The former Sugar Bowl of the world welcomed 4.2 million tourists in 2017, according to the national tourism agency, Viajes Cuba. The place 'where fertile land is abundant' (the meaning of cubao) is a ‘socialist El Dorado’, and Cuba is today a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
Today’s inspiration comes from the Republic of Moldova, where the Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA) is proposing gamified initiatives for a more sustainable environment. MEGA is a social entrepreneurial organization which combines psychology, technology, and ecology with open-source eco-innovations. Aware of its apparent complexity, Alexandr Iscenco, CEO of MEGA, offers some clarifying remarks.
E-democracy has an unexplored potential to involve citizens in shaping their habitats. While an overwhelming number of apps and software programs are at our disposal for various purposes, we can’t help noting the lack of tools to enhance local decision-making processes. CitizenLab, a Belgian start-up that is now in use in 50 European cities and municipalities, is designed to allow citizens to co-create their cities and ensures a linkage between authorities and citizens. Wietse Van Ransbeeck, CEO and co-founder, tells us about Belgium's 'Student Startup of the Year' in 2017.
Giving voice to citizens’ individual rights is the purpose of the theatre play J’accuse, the title of which may send readers to research literary references. The show brings together five ordinary and millennial women who express, through monologues, their day-to-day dissatisfactions. Isabelle Jonniaux, one of the comedians in J’accuse and artistic director at the multi-disciplinary cultural space Atelier210 in Brussels, gives us details from backstage.
Homesharing is a win-win solution and is increasingly popular amongst students. But intergenerational living proves to be much more than simple accommodation as it is intended to be mutually enriching. The principle is simple: elderly people provide housing to young people in exchange for company and occasional services provided or an insignificant monthly rent.
According to the latest Eurostat statistics, the EU countries produced 61 million tonnes of municipal waste, which was 4.2 % below the level for the prior year. The effort to raise awareness about waste reduction and waste prevention has generated various initiatives. The Repair Café Foundation is one of them; and, since 2009, it has made serious efforts to support sustainability and encourage local community involvement in its project. Martine Postma, its founder, provides insights on a concept which today unites 1350 Repair Cafés worldwide.
Anna Bohlmark, a freelance journalist, wanted to do a documentary about the endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda, but during her research she discovered the story of the Batwas – the keepers of the forest. Since the ’90s, when the Batwa people were literally evicted from the Lake Region forests of western Uganda, the authorities have earned approximately $600.00 from each tourist taking safari tours of the region. Even today, thousands of Batwa are discriminated against and face devastating poverty as they search constantly for a living on their own.
“Accelerator” is arguably an overused term in the universe of startups, their first steps, and onwards. However, fostering growth or just surviving may be less “mission impossible” for a startup business with backstopping and mentorship from an accelerator programme.
Delay, cancellation, or overbooking. Does it sound familiar? It is estimated that 26 million passengers are entitled, every year, to compensation from the airline companies, but only 1% of them benefit from this right.
Nobody wants to be considered stupid, and smart citizens want to live in smart towns. In the world of technology, a new challenge is on the menu: how to make cities smarter by infusing intelligence and making use of the internet in everything they do. It is not only about being innovative and digital, but also about ensuring a high standard of quality of life and making cities green.