Work Plan “Cities for all – inclusive Urban planning and decision making in the Eastern European cities”

Project background

Urbanism and Gender are strongly related topics and should be looked at together. In many Eastern European countries, bad city planning is failing young women and LGBT+ youth. Basic safety is a top concern for women and queer people in public spaces, public toilets are often insecure for us , the streets around suburban areas do not have enough street lightning, side walks are very narrow or do not exist at all. This causes discomfort for the pedestrians and often is not safe, the number of properly functioning public toilets are very low and are strictly divided into 2, which is another concern for gender queer people. All these put young women and queer individuals under big risk of facing different types of violence, including sexual. As a result, young LGBT+ individuals and women feel insecure to leave their houses when it gets dark. Additionally, women and queer people even in the city center can be followed and face verbal abuse. Around suburban areas of the city such cases are even more extreme – in some countries, women who are seen in public in late hours can be stigmatised. All the above mentioned issues are closely tied with the class, religious and ethnic background, education and other social aspects.

This is why CDN and its Alternative Urbanisation and Gender Working Groups are organising a Work Plan that aims to empower the young activists from the Eastern Europe to reach out and influence the local authorities through advocacy for improving urban infrastructure for all.

We will do this by reaching these objectives:

  1. First, train young activists from the Eastern Europe to understand how patriarchy shapes urban infrastructure and cities through equipping them with the tools and skills to explore the connection between our habitat and Gender. 
  2. Second, to develop skills of campaigning and advocacy among young activists to shape more inclusive, LGBT+ friendly and safe cities for everyone. 
  3. Third, to enable participants with an opportunity to practice their skills and share the gained knowledge further on the local level through communicating with authorities and expressing their demands regarding public spaces and inclusive infrastructure. 
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Outsmarting the paradigm [UPDATED]

Project background and summary

The role of youth in cities has been one of CDN’s areas of work for several years now. The Network has previously organized several projects, including the Annual Work Plan “Urban Steps for Resilient Future” and a Summer School “Youth and the City: Young People for Fair and Green Cities”. Building on this work CDN is organising a series of different online activities as a part of the GEF transnational project “A Charter for the Smart City II”. 

Young people are digital natives. We embrace technologies earlier than older generations. For a couple of years now, there are lot of talks about Smart Cities, but the solutions suggested are often not very smart or sustainable. What the large corporations and governments are presenting as a “Smart City”, in reality has many elements of a technocratic dystopia, the proposed solutions are called “smart” but in reality, they are just technology oriented projects for those that can afford it. However, technology doesn’t necessarily have to have negative implications on the city. It can be used for good if directed at improving everybody’s life in the cities. We would like to explore how our cities could move towards use of digitisation to benefit us without turning the city into a place of surveillance, exploitation and exclusion.

Activities, that due to Covid-19 pandemic had to move online will include:

  1. Podcast ‘Introduction to Digital city’, available on this link
    The podcast is a result of brainstorming done by the Prepteam of the planned event “Outsmarting the paradigm”. How can we digitise a case study? Listen to the stories of two citizens and let us know the answers to the questions in the last section in the comments.
  2. Webinar ‘Inclusion and Citizens’ Rights’ 28.10.2020 at 18:00 CEST
    Our team members will make a small introduction on the topic and then the registered participants will be divided into smaller groups for a workshop. Together we can brainstorm together how to make our digital cities inclusive. The team then will sum it all up for the publication.
    [REGISTER HERE]
  3. Webinar ‘Citizen Scoring’
    Many groups of people are not aware of citizen scoring. However, some councils all over Europe are now using services to apply algorithms to public data in order to segment and “score” citizens and population groups according to their social group or “risk profile”. We will talk about citizen data scoring and what should be taken in consideration when building up a truly smart city. Webinar will be streamed on Youtube and Facebook of CDN.
  4. Manifesto
    Development process will kick off for the participants of the event, the MOs and POs and WGs of CDN. The document will be polished and again discussed at CDN GA 2021.

Aim: To explore how technologies change us and our cities and rethink the concept of smart cities from a green perspective.

Objectives:

  • Train young people in critical assessment of technology in cities and re-evaluate its role in the urban environment;
  • Assess the Charter for the Smart Cities through the Central and Eastern European lens; 
  • Create a platform for exchange of best practices for young people interested in exploring the connection between Urbanism and/or Technology;
  • Create a set of outputs relevant and useful for the young people in the Central and Eastern Europe tackling the connection between the Cities and Technology.
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Study Session “Work that Works for all: Shaping Europe’s Future of Work” [CANCELED]

Young people today feel more and more disengaged with participation in organisations, activism or decision-making structures as the economic and social difficulties they face persevere. There is a discrepancy between guaranteed social rights and what is experienced by young people in reality. On top of issues, such as job insecurity or unpaid internships, discrimination at work, unfair working conditions and precarity are the challenges young people face across Europe.

