Fundacion ESPLAI, celebrating 10 years of mutual understanding and sharing knowledge

By Pedro Aguilera

Barca_200710 years ago a group of telecentres networks managers met at Fundación Esplai headquarters in Prat de Llobregat to discuss about the role of telecentres to improve e-skills of European citizens.  At that time, nobody doubted the power of telecentres at the local, national and regional level. The main issue of the meeting was to consider the possibility to strengthen our efforts to create a pan-European structure with 2 challenges, 1) to share knowledge among managers, e-facilitators and other stakeholders at telecentre arena and 2) to become a key player at the European level. On 19 June 2007, something neither quite clear nor very well structured, but full of energy and passion, begun to walk.

Today, ALL DIGITAL is a key player at the European Level, with more than 60 member organizations, a professional structure including independent staff and Board. ALL DIGITAL is an example to other European organizations on how to build a vibrant ALL DIGITAL movement in Europe.

Fundación Esplai is a proud founding member of the former Telecentre Europe, now ALL DIGITAL.  We have been involved in ALL DIGITAL movement from the very beginning with a simple challenge to reduce the digital divide among excluded people, developing innovative projects from the grassroots.

_OD_7212To achieve our goal, Fundación Esplai has developed several initiatives during the last 10 years, adapting projects and proposal to citizens real needs, we would like to share with you some of these initiatives

1. Promoting access to ICT thought our own network RED CONECTA

formacion TICRed Conecta is our initiative to promote digital literacy and employability. It is a network of 67 centres around Spain operated by local NGOs. Red Conecta promotes digital skills and digital literacy among vulnerable groups, mainly focusing on NEET’s, women over 45 year old, long-term unemployed, seniors and migrants. More than 300 e-facilitators have been involved in Red Conecta activities during the last year, assisting 23,000 final users.

2. Youth civic engagement in CONECTA JOVEN

DSC_1219Conecta Joven is a Service Learning methodology project shared by a network of NGOs, which promotes the participation of young people aged 15 to 19 in their community through training, aimed at improving the digital skills of citizens (youth, adults, and elderly) and groups with difficulties of integration. Conecta Joven promotes networking between education communities, local NGO’s, young and elderly to fight against social exclusion through bridging the digital gap.

3. Developing coding attitudes at an early age with Conecta Code

This initiative promotes access to programming and the creation of code at an early age in telecentres, thus supporting creative uses of technology, empowering children and young people to develop strategies and skills for problem solving by creating their own software. The project is using current tools to programme development without typing code, such as Scratch, App Inventor or Windows App Studio.

4. Reducing seniors digital gap, Mayores Conecta2

conecta joven o mayores conecta2It is a training experience for elderly people, focused on the possibilities offered by smartphones, tablets and the Internet.  The methodology is based on “bring your own device”. Each participant learns with the tools they use in their daily life with the support of e-facilitators.


We look forward to welcoming you in Barcelona in October to celebrate 10 years of history!

Welcome to Barcelona and Catalonia


by Ricard Faura i Homedes,
Head of Inclusion and Digital Training Service, Government of Catalonia


Ricard Faura

The Telecommunications, Cybersecurity and Digital Society Area of the Government of Catalonia
is pleased to meet you and be at your side while you attend the ALL DIGITAL Summit 2017, on 4-5 October. As a local partner of the meeting, helping El Teb and Fundación Esplai, we will try to do our best to make your visit to Barcelona and Catalonia easier and happier.

By Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA (Catalan Climbers) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Catalan Climbers by Steve Jurvetson  [CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]


The Catalan economy is not based on the exploitation of natural resources. Its main force is the people, their solidarity, work, enthusiasm and knowledge. You probably know some typical Catalan picture: the Catalan human castle, made by the cohesive work of people, adding their force to build a tower of bodies. This image shows the spirit of Catalan people, always ready to offer their hands and kindness for helping the others. This is what we can offer you while you visit our small but pretty country.

Catalan people like to work and grow by a continuous learning. We are located at the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, as the door to Europe, and we are open-minded, focused on the international affairs to learn and offer our point of view. This spirit has taken us to be a smart region, interested in ICT tools, mobile technologies and digital innovation. All of them are oriented towards the people, to offer solutions to the needs of our citizens.

