The LETZ RETAIL Project [2019-2021]
On-line shopping has taken a flight over the last years, with large digital operators with no need for physical spaces gaining ground, and with large retail chains complementing their physical shop activities with very active webshops. Smaller commerce and retail operators have great difficulties in competing in this environment.
The crisis from the last years has put additional strain on smaller commerce and retail businesses, which has led to the closure of many businesses in areas which were once the commercial centre of the town or neighbourhood. This has not only affected the commerce and retail sector, but also the hospitality and cultural businesses in these areas. A commercial area with less commerce or retail is prone to loose visitors, which in turn has a spill over effect on the hospitality and cultural businesses in the area. In many medium-sized and bigger towns, large malls on the outskirts offer a “one-stop-experience” for shopping, culture and hospitality, generating even more difficulties for the smaller ones in the centres to subsist.
Trends related to increased awareness among consumers about sustainability issues, the impact their decisions have on the environment, and the “slow”-movement, generate ample opportunities to bring about the so-much desired change. Proximity products and services are gaining ground. Also, consumers nowadays not only acquire a product or services, but look for an “experience” or a statement with regards to their preferences and lifestyles. At the same time small commerce, retail, hospitality or cultural/creative businesses find it difficult to provide answers to the aforementioned challenges individually, and when they do, the impact is limited to the specific type of consumers they address. Hence intense collaboration through the joint creation, design and implementation of new products and/or services, offering the consumer the needed experience is key.
The present project aims to provide an answer to the aforementioned challenges by offering a learning programme aimed at owners, managers and self-employed persons of small retail, commerce, hospitality and cultural/creative businesses in commercial areas in decay (or at risk of) which gives them the knowledge, skills and competences to:
- Adapt their individual offering to the new environment;
- Co-design, co-create and co-work to develop new (or adapt and combine) existing products, services and experiences.
- Respond to trends related to sustainability, green & circular economy.
By acquiring these skills they will be able individually and jointly provide an answer to the demands of the sustainable conscious and digital-native consumer, open to the slow-movement concept and compete through differentiation offering a different and unique experience.
The STORIE project [2018-2020]
The Erasmus+ project STORIE (2018-2020) aims to improve the competitiveness of rural businesses that operate in tourism and related sectors. STORIE will create an online learning tool and a set of guidelines to help develop skills and capacities of small rural companies in design and promotion of sustainable tourism products based on intangible cultural heritage.
Project partners are 7 organisations from 5 EU countries - Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Lithuania and Spain - involved in rural tourism, training, consulting, research, and association activities. The project is coordinated by Lake Velencei Development Nonprofit Company - VELENCEI (Hungary).
Rural tourism supports about 1 million direct and indirect jobs in Europe. It deals with issues of depopulation of rural areas, encourages environmental conservation and enhancement, helps retain “traditional” skills; it can be a great tool for safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage and enrich the lives of enormous numbers of people.
At the same time, there is a need for small rural businesses to become more professional in their marketing efforts, enhance cooperation and learn how to use the valuable unique resources of their region to create memorable tourism experiences.
The RE-ENTER project [2017-2019]
RE-ENTER O2 “Competence Framework for Older Entrepreneurs” is based on the desk research and fieldwork where 126 new and potential entrepreneurs and 28 stakeholders shared their opinions and experience through questionnaires or face-to-face meetings. O2 confirms the need to further develop the skills of potential and new entrepreneurs, which would help them start and manage a business at a later stage of their working life.
The Competence Framework suggests that the RE-ENTER Entrepreneurial Development Programme should focus on the development of the following competences: creativity, vision, motivation and perseverance, planning and management, financial and economic literacy. In the framework of RE-ENTER, O2 will be used for the development of the learning platform; it is also available as a reference guide to the starting entrepreneurs and stakeholders to promote understanding of the skills required in managing a business and making it grow.
The RE-ENTER Entrepreneurial Development Programme will be developed with emphasis on the needs and learning preferences of the primary target group. It will follow a blended learning approach, be practical, modular, well structured, accessible, facilitate the development of community and provide possibilities for networking, involve discussions with successful entrepreneurs, contain region-specific information and examples, consider including mentoring/ coaching and follow-up.
Returning to Labour Market through Entrepreneurship - RE-ENTER - is an Erasmus+ KA2 project that started in 2017 and will be completed in 2019. Learning Detours implements the project together with partners from Croatia, Greece, Netherlands, Norway and Spain.
