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Supported by Erasmus + Programme

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Open Digital Europe

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Out of the Box International develops a tailor made open data model and policies based on open digital environment which is transparent, accountable and secured.

Social Businesses

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Out of the Box International works with already existing hubs, various local and national stakeholders and social entrepreneurs in order to further develop and promote successful social entrepreneurship policies and practices.

Solidarity Europe

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Out of the Box International delivers expertise in the field of cohesive policies by using cross-sectorial approach and non-formal  education, in a global perspective.

European Project

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Out of the Box International  works further to enhance current cooperation in South East Europe region and actively supports the integration of all European countries in common European project.

The EU is launching a new €30 million initiative, with rural digital service platforms, innovation ecosystems, the smart village approach, and standards at the forefront. Entering Europe’s Digital Decade, the European way of digital transformation living-in.eu provides minimal – but sufficient – interoperability of data, systems and services between smart cities and their suppliers.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been proven that those living in rural areas can still carry out their jobs and other activities when supported by their digital environment. In his keynote speech at the 2019 Connected Smart Cities Conference, Roberto Viola, the European Commission’s Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, strongly encouraged the digital transition and emphasized that cities and communities will successfully transform if citizens are actively included in the creation of new digital services.

The two new large-scale pilot projects offer the opportunity to extend these Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms to rural smart communities. More than 50 partners from across Europe will participate in two new Rural Smart Communities innovation actions, having signed their grant agreements with the Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), who is co-leading this €30 million initiative focusing on boosting rural economies through cross-sector digital service platforms with the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI).

The themes of the two new pilots launching are “AURORAL: Architecture for Unified Regional and Open digital ecosystems for Smart Communities and wider Rural Areas Large-scale application” and “dRURAL: The service marketplace for European rural areas”.

At the heart of these innovation actions are Smart Villages: communities in rural areas that use innovative solutions to improve their resilience, building on local strengths and opportunities, which goes in line with Declaration of cooperation on “A smart and sustainable digital future for European agriculture and rural areas”, signed by most European countries. The declaration is still open for signatures by decision-makers at all levels of government and for support by other stakeholders.

The new pilots build on earlier results, such as from project “OrganiCity“: Co-creating smart cities of the future” and from the Internet of Things (IoT) large-scale pilots “IoF2020: Internet of Food & Farm 2020” and “SynchroniCity: Delivering an IoT-enabled Digital Single Market for Europe & Beyond”. Building on the Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs), the new projects will provide a universal approach to developing, procuring and deploying IoT- and AI-enabled services for smart and rural communities.

The MIMs will also be instrumental for the development of a dataspace for climate-neutral and smart communities federated at EU level; an initiative supported by the Digital Europe Programme in line with the Commission’s ambition to build a common European Green Deal dataspace. This will enable European smart cities and communities to benefit from cross-domain, cross-city and cross-community, easily portable data services and AI-powered tools such as urban digital twins.

The MIMs’ design principles are also the basis for transitioning to a new architecture in the UN initiative “United for Smart Sustainable Cities” (U4SSC).

The 2020 has forced us to transition in digital world more that we expected and 2021 is the year to build knowledge trough cooperation and opportunities forthcoming in the EU financial framework.

Why Out of the Box International

The seemingly ever-lasting depression of European economies has shaken the very foundations of many European societies. The shear rate of unemployment in Europe and the omnipresent environmental crisis coupled with the often frustratingly slow process of decision making in the EU, are calling for civil society actors to step in and fill the void.

In the aftermath of the 2008. economic crisis, the apprehension of falling under the spell of apathy of economic depression across the continent has not been easy to shake off. However, pinpointing the culprits for the current state of affairs on any particular EU decision maker is not the answer. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the current approach to the economic and environmental crisis hasn’t yet shown the affected citizens the light at the end of the tunnel.

As representatives of the civil society we feel the need to make our voice heard in the midst of the current debate on economic crisis. Being a social enterprise we offer new and feasible ideas in education and community work, creative cross-sectorial cooperation among different actors and strong networking coalitions to turn these dire economic challenges into possibilities through social entrepreneurship initiatives which aim at benefiting wide range of citizens, particularly vulnerable groups and those affected by the economic crisis.

Social entrepreneurship is a simple concept that has been put into practice by civil society actors for the benefit of a specific social group or people, and this is precisely what we want: to create projects and initiatives with fresh ideas in different policies, educational programs or tools, support businesses, empower cultural initiatives and offer different solutions to individuals, corporate bodies, everybody who believe that we can have more Creative, Innovative and Cohesive Europe.


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