For a Human-Centered AI

Being parents in the summer: where to leave the children?

August 2, 2018

An open topic discussed even before the end of the school as well as under the beach umbrellas in August. The "Families Share" project, of which FBK is a partner, has among its goals solving this problem too

Balancing work and family life in Europe has become increasingly challenging in the last decade. The financial crisis has had a double impact: on the one hand on the job market, on the other on available welfare options. As a result, unemployment rates have increased, while more women (including mothers) work part-time jobs*.

The “Families Share” project (2018 – 2021) offers a bottom-up solution: a social networking and awareness-raising platform dedicated to encouraging childcare and work/life balance. The platform will exploit social networks – such as neighbourhood networks or professional networks – and will enable citizens to come together to share tasks, time and skills relevant to childcare and after-school educational/leisure activities, in a historical moment where these have become almost inaccessible due to the period of stagnation and austerity. The project also aspires to get the elderly involved in childcare activities and offer them support with shopping and administrative tasks, but also to involve them in family events.

To achieve this,” – researcher Massimo Zancanaro, Head of the FBK i3 unit, explains – “the project taps into and integrates the concepts of ‘time banking‘, making use of the existing technological innovations, exploiting communication networks and participatory information. ”

Families Share has already taken the first steps in terms of design and will come to life this fall: “a short questionnaire will be distributed to help us compare situations in different European countries and by next summer we will be ready for experimentation within the organizations of the Trento Family Audit District who participated in the initial stages ”

The project is being run in 7 “City Labs” in Europe to test the approach in different social contexts. Among these, there is also the city of Trento where the project mainly focuses on organizations and businesses.

The project is funded by the EU as part of the “Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS)” program of “Horizon 2020”, which provides funding for research and development of innovative social innovation platforms. Fondazione Bruno Kessler is among the project partners together with the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice and other relevant European institutions.

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