The TEACH-INK project [2016-2018]
Creativity and Innovation is a big part of our WORLD today – especially younger generation. People are taking thousands of pictures, editing and sharing them by themselves with their phones. The newest music and shows are available at the same moment all around the world and all of them fits into the smallest devices. You can make your own piece of media or art and there are numerous platforms to display it.
With the fast pace of technologies developing and new ways of creation we have to address the need for new approach to embed creativity and innovation techniques into the education field. Being surrounded by technology and electronics already feels like a native environment for this generation.
According to Adobe Education survey in 2016 the majority of the youth today does not feel prepared or feel only somewhat prepared for the "real world“. The same survey concluded that both students (78%) and teachers (77%) think that the most effective ways of learning are DOING/CREATING. Therefore both students and teachers wish there was more of a focus on creativity in the classroom. And all of them have the same perception that creativity will be essential to the generation Z success in the future workforce and creativity will play an integral role in solving many of the challenges the world faces today.
TEACH-INC is an Erasmus+ Project the objective of which is to strengthen the training and profile of (future) secondary teachers by developing a new approach to embed creativity and innovation into secondary education. It introduces a set of skills which helps to develop a mindset that prepares students for the challenges and demands of the job market and the modern society we live in.
This is achieved through easily accessible and adaptable training material which aims to improve the way teachers teach their subjects by integrating techniques and methods which nurtures the creative and innovative thinking and sparks interest! The material covers 12 Creativity techniques (to use in classroom):
The TEACH INC consortium consists of secondary schools (DOUKAS, DURAN, EPRALIMA), teacher education authorities (LEU, UC Leuven Limburg), creativity and innovation trainers (EOLAS, X-PANEL), and ICT experts (Novomatix). Their different views and perspectives are exchanged, analysed and applied in both project and own activities. The partnership covers Lithuania, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Cyprus.
The SKILLS+ project [2015-2017]
So you’re looking for the perfect job and you’re sure that you are a fantastic candidate. You have worked hard to acquire the best education. You have the training, the knowledge, the technical skills and the abilities that the job requires.
You may not want to hear it, but unless you have some fantastic experience under your belt, you may be one of many applicants that have very similar resumes.
Think of your favorite professional sport. Most athletes have similar physical capabilities. But, once they make it to the highest level, only a few succeed. What’s the difference? On sports TV and radio talk shows, they’ll refer to an athlete that has “it.” They can’t describe it but, the ones who succeed seem to have something that can’t be quantified. It’s not as mysterious as they want to make it and it’s just as true in the non-sports world. In the real world, the “it factor” is also known as “soft skills.” Develop your soft skills in the workplace and you have a big edge on your competition.
The SKILLS+ project aimed to improve the competitiveness of micro-enterprises in the ICT sector by introducing a soft skills development programme. The SKILLS+ e-learning platform focuses on the soft skills most needed by people in micro-companies of ICT sector (based on the results of desk research and needs analysis carried out as part of the project) and includes different types of learning resources and tools - the more "traditional" reading resources supported by videos, real-world, tips and tricks and self-reflective exercises.
Imagine your company as an old clipper roaming around the Sea of Knowledge, where there are hidden treasures and trading opportunities on each island, unexplored cities and unknown spaces.
The hidden treasures and products are the skills that enable you to navigate effectively your environment, work well with others, perform well, achieve goals and guide your team members to do so. We invite you to on this quest and hunt for treasures and products which support you in making your company perform better and be more competitive.
Start on a journey and initiate the quest for the hidden treasures and products, you roam around the sea, explore the islands and the cities. When you navigate across the Sea of Knowledge, you will be able to decide which island to explore and which buildings to search. You are the captain, you plot your own route, this means you are the one in charge of your own learning path. There is no pre-established learning path.
The project was implemented by a consortium of 6 partners from 5 European countries spanning from North to South of Europe (Romania, Spain, Cyprus, Netherlands, Norway).
The MARLO project [2013-2015]
More and more farmers and rural SME´s in Europe, struggling to survive in a rapidly changing agricultural and economical environment, appreciate the growing interest in local and niche products as a possibility to continue their activities. Although consumers seem to favour local, authentic and healthy food, they experience difficulties in accessing it. Part of the imports that currently satisfy the growing demand could be replaced by local products, however the companies involved in the supply chain of local and organic food products need to become more professional and competitive.
