The Free to Choose project was recently launched over a 2-day event in Pordenone, Italy (23-24 February 2017).

Approved by the EU and co-funded by the Justice Program with a budget of over € 640,000, Free to Choose (FtC) will develop and trial an innovative orientation tool which aims to overcome gender stereotypes; specifically those that affect girls and boys when choosing their academic or professional paths.

The 30-month project includes the participation of 5 countries and 10 partners: Social Cooperative Itaca (lead partner), Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Ires Fvg, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia from Italy, Mcbit and Nefiks (Slovenia), Opcionate and University of Valencia (Spain), Apload (Portugal) and the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (Cyprus).

The kick off meeting started with a public session that included presentations on: the regional orientation service system (Friuli Venezia Giulia Region); equal opportunities in the social sector (Cooperative Itaca); context analysis on gender stereotypes in education and in the workplace (Ires); the social game as a tool for innovation (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia). Next, there was an official presentation of the FtC project and its international partners to the local stakeholders (Itaca). Over the course of the afternoon and the next morning, a technical meeting between the project partners was held, while on Friday afternoon, focus turned to The Village, a game for social skills developed by coop. Itaca that has been selected as an innovative educational and pedagogical tool from the National Youth Agency.