Back To Agora

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Back To Agora: Re-building societies together

All over the country , GreeceThessaloniki, Greece
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Back2Agora is the first site to uplift social exclusion.
Every citizen submits not just a problem but also a possible solution.
Concrete problems coming with tangible solutions will serve as a tool for political pressure.
The site gives voice to all the Greeks and engages them to civil society.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if social inclusion, political participation and civil society stopped being words and together we made them reality?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Social exclusion is a major problem in Greece. Due to economic crisis, democracy and human rights got in crisis as well. Greeks, especially the youth, lost their faith in politics and deny even to communicate with the politicians it. So even if we have solutions to respective problems, we lack of a way to directly express them to the competent body by avoiding the clientelistic relations between us and the local political parties.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our platform is the solution to all this. The idea is simple: Every citizen of our country with an Internet connection will be able to create a personal account. Then, he chooses the municipality, prefecture or district he lives in, locating the problem in a certain area and expresses his concern(s). Like that, we avoid the mediator, as every single problem is directly posted in public and is accessible from everywhere and everyone. Citizens can further explain the problem through a comment, photograph or video. After posting the problem the user has to post an ideal solution. This way, we get an interactive platform where people participate to an online virtual dialogue with the leadership of our country.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Family A lives in a small island in Aegean Sea. Every winter they face problems with electricity supply. The very same problem faces family B that lives in a small island in Ionian Sea. Both families are far away from local or national government representatives. However, a member of family A finds out about a European fund for solar energy implants that regional municipalities can apply for and solve the electricity problem. So we get: 1.Regional development throughout Greece by solutions provided by citizens 2.Social inclusion and voice to everyone 3.People can participate from everywhere and we will avoid urbanization problems 4.Creation of the online library of know-how knowledge 5.Maximization of the use of individuals creativity

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Back2agora is right before launching. Thus, the impact of the site can only be depicted in general trends concerning Greece. -8 million citizens are capable of using technology-6 million are internet users -52nd in the list of countries by number of internet users -No government restrictions for internet use All the above show how powerful internet is in Greece and how easily we can use it to fix our country. Key sectors our platform remedies: 1.Social Exclusion: Via our platform every citizen that can reach an internet connection will be able to claim his rights and change his society with his own ideas. 2.Political Participation: From now on, with only a few clicks everybody will have a space for his opinions and beliefs. 3.Civil Society: Elements that make up a democratic society such as freedom of speech, transparency, annihilation of clientelism, will be strengthened.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

1. We plan to establish concrete and tangible partnerships with local governments. In this way we will promote the solutions and fight for the rights of the citizens more effectively. 2. We will be established as the pattern for social change and we will create an independent branch in our Social Enterprise that will target elementary and high school children and inform them on the need of civil society, shaping the future Greek generations to be more educated and active. 3. We will expand the project to other countries with similar issues, making Greece a brand, since it started from here.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

For sustainability and growth: 1. Consultancy and statistical analysis to municipalities and prefectures, originating from the problems/solutions as posted in our database. 2. Advertisements οn website/mobile app 3. Seminars and coaching to pressure groups, NGO's, political organisations 4. Donations

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our site is unique and stands out as the first platform of its kind as: 1. Our site is highly user friendly even for people that know just the basics of browsing. No more than 3 clicks are needed to search or submit a proposal. 2. It's not a forum for problems and negativity. We ask the users to provide a possible solution to any problem they face. This engages citizens to civil society. 3. We don't just target problems regarding traffic or bad road conditions like the rest. We include all problems of everyday life. 4. We create together an easily accessible online library of know-how.
Team

Founding Story

Growing up in a village of Greece, soon enough I realized that the aspect of civil society was either absent from the everyday lives of Greeks or oriented only towards some of the vulnerable groups in the country. Living abroad and meeting different cultures, I can see the majority of Greeks sharing a political cynicism in the surface of their social behavior. This denotes an active and full of ideas political spirit. One day, while designing the map of Greece in AutoCAD I had the Aha! moment that was being nourished in me for years. An idea so simple yet so complicated. And idea to build the platform that will change politics by bringing every solution, every citizen and every Greek region together online.

Team

Founder and managing director of the startup is Fotopoulou Ioanna, engineer with MSc in economics and politics from University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki. Co-founder and developer is Kyriakidis Dimosthenis, with MSc in Software engineering from Imperial College of London. We collaborate with two engineers and a graphic designer. We have a board of advisors from Harvard University, University of Macedonia and local government members.
About You
About You
First Name

Ioanna

Last Name

Fotopoulou

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, Thessaloniki

Country where this project is creating social impact

, All over the country

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Individuals, Foundations, Regional government, National government, Customers.

Supplemental
Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.