Punt TIC collateralsIn Catalonia we have a telecentre network, called Xarxa Punt TIC (meaning verbatim ‘ICT Points network’), which was born 18 years ago, in 1999. There are more than 600 Punt TIC around the country, owned by city councils, foundations, non-profit entities and other, that offer Internet connection and ICT training, and empower citizens (under 25, over 45, entrepreneurs, unemployed and disabled people) in digital skills. Some of these centres make activities in a new paradigm, the digital social innovation, from a four-helix perspective, which includes academia, government, companies and citizen.

IMG_4826Looking at this process, which agrees with the European Union and the Smart Catalonia strategies, in 2016 we decided to promote the Catalan digital social innovation system, through a new program called CatLabs (Catalan Laboratories) and the CatLabs Network. We invited all the digital manufacturing spaces (Makers, Fablabs, Ateneus), coworking spaces, Punt TIC (telecentres), living labs, Professional Training centres and other projects and labs to meet each other in the Catlabs Nework in order to work together in open innovation and open science with social aims.

IMG_6025Of course, universities, research centres, government and companies have been working together for a long time. And citizen have been the consumer, the tester and the recipient of innovation, ICT tools, and public policies. The CatLabs’ main aim is to involve people in their design, in the finding of solutions to their needs.

We will be happy to share with you everything that we are learning in this process.

It’s a pleasure to welcome you to our home. We will try to make your stay in Barcelona and Catalonia as happy as possible.

Meet the Summit host – El Teb!

By Esther Subias, El Teb

Born on the initiative of educators and teachers of a district of Barcelona, ​​the Raval, to attend the needs of young people, El Teb is about to celebrate its 25 years of existence.


It is a pleasure for us to be the local partner of the All Digital Summit, together with our European friends, this year. This meeting will undoubtedly be an opportunity to continue networking, learning about new trends, and designing a digital future for citizens.

Under the motto “we work for social transformation through participation, learning and socialization of ICTs“, in the Teb more than 20 professionals from the social, pedagogical, technological and communication fields carry out their task to achieve full Inclusion of citizenship and development of the nearest territory.

We believe in and bet on the social and solidarity economy and we are flexible, innovative and, above all, social. And, of course, very technological: we defend the free software, we promote such innovative activities as programming with Scratch, 3D printing, digital citizens laboratories, robotics, etc. We like to experiment with technologies and discover the social and formative use they can have.

25 years of experience with ICT tools

10325508_1116581848382265_7067486840219639626_nOver the years, Teb professionals have learned from our daily practice in the Raval, and that is why we try to transfer that “know-how” and also our view of the world to other projects, other entities and other places. For example, we created the first telecenter in Catalonia and we have helped to develop the other 650 ones. We manage, at the request of the Government of Catalonia, the network of Telecentres Punt TIC and also projects of advice to the associations. We learn from them.

CodeClubMakers-700x560Always in social settings, we help entities and citizens to incorporate technologies to better manage and communicate and develop their own networks and activities (training, workshops, projects, etc.). We also develop web platforms and e-learning training, based on the use of free software. We provide very specific training on the social use of digital tools and, in recent years, we have participated in European technology projects with our ALL DIGITAL partners. We are always learning and offering our knowledge, freely and openly.

In Teb we believe in technology as a tool of transformation; in innovation as a strategy to solve the problems in different ways; in communication and storytelling as powerful tools of empowerment.

Welcome! If you enter the Teb, you enter your home.

Registration is open for ALL DIGITAL SUMMIT 2017 in Barcelona

In its tenth year, ALL DIGITAL (formerly Telecentre Europe) will return to its birthplace, Barcelona, to organise the 10th annual summit under the theme of Digital Skills for Social Innovation on 4-5 October 2017. The event will be held at the CaixaForum in Barcelona and hosted by the Spanish member El Teb Association in collaboration with Fundación Esplai and Government of Catalonia.

Who we are

Barca_2007Back in 2007, a group of digital inclusion leaders, with support from Microsoft met for the first time in Barcelona to discuss scaling up local and national initiatives and the potential of a thematic network at European level. That is where Telecentre-Europe was born, to become a family united by one purpose: empower Europe through digital skills.

Ten years later, we are a major European Association in the field of digital inclusion and empowerment. Our vision that every European should be able to exploit the benefits and opportunities created by digital transformation has led us in 2017 to become ALL DIGITAL.


The Summit

The ALL DIGITAL Summit 2017 will bring together leaders from networks and organisations working to enhance digital skills to share and learn from each other. It will provide an opportunity to explore a range of digital social innovations in developing competences that citizens, organisations, and communities need to embrace in order to reap the benefits of the digital society. These innovations include mobile learning, coding for digital inclusion, collaborative opportunities on the social internet, STEAM education and many others.

