Visit to Hong Kong

In early December 2014 I had the chance to spend a little bit more than a week in  Hong Kong, to attend and present at the 2nd Conference for e-Demogracy and Open Governance in Asia (CEDEM Asia), that was organized at the City University of Hong Kong.  

With a population of more than 7 million people and a tremendous economic development over the last at least 20 years, Hong Kong is considered to be the “New York of Asia”: a place where cultures, languages, people, religions, industry and research meet and produce significant results.

With Associate Professor Marko Skoric, at City University Hong Kong

The visit to the City University (CU) of Hong Kong was fun and productivity combined: CU is ranked 108th  in the world, 11th  in Asia and 4th in Hong Kong by the QS World University Rankings (2014/15).  I had the chance to visit the Public Policy and the Media and Communication Departments, talk to faculty and students, discuss collaboration opportunities and share curriculum experiences. The Media and Communications Department, being at relevant size with my Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering department in Samos, served as a nice example for making comparisons.  See the table below to understand some of those, and reach your own conclusions:

City University Hong Kong

Dep. of Media and Communication

University of the Aegean

Dep. of Information and Communication Systems

Number of Faculty



Administrative and
Technical Staff









Annual Fee per pre-graduate

10,000 EUR

0 (free)

Annual Fee per post-graduate

>12,000 EUR

3,000 EUR

Monthly Salary of
Associate Professor (Gross, with benefits)

10,000 EUR

2,400 EUR

Average Income Taxation



Average rent for 80

3,000 EUR

700 EUR

The impressive Run Run Shaw building of M&C department at City University HK

2014 Conference provided me with a chance to meet fellow scholars and
practitioners in electronic government from Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore,
Taiwan and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region.  My presentation was about the 4th generation of
social media tools in governance, inspired and cofounded by the EU Community
project, that can be found here:

Apart from
the visit to the University and the CEDEM Conference the city had a lot to
offer in site-seeing and people-watching. 
Among the highlights I would pinpoint the following:

  • The
    big (26 meters high !) statue of Buddha in Landau Island, together with the Po
    Lin monastery and the whole surrounding area. 
    I easily spent one full day, and I could spend a lot more in the tranquility
    of the whole setup.

The Big Buddha statue in Landau Island

  • The
    Hong Kong “skyline”, which you can see either during the day or night – it is
    equally overwhelming …

The Hong Kong skyline at night

But, above all, in order to understand Hong Kong, one must pay attention to the numbers - that are usually not easy to realise at first site.  For example: you see a block of flats. it looks big. but if you study careffuly you count:

  • 50 floors

  • 24 flats per floor 

  • A total of 50 X 24 = 1200 flats

  • With an average of 4 persons / flat, a total of almost ... 5,000 people in one block of flats

  • With a footprint of approcimately 2,000 square meters per bock of flats, you may have 20 of them in an 400 m X 400 m landplot: 100,000 people in a (large) landplot !

Typical Hong Kong block of flats -5000 people in one building

Or the metro: MTR (Hong Kong metro - stands for Massive Transportation Railway) looks like a typical metro operation, with trains and stations like in every European city.  But, some attention in the numbers will reveal the following:

  • Each train has 12 carriages

  • With 34 meters length per carriage the whole train is ... 400 metres long. Each train.

  • When fully loaded, each train carries pprocimately 3,500 people.

  • In the morning rush hour, trains come every minute, from the 7 lines servicing Hong Kong centre,  3,500 people X 7 lines X 60 trains per hour = 1,5 million people per hour top capacity (the MTR carries 5,5 million people per day)

Inside the 400 meters long MTR 

Last things I would like to pin-point are:

  • The very active General Consulate of Greece

  • The large open-air markets (like Greek "panigiri")

  • The elaborate, expensive restaurants (more than 30 michelin-stars-level) and bars in the town (try the Shangri-La or the Felix)

  • The live street Chinese opera singers, next to the Temle Street market, after 22:00

  • The V-king bar at the Hung Hong pier, a place to meet with "locals" of Asia-Pacific

So long Hong Kong ! (for the moment - already thinking to plan my next visit there ...)

Policy making via social media and open data : The NOMAD project

load images

making citizens’ voices heard

Policy Formulation &Validation througn non-moderated crowd-sourcing

NOMAD is about interpreting citizens' opinions,
judgements and prejudices available on web and using them as core
information to support multiple stages of the policy life cycle from
the definition of the political agenda, the creation, the implementation
and the monitoring of policy proposals. 

NOMAD is a web platform whose
main purpose is to provide decision-makers with fully automated
solutions for data acquisition, argument extraction, opinion mining,
sentiment analysis, argument summarization and visualisation that work
in a collaborative form in the policy-making arena. The NOMAD toolsuite
successfully integrates the NOMAD policy making tools under a single
work environment making it easy for the users to switch between the

NOMAD addresses a specific audience
of policy makers, political parties, domain experts, advisors,
governments, NGO’s, academics, communication specialists,
researchers, application and
service developers
 and media institutions.

