VOST EUROPE WEBSITE

VOST EUROPE (VOSTEU) is a federation of Virtual Operations Support Teams across Europe. The aim of this federation is to create a space to interexchange experiences, best practices, mitigate common problems with common solutions, as well as to search for opportunities as representatives of a large number of digital volunteers.

VOST EUROPE is also responsible for the process of acceptance and onboarding of new VOST in the European and Middle East space.

A BIT OF HISTORY

VOST Europe was founded in 2015 , in a joint effort promoted by VOST Spain + VISOV (the French-speaking VOST), and soon after became a member of the global VOST alliance, the VOSG coalition.

The original team was formed by:

  • Rafael GÁLVEZ (president of VOST Spain)
  • Marina Thymen (VISOV General Secretary)
  • Laurent Alfonso (VISOV Coordinator)
  • Maria Luisa MOREO (spokesperson of VOST Spain)
  • Jokin ZUBIETA (member of VOST Spain & coordinator of VOST Euskadi)
  • Javier BLANCO (member of VOST Spain & coordinator of VOST Canarias)
GOVERNING BODY

In July 2016, Laurent ALFONSO (as part of VISOV) became the 1st coordinator of VOST Europe, supported by Iratxe GOMEZ SUSAETA (as part of VOST Spain). 2016 marked the beginning of a very fruitful and dynamic relationship with EENA

By the end of 2016, three more people were added to the advisory board: 

  • Marina TYMEN  (member of VISOV, and communications and SM expert)
  • Jean Gilhem CAILTON (member of VISOV, and GIS and OSM expert)
  • Josep Lluis POUY (member of VOST Spain & coordinator of VOST Catalonia, a Civil Protection expert and member of IAEM)

For the current composition of VOST Europe please refer to this link 

CORE ACTIVITY

VOST Europe was created as an umbrella organisation for European VOSTs, and also to support in the creation of new national / regional VOSTs and participate in pan-European activities.  The original strategy included being sustainable, multi-national and multi-language.

Our aim is to:

  • Amplify messages from national/local VOST teams
  • Follow-up on relevant events:
    • Amplification of key information, including the translation of core messages to multiple languages
    • Monitoring (when possible)
    • Support from/to other regional VOST worldwide
  • Daily programmed posts:
    • MeteoAlarm (9AM)
    • EU ECHO Daily Flash (1PM)
  • Participate in projects / initiatives of relevance
  • Support #EuCivPro
RELEVANT ACTIVATIONS
  • August 2017: Activation due to the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks
      • The local VOST (VOST Catalunya) was supported from the very beginning by the rest of the Spanish VOST, VOST Europe and other european VOST. The main activity was to translate and amplify key messages in several languages, and also flag hoaxes and unconfirmed rumours.
  • May 2018: Collaboration with VOST Euskadi and VOST Spain for the Bilbao Rugby Finals 2018 (Spain)
    • The local VOST (VOST Euskadi) was activated by both the regional and municipal emergency services to manage social media during this 3-day event. It was supported by VOST Spain and VOST Europe in monitoring publication in several languages and the translation of key messages.
  • May 2019: Collaboration with VOST Euskadi and VOST Spain for the Basketball Euroleague Final Four 2019 in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain)
    • The local VOST (VOST Euskadi) was activated by the regional emergency services to manage social media during this multi-day event. It was supported by VOST Spain and VOST Europe in monitoring publication in several languages and the translation of key messages.
  • September 2019: International cooperation due to Hurricane Dorian
    • For VOST Americas’ first collaboration with the CEDR Digital Corps (US based volunteer organization) during and after Hurricane Dorian, several European VOSTies helped in translating hurricane resource pages and infographics into French, German and Portuguese (Spanish was covered by VOST Panama, VOST El Salvador, VOST Ecuador and VOST Chile volunteers).
PARTICIPATION IN EVENTS
  • 2016
  • 2017
    • April: Participation in the EENA Conference 2017 in Budapest (Hungary)
      • Iratxe represented VOST Europe in the panel discussion about “Use of social media in a Crisis”
      • Marina did a presentation in the session about “Social media in emergencies and VOST”, with the title “VOST EUROPE: why Europe needs to strengthen SMEM and VOST efforts
      • A couple of tweets:
        • A tweet from Iratxe where the VOST Europe activity during this event can bee seen: 
        • Another tweet, from Marina
    • July: We are mentioned in reports about how to use or implement social media during emergencies produced by the EmerGent project (FP7)
    • September: Workshop organized by the Anywhere project (H2020) n Helsinki (Finland)
      • Laurent did a presentation about VOST activities in general, and VOST Europe in particular
  • 2018:
    • January:  Participation in the GEOSAFE Eu project (Geospatial Based Environment For Optimisation Systems Addressing Fire Emergencies)
        • Laurent did a presentation of VOSTeurope in Utwente (NL) under invitation of the Pau Costa Foundation
    • February: participation in a workshop onCrisis communication and social mediafor UIC (International Union of Railways). In this workshop, the main focus was the use of different communication channels and best practices for the internal and external communication during crisis situations. Another focus was the use of social media and the related problems (e.g. false information). Therefore, next to the UIC members (rail operators and infrastructure managers) there was also invited first responders and blue light organizations, critical infrastructure operators as well as researchers, authorities, journalists and communication experts.
    • April: Participation in the EENA Conference 2018 in Ljubljana (Slovenia)
      • We offered our expertise in “use of Social Media (VOST)” for the “Public Safety Tinder Time” session. 
      • We were present in the session about “Social media strategies and tools”, with Laurent, Marina and Volker in the panel (although not representing VOST Europe as such).
    • December: Workshop organized by the E2mC project (H2020) in Bled (Slovenia)
      • Volker did a presentation about VOST Europe and general tasks of national / regional VOST
  • 2019:
    • February We supported the Crowd4EMS project, and we strongly contributed to crashing their servers 🙂
    • November: Through the JRC of the European Commission we were selected, together with VOST Portugal and VOST Spain, for implementing social media in activities related with EFAS. 
    • December: First ever VOST day in Lisbon (Portugal)
      • Iratxe represented VOST Europe, and did a presentation about SMEM and VOST worldwide
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