Participants will discover dsc_6713and discuss the changing role of digital competence centres (telecentres), and how they can be enriched with an open approach to innovation. The mandate of digital competence centres has been to empower citizens in developing their digital, social, entrepreneur and employability skills. Nowadays, the centres becoming more innovative spaces than ever before, developing and applying new learning strategies and approaches, expanding their scope to include co-creation, mobile learning, coding, use of open data, digital manufacturing tools and much more. The centres offer citizens new tools that empower them to become ‘prosumers’ and to co-generate content, knowledge and new collaborative opportunities (in both social and labour fields) within the framework of the Social Internet. They help to include citizens in the labour market and to create new circular, collaborative, and cooperative economies. dsc_6847The delegates will explore and share these new approaches in a variety of discussion groups, workshops, and plenary sessions.

To learn more about the upcoming event, please check the Summit Programme.

Registration is now open on our website. We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

Social Media
ALL DIGITAL Summit 2017 is co-organised by two projects
  • I-LINC is a project funded through Horizon2020 by the European Commission. I-LINC created a stakeholder platform as well as a community of experts and organisations that foster employment and entrepreneurship through digital skills. In 2017, I-LINC will host one of the sessions at the Summit.
  • The CodeMob project (Teaching coding and mobile devices in telecentres) is aimed at designing and piloting two courses on coding and the effective use of mobile devices training curriculum for e-Facilitators and end-users. ALL DIGITAL Summit 2017 will host the project’s final event in the form of a workshop discussion covering the project’s domain.

Previously called the Telecentre Europe Annual Conference, the event has been one of the main meeting points for leaders of digital competence networks and organisations working to enhance digital skills.

Since 2008, ALL DIGITAL has organised nine annual conferences for its member organizations and stakeholders. Last year, the three-day event Digital Skills for Future Work in Ghent, Belgium, was attended by over 120 participants and sponsored by Liberty Global and Cisco. Learn more about the event


Participants of Telecentre Europe Annual Conference 2016 in Ghent, Belgium

#TEAC16 Report is out!


The report highlights a three-day event, which took place in Ghent on 6-8th October 2016. More than 120 participants attended the conference. Besides Telecentre Europe member organizations, the conference welcomed ICT sector representatives from Belgium and Netherlands, policy makers from Belgium and EU, a group of youth organisations and civil society organisations and municipal authorities, as well as I-LINC young ambassadors.

The key theme of the event explored the skills, both ICT and soft skills, that citizens will need in the future. This was put in the context of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and the advances in technology that are starting now and likely to continue for the next generation, such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality, etc. Citizens will need to gain new skills to not only take advantage of these new technologies, but to remain in employment, and telecentres should consider how to support citizens in these technologies. Thus, Day 1 was focused on policy and practice around digital skills for future technologies and modes of employment, while Day 2 provided further in-depth discussion on future skills for learning and recruitment and practical sessions.

See the short video of the event here and the longer video with more insights from speakers here.

The report wraps up the  plenary sessions with inspiring keynotes, an I-LINC discussion panel on youth pathways to employment, interactive sessions and workshops, as well as the numerous side events, including visits to Ghent telecentres, preview of Ghent Digital Interactive Fair and Telecentre Europe and I-LINC Awards Ceremony. The Awards video can be found here.

In the report, you will find the links to all presentations, workshop materials, photos and videos, as well as the short summary of evaluation forms; so it is a one stop for all conference-related information.

The report is also credited and supported by tweet posts and photos from participants, so you can get the feedback from attendees and feel the atmosphere.

You can view and download the report in .pdf here – teac-2016-report

Telecentre Europe would like to thank the city of Ghent, Digipolis, our sponsors Cisco Systems and Liberty Global, speakers, session moderators, workshop leaders and delegates for such a successful event!

We are looking forward to the next year’s event in Barcelona!

Telecentre Europe and I-LINC Awards Finalists and Winners Celebrated in Ghent

By Ekaterina Fedotova

On October 7, 2016 the exquisite Pacification Room of Ghent City Hall hosted the finalists and winners of the 2016 Telecentre Europe and I-LINC Awards. The Awards Ceremony marked the culmination of the conference and celebrated organizations and individuals who enable people to get to grips with technology.

The guests were welcomed by Mayor of Ghent Daniël Termont, who talked about the value of including all members of society in this digital era and the valuable work and impact of Digipolis, the TEAC16 host organization in Ghent.