The MARLO project aimed to improve the competitiveness of rural SMEs by introducing a Methodological Training Tool in the Marketing of Local and Organic Food Products, and thus encourage the sustainable development of rural areas.
For rural SMEs involved in the production, marketing and sales of local and organic food products (sectors of agriculture, food production, wholesale and retail trade, tourism) MARLO provided access to training in the fields of
- marketing of local and organic food products, and
- increasing cross-sector cooperation with tourism related businesses,
with the aim of developing joint tourism offers.
The project objectives included, increased access to training, improved qualifications in the area of marketing and improved competitiveness. It also supported the development of cross-sector cooperation between the agricultural and the tourism sectors and the economic revitalisation of rural areas in partner countries.
The project was implemented by a consortium of 7 partners from 5 EU countries spanning from North to South of Europe (Spain, Cyprus, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania), directly representing rural SMEs involved in production, marketing and sales of local and organic products, as well as in training and consulting.
The D-facto project [2012-2014]
"When you have problems with objects - or you can not decide if you have to push or pull a door or you are being tortured by the whims of the products of the modern computer and electronics industry - the mistake is not yours. Do not blame yourself, it is a mistake of technology or, more precisely, of design ... "
This is the position supported by the cognitive scientist Donald A. Norman, the author of the book "The Design of Everyday Things", who praises design excellence as the most important key to regaining the competitive edge in terms of influencing consumer behavior. Apart from the behavior or functionality of a product or service, what other factors should we take into account when designing a product or service? What feelings do we want to evoke to users or consumers of these products and services?
The D-facto project aimed at analyzing the importance and impact of Visceral, Behavioral and Reflective Design (the 3 levels of Emotional Design based on the work of Donald A. Norman) on the emotions and behavior of consumers. Moreover the project aimed at producing a training program to help managers and product / service designers understand and employ Emotional Design principles in their own companies.
The D-Facto project was funded by the Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning Program. The project was undertaken by 7 organizations from 6 European countries, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Cyprus and the United Kingdom.
The POWER project [2011-2013]
Talent management is an organization's commitment to recruit, hire, retain, and develop the most talented and superior employees available in the job market. It comprises all of the work processes and systems that are related to retaining and developing a superior workforce. People with special skills are the ones that create the conditions and value that the business needs to succeed in the market today. Thus it is important for a company to know:
- What strategic skills and competencies are important for its present and future success,
- What trends in the labor market will affect its ability to offer value and quality,
- How to attract and recruit the right talents,
- How to support talented people succeed and achieve their full potential,
- How to maintain the energy and interest of these people high so that they stay with the company.
The POWER project - "People on Work Empowerment Resources" was funded by the Lifelong Learning Program - Leonardo da Vinci. The project was implemented by 7 EU countries, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania, Ireland and Greece. The POWER project is targeting small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism sector such as hotel and accommodation providers, travel agencies, leisure centers, etc.
Within the framework of the POWER project an e-learning platform was developed through which users were able to learn about the practices that are being employed for Talent Management in the tourism sector. This included the following tools and training material:
- a knowledge base with quick, easy and user-friendly access to educational materials and tools on talent management ,
- a self-diagnosis tool guiding users based on the conditions and the particular environment of their sector,
- specific tools for managing talent, as well as issues related to the tourism industry,
- supporting tools such as forums, frequently asked questions and system manuals.
The ECOTOUR project [2013-2013]
ECOTOUR is a Leonardo da Vinci programme project co-funded by the European Commission. The project was implemented by 4 EU countries, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania and Spain.
The program aimed to improve the skills and competences of people working in the tourism sector by introducing an Ecotourism education program for the development of Ecotourism in the participating countries as well as in Europe in general. One of the main objectives of the project was to address the lack of adequate education and training on Ecotourism related issues in an effort to support the revitalization and the socio-economic development of rural economies, through increased knowledge and skills in Ecotourism.
The ECOTOUR training programme addresses the needs of:
- entrepreneurs and managers of tourism SMEs and hotels/ accommodation providers,
- travel agencies/tour operators,
- nature/wilderness guides,
- catering/restaurants employees, etc.
The ECOTOUR training programme consists of 4 modules:
- Foundational Aspects of Ecotourism;
- Ecotourism Programme Development;
- Ecotourism Product Development and Realisation;
- Leadership Skills and Risk Management.
The programme and learning material was translated and adapted to the needs of each participating country.