Globalisation and technological advancements – in digitisation in particular – have been very influential in shaping young people’s current situation on the labour market, with particular effects on the types and quality of jobs available.

Age-based discrimination is the most prevalent form of discrimination at work, with young workers among those reporting the highest levels of discrimination.

Until today, there are no functioning labour legislations that protect the population in many Eastern member states of the CoE. The fatal occupational accidents in the Commonwealth of Independent States are majorly caused by open contact with hazardous substances and the lack of safety norms at construction. In some countries (Georgia, Russia, Belarus and Greece) there is no Labour inspection, or it is not mandatory. In most cases there are no support mechanisms for advocating for decent working conditions and the demands of the youth is often opposed to the interests of the investors, causing the states fail to implement the recommendations of the CoE. In addition to that, the social protection schemes and welfare systems in the region are very weak or nonexistent.

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Open call for Participants: Seminar “Art as Shelter” [Extended]

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and Gender Working Group are announcing a call for Participants for the international seminar “Art as Shelter”. The seminar will take place between 7th – 11th April in Tirana, Albania ( 6 and 12 are travel dates to and from Albania for the participants).

The project is the first phase of our annual work plan Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe” and is going to focus on how to contribute to the creation of inclusive and sensitive political environment by understanding power dynamics in patriarchal society and by empowering young women, transgender, non-binary, agender, gender queer and intersex people and broaden safe space and claim more private and political space through art.

This way we would like empower the participants with tools to broaden safe space and claim more private and political space through non-formal education and art. In particular, we would like:

  • To build understanding of patriarchy as a dominant power that operates in the society and feminism as a theory and strategy to challenge dominant power relations;
  • To create an intercultural safe space for young women, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, agender and intersex people to share their private and political struggles and to explore tools to counteract them;
  • To use art to empower young women, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, agender and intersex people to stand up against patriarchy and broaden the safe space by giving visibility to women* through art.
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Outsmarting the paradigm: Implementation of new technologies in the cities

Project background and summary

The role of youth in cities has been one of CDN’s areas of work for several years now. The Network has previously organized several projects, including the Annual Work Plan “Urban Steps for Resilient Future” and a Summer School “Youth and the City: Young People for Fair and Green Cities”. Building on this work, in May, CDN will organise a training in Riga as a part of the GEF transnational project “A Charter for the Smart City II”. 

Young people are digital natives. We embrace technologies earlier than older generations. For a couple of years now, there are lot of talks about Smart Cities, but the solutions suggested are often not very smart or sustainable. What the large corporations and governments are presenting as a “Smart City”, in reality has many elements of a technocratic dystopia, the proposed solutions are called “smart” but in reality, they are just technology oriented projects for those that can afford it. However, technology doesn’t necessarily have to have negative implications on the city. It can be used for good if directed at improving everybody’s life in the cities. We would like to explore how our cities could move towards use of digitisation to benefit us without turning the city into a place of surveillance, exploitation and exclusion.

The training will deal with the challenges and opportunities that implementation of new technologies brings to the cities in different aspects (social, environmental, economical, democratic) in the Central and Eastern Europe. Participants will be made aware of how technologies change us and our cities, be able to rethink the concept of smart cities from a green perspective for Eastern and Central European cities and create ideas on how to influence public debate and local decision-making on technological innovations and their implementations in the cities of the region.

The training is meant for young people (till 30) from Eastern and Central Europe (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine) interested in looking at how the implementation of new technologies in cities can affect the democracy, social and economic influences on youth. The event will take place between 26th and 30th of May in Riga  (25th and 31th are travel dates).

Aim: To explore how technologies change us and our cities and rethink the concept of smart cities from a green perspective.

Objectives:

  • Train 25 young people in critical assessment of technology in cities and re-evaluate its role in the urban environment;
  • Assess the Charter for the Smart Cities through the Central and Eastern European lens; 
  • Create a platform for exchange of best practices for young people interested in exploring the connection between Urbanism and/or Technology;
  • Create a set of outputs relevant and useful for the young people in the Central and Eastern Europe tackling the connection between the Cities and Technology.