The ceremony was hosted by Telecentre Europe (TE) community and event manager Ekaterina Fedotova who explained the competition scheme, spoke about the value of such awards, and introduced the presenters and finalists in each category.

The awards were presented by the Ceremony honorary guests and Telecentre Europe Board Members. They greeted the finalists, announced the winners, and handed over certificates and trophies (which were 3D printed following the future technologies topic of the conference). And of course, numerous pictures were taken to capture the festive moments in the beautiful medieval hall surrounded by colleagues and friends.

In 2016, Telecentre Europe Awards Competition was held for the 4th time, and this year was organized together with the I-LINC project.  The entries in four categories were received from all over Europe. Telecentre Europe would like to thank all the nominators for sharing amazing stories of people and organizations striving for digital inclusion and enabling youth empowerment and employability. Such applications help nominees themselves see the value they bring to the society; and sharing experiences enables others to improve their work.

We were honored to meet our finalists and learn more about their achievements during the conference and award ceremony.

14 finalists in 4 categories and their incredible stories of dedication, passion, and diligence

Best Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Awards were presented by Mayor of Ghent Daniël Termont and TE Board member Mariusz Boguszewski, CTO of FRSI in Poland.

The finalists are:

The voting in this category was quite even, but finally Biblionet was named the winner for transforming Romanian public libraries into vibrant community hubs offering new services and 21st-century technology tools. Thanks to this partnership 3000 librarians have acquired basic computer skills, 1500 public libraries were equipped with ICT, reaching over 600,000 first-time Internet users.

Representatives of the I-LINC project, Jose Maria Bolufer (Head of sustainable innovation, Telefonica, Spain) and Iva Walterova (I-LINC project officer, TE) awarded the Best Practice finalists:

Romanian project Digital Storytelling was chosen as the winner in the Best practice category. Within this project young people learn to build digital stories using various programmes and applications and then become mentors for seniors who put their memories of loved ones in short movies. This type of practice allows the digital preservation of cultural identity of communities, digital literacy and digital inclusion of vulnerable groups.

Best Digital Changemakers 2016 finalists are:

Awards to Digital Changemakers were presented by Mara Jakobsone (Chair of Telecentre Europe Board, Vice-President of Latvian ICT Association LIKTA) and Andrea Parola (TE Advisory Board member, general manager for European e-skills Association).

The winner in this category Goran Jovisic established several e-learning portals for uniting all activities in the ICT education and trained 5000 citizens; prepared 4900 unemployed young people in the use of ICT and internet, and supported Roma people to localize free educational applications in the Roman language. But his main passion is using legal software in Serbian schools.

Best e-Facilitator is a special award in the telecentre Europe community. E-facilitators are the people who are the heart of the centres, they are the ones helping users to see new prospects, enable new employment opportunities and improving the communities. Best e-facilitators in 2016 were by awarded by Jason Blackstock (Head of STEaPP Department of University College London) and Pedro Aguilera (TE Board Member, project manager at Esplai Foundation, Spain):

The community voted for Antonio Manuel Gonzalez Perez to be the Best e-Facilitator in 2016. Antonio works in one of the most deprived areas in Southern Spain. Despite lack of funding, he kept the centre open, which turned into an aid centre, where users overcome personal and social barriers and are trained in ICT for employability. The evolution of the community became a reality thanks to Antonio and his colleagues: from digital literacy and social inclusion in 2008 to robotics and advanced programming in 2016 aiming at better digital competences and job placement.

Antonio was strongly supported by his colleagues and peers during the voting, and they were so happy for him to win that produced a short congratulations video, which was a great surprise for Antonio at the Awards ceremony.

The Telecentre Europe board and staff hope all the winners and finalists continue their valuable work and know that their impact will live long into the future. Congratulations!


Thousands of individuals and hundreds of organisations around Europe work daily with communities to empower citizens through technology and the Internet. Telecentre Europe Awards acknowledge their innovation, dedication and the inspiring role they play to many people.

To enter the competition, in 2016 e-facilitators and changemakers were nominated by their colleagues, while partnerships and best practices were put forward by one of the participating members.

This year it was agreed to have the final decision made not by the closed jury, but by the Unite-IT community members. Unite-IT is the informal online platform and network of people working in the field of digital inclusion, and we thought it is fair to give everybody a chance to have their say in what they think are the most powerful entries. So the final selection was done through an open online voting by community members. Each member could vote for one entry per category. The votes and profiles then were checked for authenticity; and double/triple votes in the same category were disqualified. Thus the results were achieved.

