pool of employable people.
This is why the idea of the Count me in project was raised: to support development of a quality learning offer in the field of adult education focusing on learners’ responsibility and autonomy as well as to promote the use of technology in educational and civil participation processes.
Over the first year of the project, an interactive SMART database was developed. It includes information about:
- SMART PROJECTS, with a detailed list of successful projects implemented/ being implemented in EU countries.
- SMART IDEAS, with existing, developed or to be developed, tech solutions for common issues.
- SMART CHANGES, based on good practices and comparing strengths and weaknesses of different solutions used so far in numerous communities.
Count me in covers several target areas which are key in the field of smart solutions within our society:
- Water management: activities addressed at managing the use and distribution of water resources and water cycles in an efficient and optimum way.
- Waste management: refers to all actions that take place from the extraction from the source to the disposal of any kind of waste, i.e. obtaining and collecting it, transporting it, managing all processes, etc.
- Energy management: processes and procedures related to the production, conservation, distribution, consumption and saving of energy. It refers to all activities that have to do with the logistics behind the management of energy.
- Urban mobility: within this area, we deal with transport, traffic, pollution, congestion, infrastructures and all kinds of issues related to how citizens and goods move around
- E-governance: this concept refers to electronic and online procedures that are used to provide government services. It has to do with systems and interactions between the government and the citizenship via ICT and online means.
- Citizen services: all those actions and initiatives addressed and aimed to be used by the citizenship. All the offer of services targeted the whole community and with the goal to improve their daily life.
- Data-mining: it refers to the creation of big data bases with enormous amounts of information with the aim of using and sharing it for research, optimization of other processes or for conclusions withdrawal.
- Access for all: within this area, we address all types of actions and activities that aim to make life more accessible to people with any kind of impairment – physical, mental, social, economic, etc.
The following months, partners will be focusing on the design and deployment of a training for trainers and the development of an e-course for adult educators and learning materials for adult learners in order to enhance their digital competences and civic literacy to be able to make “smart” changes.