Methodology

The program will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for active, inclusive and direct communication and transfer and sharing of knowledge.

Sessions will be balanced between theoretical inputs, training, workshops, discussions, reflection, planning, brainstorming and other interactive methods of learning.

By the end of the project, a draft toolkit for actions which will foster public debate on smart city policies and influence local decision-making will be developed.

This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of CDNEE and Wetenschappelijk Bureau GroenLinks with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation.

Call for Prepteam: “Outsmarting the paradigm: Implementation of new technologies in cities”

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and its Alternative Urbanisation Working Group are announcing a call for Prep-Team members for the international training “Outsmarting the paradigm: Implementation of new technologies in cities”. The seminar will take place between 26th and 30th May in Riga (25th and 31th are travel dates).

The event is implemented as a part of the transnational project “A Charter for the Smart City II”. More information about the project you can read here.

A&O

Aim: To explore how technologies change us and our cities and rethink the concept of smart cities from a green perspective.

Objectives:

  • Train 25 young people in critical assessment of technology in cities and re-evaluate its role in the urban environment;
  • Assess the Charter for the Smart Cities through the Central and Eastern European lens; 
  • Create a platform for exchange of best practices for young people interested in exploring the connection between Urbanism and/or Technology;
  • Create a set of outputs relevant and useful for the young people in the Central and Eastern Europe tackling the connection between the Cities and Technology.

If you are young (till 30) person from Eastern and Central Europe (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine) interested in how the integration of new technologies in cities can affect the democracy, social and economic influences on youth, this project will be very much relevant.

In order to achieve these objectives, we are looking for young activists to join the preparatory team. Prep-team members should speak English, be available during the preparation period, be responsible about fulfilling their tasks, have good organisational skills, be good team players and committed to the aims of the project and CDN’s values and be familiar with non-formal education methods. 

Main responsibilities of the prep-team:

  • Active participation in the regular online meetings prior to the event (March-May/ 2-3 h a week);
  • Participation in a live prep team meeting in Riga: 14-15 March (2 full working days), arrival day 13th, departure 16th.
  • Dissemination of the call and selection of participants, preparation of participants for the event and providing them with all the necessary information regarding the program;
  • Preparation and facilitation of the programme of the Training; designing and preparing sessions based on non-formal education methodology, invitation and communication with speakers, experts, trainers and partners in accordance with the project aims (4-6 h a week);
  • Helping with the promotion of the event and ensuring media visibility;
  • Taking care of practicalities and of the general well-being of the participants;
  • Full participation during the entire event and prep team meeting before and after: Arrival 23rd of May, departure 1st of June;
  • Supporting the finalisation of the outputs;
  • Helping with the reporting of the seminar.

Being a prep-team member at CDN event would offer you:

  • Working in a lively international urban activist environment;
  • Experience in managing youth projects – preparation, implementation and reporting;
  • Getting familiar with Green values and CDN work;
  • Getting to know local activists and Alternative Urbanisation activists and their work;
  • A possibility to develop your leadership and group work skills;
  • A lot of work and a lot of fun!

Practicalities: 

Accommodation, food, working space, travel and visa costs for preparatory team will be fully covered. For selection of travel means the condition is to combine the most economic and environmentally friendly way (lowest price + travel time + CO2 emissions).

DEADLINE for submitting online applications is 5th of February, Midnight CEST. 

You will be informed by e-mail approximately in 2 weeks time after the deadline. Please add project.coordinator@cdnee.org to your contacts, so that you do not receive our reply in spam folder.

APPLY HERE

This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of CDNEE and Wetenschappelijk Bureau GroenLinks with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation.

Recapping CDN Annual Work plan 2019

This year was an interesting journey for CDN in the realm of digital rights, critical digital journalism, online artivism and activism. Thanks to our Annual Work Plan “Digital Technology For Democracy: Youth Turns Threat Into Opportunity”, we had the chance to dive into these topics.

This AWP consisted of three international activities:

1- Seminar in Kyiv, Ukraine “Internet as we know it vs Internet as we want it”,

2- Seminar in Misaktsieli, Georgia “Critical journalism in Digital Era: Youth’s access to non-biased information”,

3- Seminar in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina “Digitising Youth Ar(c)tivism”.

The third seminar was organized and delivered by the following team: Masha Dzneladze (CDN Project Coordinator); Mariam Khizanashvili (CDN EC); Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli (the Ecosprinter editorial board), Elena Petrovska (Serbian Green Youth), Maja Siljanoska (MODOM), Palina Burko (Belarus Young Greens).

