e-Leadership for SMEs

On 20 November, the 4th Expert Workshop on e-Leadership for SMEs was held in Brüssel. Over thirty participants were informed regarding the results of the analytical study conducted by empirica as well as five innovative programmes developed by several European universities which were designed specifically to meet the needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises. The event was hosted by PIN-SME and moderated by Werner Korte from empirica.

The keynote talk was given by Matt Flanagan, Managing Director at BlueHub IT Consultants, a UK-based SME. He provided the participants with a number of valuable insights into the staffing and recruiting issues facing a fast-growing service company in the IT sector.

The programme demonstrations covered a wide range of education and training offerings. Andrea Carugati from Aarhus University presented a four-track/four-day program aimed at partner management, social media marketing, business analystics and managing growth. Kecheng Liu from the Henley Business School presented their five-day programme on leading one’s company to high-performance growth. A one-day course in didital innovation was presented by Silvia Leal and Jose Esteves from the IE business school. Valentina Ivanova from the New Bulgarian University demonstrated a complete series of e-leadership courses that could be mixed and matched with other offerings. Finally, Steven de Haes from the Antwerp School of Management showed how they are integrating coaching into their executive-management programme have developed a Digital Leadership Chair to promote a peer-to-peer learning platform. All programs have been or will soon be piloted. More results will follow.

The workshop was organised as part of the service contract « e-Leadership Skills for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (LEAD) » which as launched by the European Commission DG ENTR. LEAD is contributing to the « Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs » and as a contribution to the follow-up of the Commission’s Communication on « e-Skills for the 21st Century ». Further information can be found on the e-Leadership website.

eCult Skills Workshop at the Acropolis Museum

eCult Skills will present its five eCult jobs profiles on the occasion of the Winter Stage in Athens, organised by the eCult Value project. This high-profile event will take place at the Acropolis Museum and will bring together museum and technology representatives. The workshop of eCult Skills will be in the afternoon session.

For more information, please have a look at the programme

eCult Skills Observatory on-line

The eCult skills Observatory is now on-line. It is the compilation of all information interesting for jobs, skills and competences in the cultural heritage sector. Furthermore, it gives useful practical links to information on technologies, ICT strategies for cultural heritage institutions and news on technology and culture.
For more information, visit our website

Lanier: Who owns the future?

The virtual world is still one of the fastest growing that we experience. The pace of technological change and digital intrusion into our lives is starting to raise a number of important questions for all of us. Issues of net neutrality, data protection, data security, and how we feel about whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden are becoming ever more relevant.

It is precisely these topics that Jaron Lanier addresses in his latest book, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2013). Lanier is best known for coining the term « virtual reality » and has been an active participant on the bleeding edge of technological development for quite some time. He is anything but a technological luddite, but on the other hand, he’s not the sector’s biggest cheerleader either.

For Lanier, it is humans who direct the technology, not the other way around. We may be on the verge of giving up this key position, but abdicating our own responsibility for our own future may not be the most reasonable way to go. In a world of hyperbole and exaggeration, Lanier is a voice of balance and reason, and this why he deserves our attention.

Besides reviewing recent technological developments, Lanier’s focus is developing an alternate, plausible scenario for a more just and beneficial future, a program he terms « humanistic information economics ». He makes very clear that our current techno-economic model, one based on what he calls the « Siren Server »; that is, an information gatherer that, by attracting more information to itself, beats down and eventually eliminates all competition. In other words, it is a model that eventually shrinks the economy as a whole. Lanier, by his own admission, is seeking an alternative that will lead to a growing economy and a more just distribution of wealth for us all. And, he does this in a clear, easily understandable way, and with a healthy does of wit and humor besides.

Who Owns the Future? is an important book, and one definitely worth the time it takes to read it. As the old adage goes, « if you always think what you always thought, you’ll always get what you always got. » It’s time to start thinking outside the box, and Lanier’s book is a sound step in that direction.

Workshop on e-Learning in Wroclaw, 6 November 2014

The workshop on e-Learning, organised in the framework of the Lifelong Learning project eVirtue by the Economic University of Wroclaw, gave interesting insights into the latest trends of e-Learning. With regard to language learning, two approaches were identified:

« For e-Learning there is the tutorial and instrumental approach in using technology: for the latter, the teacher is still there, We do not need to use machine translation, computer is just a window to the outside world. There is little room for translation tools or voice recognition tool. There is a lot of it, though,  in the tutorial approach: in absence of a teacher and the community, the PC has to take over that role« , says Robert Debski, Jagellon University of Cracow.

More information about e-Learning role profiles.

engAGEnt strongly represented at Köln’s Education Fair 2014

Within the framework of the Cologne Education Fair 2014, engAGEnt partners had a strong representation: A stand with informative material of the outcome of the engAGEnt project including permanent staff at the stand that gave advice to interested visitors. On Sunday, a sessions on « New professional perspectives in AAL » was given by Ed Mahood (DEKRA) and Dirk Sommermeyer (iAQ) in front of an interested audience.