|Telecentre Europe is a European non-for-profit organisation (NGO) and a member based association with a central office in Brussels, Belgium.
We represent publicly funded telecentres/telecentre networks, ICT learning centres, adult education centres and libraries across Europe where children and adults can access the Internet, learn the latest digital skills and keep up to date with technology and community developments.
We coordinate a number of projects, programmes and campaigns that empower people through ICT by finding new paths to employment, community life, relevant information and staying in touch with friends and family. All our members and partners believe that Information and Communication technology has an enormous potential to combat social exclusion and poverty.
Telecentre Europe aspires to play a prominent role in getting Europeans digitally savvy by motivating telecentres and other NGOs in the field to continue training people in basic and advanced digital skills and opening them up to opportunities.
In today’s knowledge based society digital technologies represent a gateway to economic and social development. Although more than 75% of Europeans are Internet users, many others are still missing out: the elderly, the poor and those living in rural areas. Moreover, even those that are connected often do not know what opportunities exist in the digital sphere in terms of employment, but also personal and professional development and an improved communication with others, in their own community and beyond.
Without strong support from public bodies and private institutions, we cannot make it happen! We work to make sure digital literacy and digital skills are high on the political agenda: that they are taken seriously by decision makers when deciding on the formal and non-formal education offer, broadband access and social insertion programmes among others.
It is important that Telecentres in Europe support those who are completely new to technology and those who need support to stay up to date with the ever changing world of technology.
We are a small and international team with a head office in Brussels. But you can also find us in other EU countries so feel free to get in touch and meet us! We are active on a variety of social media channels and we have our own social network for professionals in the area of digital inclusion: www.unite-it.eu
Telecentre Europe began as an informal network of telecentre managers and individuals who met in Barcelona in 2007 and decided to work together for improved knowledge-sharing across Europe. In April 2008, a number of organisations met in Riga and made a firm commitment to collectively support those who are being left behind: those who are not benefitting from all the opportunities of the information society.
Telecentre Europe grew steadily and in December 2008, it was publicly launched at the EC eInclusion Conference in Vienna. At that moment, Telecentre Europe was made up of organisations from sixteen EU member states and a further seven European nations.
In October 2009 around 70 delegates met in Istanbul and agreed that Telecentre Europe needed to become a legal entity, with an ‘institutional memory’, and core staff that will extend its activities. Twenty organisations signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) to support the establishment of Telecentre Europe as an organisation.
Since 14 October 2010, Telecentre Europe is a Non-Profit International Association established as an AISBL (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif) based in Brussels, Belgium, aimed to inclusively support the network of European Telecentre organisations. That month Telecentre Europe held its inaugural General Assembly and a managing Board was elected.