Big thanks to the I-LINC jury and Unite-IT members who read through the entries and cast their votes.

#TEAC16 – the best Annual Conference so far!

By Gabriela Ruseva

20151005-_1030587 modified.jpg

Telecentre Europe held its 9th Annual Conference in Ghent on 6-8th October, co-organised with our Belgian member Digipolis Gent and the I-LINC Platform. The 3-day event was attended by over a 100 invited participants and took place in the beautiful central hotel NH Belfort where guests enjoyed 2 days of keynote speeches, interactive sessions, networking and sharing, as well as a lot of fun and inspiration. An award ceremony in Ghent City Hall followed up by live music and dancing in the medieval cellar was the highlight of this positive experience. Great hands on experiences were also offered to participants who had the chance to visit local telecentres guided by enthusiastic staff of the Digipolis team and experience cutting-edge technologies at the Ghent Interactive Digital Fair on the 3rd and final day of the event.

Overall, the dynamics of the event were very positive. Inspiring, and sometimes even contradictory, keynote speeches served as provocative inputs for the debates which followed. Then we were back to plenaries for more inspiration and back to interactive sessions for sharing and reflection.

Perfect mix of attendees

This year participants came from ever more diverse backgrounds, probably thanks to the proximity of the event to the heart of Europe. The majority of them were from telecentre networks and NGOs working in the digital inclusion field. However, we also welcomed policy makers from Belgium and the EU, companies, libraries, youth centers and public authorities. Furthermore, I-LINC stakeholders and young ambassadors added to the lively mix.

We were honored to have the Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation and Digital Agenda Mr. Alexander De Croo who confirmed his government’s commitment to develop digital skills for all as one of the main pillars of Digital Belgium.

20161006-p1220642“Governments think that to ensure that everyone benefits from the digital opportunities it is enough to put the infrastructure in place – the networks, the equipment. This has to change! Education, throughout life, is the infrastructure of the future and governments need to invest in it.” said Mr. De Croo.

Despite his busy agenda he took the time to reply to questions from the audience. He is seen as the first minister who actually knows what digital literacy is about and understands the need to develop skills hand in hand with deploying digital infrastructure.

From the private sector, we had Saskia Van Uffelen from Ericsson BeLux. Did you know that she is actually one of few non-tech people in the company? Her background as a teacher allows her to see skills development in the workplace from a different angle! From CISCO we had the pleasure to welcome Karsten Simons who spoke about CISCO Networking Academies making a difference all around the world. He and Martine Tempels from the Belgian telecom Telenet both agreed that soft skills such as communication, media literacy and critical thinking are equally important in today’s workplace.

Interactive sessions and discussions

Maybe the best part of this year’s conference was the interactive part – everyone was genuinely eager to contribute and exchange.  In the Future Trendspotting session participants were asked to let their imagination free and picture the future workplace. They discussed what new alternatives are there to the 9-17h working day and whether we are ready to meet the challenges.20161007-p1230816

The parallel “How to…” sessions were very practical and hands-on, and session leaders gave very concrete and applicable advice to their audiences. Most attended sessions were “How to run an hour of code” and “How to run a hackathon” with “How to run a digital storytelling service for migrants” also attracting a lot of interest. It was really difficult to choose!

On the second day of #TEAC16 we also had a discussion panel that focused on youth employability and specifically on the I-LINC platform – a place for various stakeholders from formal education, non-formal training, employers’ world and youth to come together and engage in a debate. The platform 2.0 is being launched with more possibilities to exchange good practices, share about recent policy developments and make new contacts. The panel brought together representatives of EU Commission, education and industry to discuss this burning issue. The video of this panel will soon be available on the I-LINC platform.

Unconference and project lightning talks

During the Unconference session participants were able to put on the table whatever burning issue they have in their hearts and minds. Some discussed digital skills particularly relevant for SMEs, which provide 2/3 of all workplaces in EU. Others cared about media literacy for youth in the context of the refugee crisis. Other topics included entrepreneurship, DigComp, Open data, etc.

The conference closed with six project lightning talks about coding, teachers’ online collaboration skills, organising a hackathon, enabling parents to understand their kids’ digital life better, and more, and more.

The lively event was filmed and many of the participants were asked for statements about the conference itself, Telecentre Europe network and other topics of interest. Videos will be available soon on our YouTube channel.

We are already looking forward to our #TEAC17 in Barcelona!