The activity was hosted by CDN Member Organization: Revolt.

During four days, participants explored the concept of artivism and analysed its connection it to digital activism, practiced different art tools, explored the project planning of storytelling and finally divided into three different groups and worked on their very own (1) theatre play, (2) mural on a public school and (3) campaign for disseminating the Manifesto of the whole work plan. All the outputs, including these will be part of a publication that soon will be out. 

We would like to thank the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and MEP Michael Bloss (Greens/European Free Alliance) for the support of this project. 

Stay tuned!

Work plan: Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe

Project background

One of the fields that CDN, as a capacity building network, prioritises to tackle in the Central and Eastern Europe is gender: gender roles, patriarchy, sexism, women emancipation, LGBTQ+ rights, queer theory, these are some topics on which gender working group aims to raise awareness and empower the youth on. The importance of Gender issues are especially vital in the Central and Eastern Europe. Gender working group has been active for almost a decade now and this project is an idea of the members.

The Central and Eastern Europe is still very conservative and patriarchal compared to Western Europe. According to the data of countries that make their data available through Eurostat, the worst domestic violence and femicide situations across Europe is Montenegro, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia. Countries like Serbia, Ukraine, Poland, Turkey or Caucasus countries are not included in the data set but it is a very well know fact, that the situation is not any better in those countries. The public and private spaces are not safe for women. Looking at the political representation, only 6 of the 52 leadership positions in Eastern Europe are occupied by female leaders as of 2019. The progress towards gender equality is so slow that even Council of Europe only recently adopted guidelines to its 47 member states on tackling sexism, including the first internationally-agreed definition. Looking at the LGBT+ rights, members of the LGBT+ community in Eastern Europe don’t have safe public spaces to express their gender and sexual orientation openly. The Gay Pride is mostly banned in Eastern European countries and where it is not banned, it can only take place under heavy security, limiting the LGBT+  access to political spaces as well.

What will we do and why?

This project has the goal of tackling the gender issue and representation in private and political spaces in Eastern Europe from both female and LGBT+ perspectives. However, with this project we would like to firstly enlarge the local, closed safe spaces with young activists of different genders and sexualities from the Central and Eastern Europe. Through international youth activities we will provide a bigger, intercultural space for young people of various genders and sexualities to interact with each other, share struggles and learn from each other. In the last phase of the work plan, we will carry the safe space to public space. We will enable the activists to interact with wider public through using art as a communication tool.

Our AIM with this workplan is to to understand power dynamics in patriarchal and cis-heteronormative societies in order to empower young women, LGBT+ youth, transgender, non-binary, agender, gender queer and intersex people to broaden the safe space and claim more private and political space through non-formal education and art.

By providing the platform to discuss the shared experiences and counteracting strategies, we would like to: 

  • Build understanding in the group about the different ways in which power can operate in society and reflect on possible unaware perpetuation of the existing power relations; 
  • Create  safe space for young Eastern European women, LGBT+ youth, transgender, non-binary, agender, gender queer and intersex activists where they share experiences of daily private  and political struggles from different contexts; 
  • Consider different strategies for challenging dominant power relations and equip them with tools and techniques to vigorously stand up in their respective struggles; 
  • Explore using art as a tool to expand the safe space in providing visibility to young women, LGBT+ youth, transgender, non-binary, agender, gender queer and intersex people; 
  • Explore and establish cooperation with the initiatives / organizations / individual activists on international level dealing with the same issues locally.

Project summary

This project consists of three activities, with which we would like to stress the importance of art, inclusivity and human rights. The project target group are the young people from the Central and Eastern Europe (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine).


1st phase –  Art as a shelter: A room of our own

The first event of the Work plan is a 5 day international training aiming to understand power dynamics and how power operates in patriarchal societies in order to empower young women to broaden safe space and claim more private and political space through art.

Date: 7-11 April 2020, (6th arrival, 12th departure)

Duration: 5 full working days

Location: Tirana, Albania

Call for Prepteam

Call for Participants


2nd phase – Good, Bad or Queer

The phase two is an organic continuation of the phase one and draws attention at challenging cis- and heteronormativity as a dominant power and aims at engaging  and  mobilising  LGBT+ young  people  in  taking  ownership  in  advocating for their rights in their national contexts; We want to contribute to overcoming the binary understanding of gender and sexuality and maintstream this discourse in the (Green) youth organisations.

