Feb 25, 2018 - 11:47 AM  
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Contribution to Community social objectives

Dunes and Europe
Employment and gender-equal opportunities in employment

The DUNES project will result in an advanced and widely used methodology and tool for learning and acquiring soft skills through discussion and argumentative interaction on the Web. The fact that "the development of education and training is one of the conditions for [...] more employment-intensive growth" ("White Paper on Education and Training", p.1) is well recognized in Europe since long ago. Education and training are also one of the determining factors for equality of opportunity for men and women vis-a-vis professional advancement. The widespread utilization of the DUNES system in learning (schools, universities) and training centers (in companies, professional schools, government, etc.) will bring an overall increase in the educational level of the learners, enhancing their professional competitiveness and preparation for work. The same can be said regarding the implementation of DUNES in "doing" scenarios, as decision-making and negotiation aids for business; the abilities acquired through its use will be a valuable asset in the labor market. "The emergence of a knowledge-based economy should be a powerful factor for growth, competitiveness and job creation..." reads a recent review of the EC's eLearning initiative "Le Magzine" (13-2000).

DUNES is not only expected to contribute to higher employment rates and more capable workers (from the professional and social points of view), but also to <u>the quality of the work from the worker's standpoint</u>. "Information technology is contributing to the disappearance of routine and repetitive work which can be codified, programmed and automated. Work content will increasingly be made up of intelligent tasks requiring initiative and the ability to adapt." [Op.Cit., p. 6]. By focusing on the provision of soft skills, DUNES will specifically address these requirements.

Skills, Education and Training

These are the fields that will be more directly influenced by the DUNES project, which is precisely focused on knowledge and skills acquisition by making the best use of novel ICT tools.

Environment and Energy consumption

A benefit envisioned from the project is the possibility to discuss (and, consequently, learn) environmental issues in the framework of DUNES, thus fostering the prevalent acceptance of environmental values and the emergence of a more deeply rooted environmental culture.

The environmental dimension of DUNES will also be manifested in the context of the decision-making-related activities supported by this project. Many decisions at the governmental and business levels have environmental implications. By addressing these issues, DUNES will enable thorough and orderly discussions from which effective, knowledge-based and, most probably, consensual decisions will stem.

Quality of life

There is a particular aspect that is worth considering when addressing the issue of the impact of a project like DUNES on a society's quality of life. This has to do with the fact that the methodology and tools developed and implemented in this project will not only provide knowledge but will also generate, in the user, skills, aptitudes and an overall approach to life that will greatly improve his quality as a person. This will be the effect of having a broadened cultural and professional horizon, a more natural propensity to hear and assimilate others' opinions, to interact and to share; a clearer tendency to think and to open one's mind. These and similar qualifications are self-rewarding for the individual, and convey an intangible - though real and subjectively valuable - benefit in terms of quality of life.

Other aspects

What was said in the last paragraph relates to the individual, but has a clear social implication. All the positive aspects associated with the "soft skills" generated by DUNES in its users set the conditions for a <u>creative approach</u> toward any problem and <u>a continuous search for innovation</u> in every solution.

Finally, perhaps the most significant spin-off of the extensive implementation of DUNES will be <u>the positive attitude of society -and most especially the young generation - toward values like democracy, pluralism, other people's rights; political, ethnical, racial, religious and sexual tolerance; teamwork, synergy; etc</u>. The importance of these values for a healthy and peaceful co-existence in heterogeneous societies is certainly beyond doubt.

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