For the Internet Society of Serbia – Belgrade Chapter, 2022. was a challenging year. We continued our work on already established activities based on the active struggle for a free and open Internet and education of the wider community with cooperation with technological enthusiasts on new “tech for good” solutions. As well as in previous years, we focused a lot on development and distribution of Klimerko to citizens so that they can share data on the network from their locations. The data indicates concentration of air pollution particles such as PM2.5 and PM10 present in their vicinity , and this network is progressively expanding. One of the new activities was the participation in the organization of the Serbian national Internet governance forum ( IGF).
Of the annual activities that stood out in terms of importance, both for the chapter and for the community, we would single out the following:
- Participation in the organizational team that was responsible for the implementation of the first Serbian Internet Governance Forum
The event was held in May, and the Internet Society of Serbia together with representatives of the National Domain Registry of Serbia (RNIDS), Diplo Foundation, Share Foundation, and in cooperation with the Serbian Government and other stakeholders, partners and members of the Internet community, and in accordance with the national strategy on information society, participated in the formation of the program for the first Serbian IGF.
Desiree Milošević, President of the Board of ISOC Serbia, moderated the panel on Data Economy and Public Interest and presented the Klimerko device and its improved version through a special panel.
- “From citizen measurements to clean air” project was completed on 1st of June
Project “From citizen measurements to clean air” was launched on November 15, 2021 and is supported by the Open Society Foundation. Through the project implementation additional 125 households out of over 200 applicants got an opportunity to install Klimerko in their place of residence. Interested householders continuously applied via the isoc.rs website and additional devices arrived in 29 cities across Serbia: Bor, Bosilegrad, Vranje, Niš, Pirot, Surdulica, Kučevo, Požarevac, Kostolac, Kragujevac, Kruševac and many others.
The goal of this project was to contribute in raising the awareness of citizens about the harmfulness of polluted air and to contribute to their further engagement and struggle to change local policies, i.e. reducing the risk of toxic pollution by addressing the main air pollutants, and we see it as successfully implemented.
- Workshop “Better air for all” – Flags of the future program
ISOC Belgrade representatives were lecturers at the “Better Air for All” workshop, which was held on April 30, 2022 at the Liman Cultural Station, as part of the “Flags of the Future” program.
At the workshop, Klimerko, a low-cost device for measuring air quality, whose distribution to citizens in Eastern Serbia was made possible as part of the “The World You Want” program, was presented. The lecturers at the workshop were Vladimir Đurđević (Faculty of Physics, Belgrade), Vanja Stanić (Internet Society of Serbia), Željka Desiree Milošević (Internet Society of Serbia), Neda Aleksandrov (Internet Society of Serbia) and Dunja Jovanović (F.fm platform).
- Descon 7.0: mapping, sensing, predicting
Descon – an annual technological and ecological hackathon was held in Belgrade in May 2022 for a seventh time in a row. Main topics were the importance of data forecasting, the ecology of shaping and data processing. We had an opportunity to host and introduce to the local community some very inspiring researchers, scientists or artists such as Dr. Michael Kaltholfen – an environmental scientist with more than 30 years of experience in a field, Larissa Wunderlich, a designer and visual artist from Berlin who brings together analytical thinking and visual power, professor of art, design and media Dr. Alessandro Ludovico from the University of Winchester in Great Britain, Dr. Jan Krasni, who works at the University of Technology in Berlin and former professor of the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, as well as ETF students Marina and Filip who presented their graduation work: a software and hardware solution inspired by the Klimerko device, and since we were recently informed that they graduated this year with a mentioned topic, we would like to point out that we are very proud of them and that we wish them a best of luck in their future professional experiences. In addition to the mentioned panelists, there were many others, while the whole event was traditionally accompanied by the Capture the Flag competition. We also established online cooperation with professors and students from the United States who analyzed the open data from klimerko.org and shared their results with us. Descon was supported by Haklab Belgrade, RNIDS, RIPE NCC and .ME registry.
A detailed report about the event you can find here.
- Participation on the Global IGF
The Global Forum for Internet Governance was held from November 28 to December 2 in Ethiopia. The general theme of the forum wes Internet resilience for shared sustainability and future, while the discussion was divided into five main areas: connecting people and preserving human rights, avoiding Internet fragmentation, data management and privacy protection, enabling security, safety and availability of data, referring to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. At the same time, those five topics are related to the areas that will be dealt with by the Global Digital Compact.
The event was organized in a hybrid form, while online participation of the participants was made possible through an unique platform. The goal of the platform was that the interested participant could join from any location while using a special version of the platform made for mobile. It was possible to involve the participants in a 3D space where they could connect with the participants on site in different ways.
More about the complete program is available on this link.
- Five more months until the end of the “Schools for Better Air” project
From August 2021 to July 2023, the ISOC Serbia is implementing the project “Schools for Better Air Quality” in cooperation with UNICEF, the Permanent Conference of Cities and Municipalities in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and the Institute for Nuclear Sciences “Vinča” and with the financial support of the Norwegian government. Through the implementation of the project, the Internet Society of Serbia started developing a new design for a smart IoT device Klimerko that was completed and presented at the seventh Descon by Vanja Stanić, a software engineer and member of the Internet Society of Serbia who works on the development of Klimerko, together with Željka Desiree Milošević who is the creator of the device. To date, a total of 136 devices have been assigned and installed in 46 schools in western Serbia near to Morava and Drina rivers. Schools access measured data in their school through the website www.decazavazduh.rs
This link contains details about the project itself.
In April, we also participated in the RIPE SEE 10 conference in Ljubljana, where we presented DESCON as well as a comparative analysis of citizens air quality measurement with several Klimerko devices which we compared with the results of government measurement stations.
At the RIPE85 conference that was held in Belgrade in October 2022, we had an opportunity to hear a panel about the Internet in ex-YU in addition to numerous good presentations and content in general such as the MANRS program of the Internet Society and Kevin Meynela.
So, the end of the year was highlighted by participation in many forums and webinars on the topic of air pollution, which we have been dealing with as a primary issue over the years, and we also had the opportunity to host associates and partners from the Internet Society Foundation, which we are particularly pleased about.
The number of donors to the Internet Society of Serbia chapter is growing as our activities develop, and we are open to all volunteers and students who want to contribute to the work of the society, especially organizing a webinar on important local Internet policies. These are just some of the key activities that we would highlight in a year that has been as challenging as the previous ones and we look forward to the year ahead.