Date: 30 June – 4 July 2020, (29th arrival, 5th departure).
Duration: 5 full working days

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Call for Prepteam

Call for Participants


UPDATE:

1st + 2nd Stage – Online course “Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe”

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, first two international activities “Art as a shelter: A room of our own” and  “The Good, the Bad, the Queer” are moved to online space. Online course “Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe”  aims to understand power dynamics in patriarchal and cis-heteronormative societies in order to empower young women, LGBT+ youth, transgender, non-binary, agender, gender queer and intersex people to broaden the safe space and claim more private and political space through non-formal education and art.

Date: 10 October – 28 November 2020.

Duration: 8 weeks, 4-6 hours per week

Location: Online


3rd phase – Art for freedom: Free Yourself and the Rest will Follow

The final phase which comprises of Local Actions in the project countries, that will be partially developed during the previous phase aims to broaden the closed safe spaces of young women, trans-persons, non-binaries and LGBT+ community by visibilising their identities and the struggles to wider public using non-formal methods (i.e. art) as a communication channel in order to challenge the normativity in the society.

Date: December/January 2021

Duration: Optional

Location: Participating countries

Call for local actions

Methodology

The program will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for active, inclusive and direct communication and transfer and sharing of knowledge. Sessions will be balanced between theoretical inputs, training, workshops, discussions, reflection, planning, brainstorming and other interactive methods of learning.

This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe, with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation, and supported by the European Youth Foundation of Council of Europe.

*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

Open call for Participants: International Seminar “Digitising the Youth Ar(c)tivism”

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and Digital [X] Working Group are announcing a call for Participants for the international seminar “Digitising the Youth Ar(c)tivism”.

The seminar will take place between 19-24 November in Bosnia and Herzegovina (19 and 24 are travel dates to and from BiH).The project is the third and final phase of our annual work plan “Digital Technology For Democracy: Youth Turns Threat Into Opportunity” and is going to focus on finding innovative ways of communicating with one’s audience online through interactive creative means.

This seminar aims to:  

(1) Explore the concept of artivism as a tool for change and analyze various contextual examples for connecting it to digital activism;

(2) Look into the possibilities of modern digital technologies in communicating the message to the audience;

(3) Explore different creative tools for youth engagement that will later be included in the publication and multimedia library.

The programme will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for an active, inclusive environment for direct communication and sharing of knowledge. The sessions will be balanced between theoretical inputs, work in small groups, workshops, discussions, training and other interactive methods of non-formal learning.

Who should apply? We are looking for 30 young people aged 16-35, residing in one of the Council of Europe Member states, Belarus or Kosovo*. We encourage applications reflecting diversity in all forms; therefore we welcome applications from those who identify as women, LGBTQIA+, people of color or with a disability. Participants who have experience in artivism, digital activism and relevant knowledge or high motivation to learn about the topic are highly encouraged to apply.

Practicalities: Language: The main language of this activity will be English. But not being comfortable interacting in English should not prevent you from applying. CDN strives to create an inclusive atmosphere at the events, where participants are encouraged to express themselves and ask for clarifications or translations from peers that speak the same language.

Costs: The full cost of travel, visa, lodging (accommodation in multi-bed rooms, vegetarian and vegan food, and refreshments) and working materials during the event will be covered by the organizers. In exchange, we ask for a participation fee of 20 EUR for participants coming from non-EU countries and 50 EUR for participants coming from EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland. Applicants for whom paying this fee is an obstacle for participation, should still apply and mention this in their application (not a selection criteria). CDN will try to find a solution together with the applicant after the selection is finalized. CDN will reimburse 90% of the travel costs for the participants from the non-EU countries and 80% of travel costs for the participants coming from the EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland within reasonable limits and within Europe, with the condition to combine the most economic and environmentally friendly way (lowest price + travel time + CO2 emissions).

DEADLINE for submitting online applications: 7th of October 2019 at Midnight CET. You will be informed about the results of the selection within two weeks after the deadline.

__________________________________________________________________________________

This Project is supported by the European Youth Foundation of Council of Europe, Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and the Green Forum (Sweden).

*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

 Apply here! 

Open Call for Prep-team: Digitising the Youth Ar(c)tivism

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and Digital [X] Working Group are announcing a call for Prep-Team members for the international seminar “Digitising the Youth Ar(c)tivism”. The seminar will take place between 19-24 November in Bosnia and Herzegovina (19 and 24  are travel dates to and from BiH).

The project is the third and the final phase of our annual work plan “Digital Technology For Democracy: Youth Turns Threat Into Opportunity” and is going to focus on creative new ways of communicating with one’s audience online though interactive creative means.

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