In order to validate the value of
NOMAD in the policy making arena we conducted three different
pilots, covering different languages and thematic fields; Greek pilot
for energy, UK pilot for immunotherapy and Austrian pilot for open
data. Documenting the piloting experiences will provide the
opportunity to collect selected testimonies from pilot users that
might serve as references with regard to the value of the NOMAD tools
and give inspiration as to possible ways to put them in place in
participative policy-making environments.

Watch NOMAD Explained

NOMAD's Pilots

The 2nd round of
the UK, Greek and Austrian pilot workshops of the EC NOMAD project
was concluded successfully on November 2014. They all took place in
Athens and Vienna. The workshops showed that the interest of policy
makers, journalists and researchers has risen since the first round
of pilots and that they are interested in further interacting with
the NOMAD software platform. More people came in touch with NOMAD and
tried out its tools and online interface. The feedback received from
the interaction with the main stakeholders, the questionnaires and
some applications of NOMAD to smaller case studies will lead to
further improvement of the NOMAD platform.

load images

Through the use of NOMAD the HeP  identified the
“sentiment” of the active citizens and the arguments involved in the
rationale of the objectives set by the Greek authorities and assessed
the impact of NEP with special emphasis on the use of wind energy in

load images

Through the use of NOMAD EAACI & CP
wanted to identify the multidimensional impacts of allergic diseases in
patients’ life and the awareness of immunotherapy, as an effective
treatment, ultimately aiming to further substantiate EAACI’s policy
proposals in EU commission for immunotherapy promotion.

load images

Through the use of NOMAD the Austrian Parliamentary
analysed the public debate on open government data and freedom of information
policies in order to obtain a clearer picture of the positions of major
interest groups towards the OGD movement and towards the movement for a
freedom of information act.

of the Austrian Parliament Pilot Workshop

NOMAD is constantly improving to fit your needs

Check it out
here by
creating a free account today!

Major recent events 

The 5th Samos
Summit on ICT-enabled Governance offered an unprecedented opportunity
to see, interact with and influence cutting-edge Information and
Communication Technologies research projects and initiatives. 
Attended by high caliber experts from research, administrations and
enterprises worldwide, the Samos 2014 Summit focuses on the newest
developments of ICT applications in the areas of digital governance. 

NOMAD project was
presented at this year's EACCI Congress, which took place on June 9th
this year at Copenhagen, Denmark. The audience consisted of 35
senior-level policy makers and 8,000 delegates from over 100
countries. The EACCI Congress, hosted by the European Academy of
Allergy and Clinical Immunology, offers a unique opportunity to learn
about new discoveries and exchange experience with professionals in
the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

The NOMAD project
was presented at this year's CeBIT ICT Exhibition, which took place
between March 10th and 14th this year at Hannover Messe,
Germany. CeBIT is the world's largest and most international
Information technology trade exposition. At CeBIT 2014, the leading
professionals of the ICT sector came together and showcase an extensive
range of ICT products

Get involved with NOMAD




Stay in touch



Join our workshops in autumn! Click here if you would like to participate. Send us a PM here and enjoy a
live demonstration of our platform.
Are you working on a project that could be
linked with NOMAD? Write us here.
Follow us on our social media pages and get the
latest updates!


Ημερίδα Έργου NOMAD

ΗΜΕΡΙΔΑ: Διαμόρφωση και Αξιολόγηση Προτάσεων Πολιτικής μέσω του NOMAD
Τετάρτη, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2014, 10:00 – 12:00
Κτίριο Ελληνικής Βουλής
Λεωφόρος Αμαλίας 22-24, Αθήνα – Ελλάδα

Με ιδιαίτερη χαρά προσκαλούμε ενδιαφερόμενους ερευνητές, διαμορφωτές της κοινής γνώμης, πολιτικούς και πολίτες στην ημερίδα με θέμα τη «Διαμόρφωση και Αξιολόγηση Προτάσεων Πολιτικής μέσω του NOMAD» που διοργανώνεται στο πλαίσιο του ερευνητικού έργου ΝΟΜΑD, «Policy Formulation and Validation through non-moderated Crowdsourcing» και θα πραγματοποιηθεί στις 12 Νοεμβρίου 2014, 10:00-12:00, στο κτίριο της Ελληνικής Βουλής (Λεωφόρος Αμαλίας 22-24, Αθήνα). 

Σκοπός της ημερίδας είναι η παρουσίαση και αξιολόγηση του NOMAD, ως ενός καινοτόμου ICT εργαλείου προστιθέμενης αξίας, για την συμπερίληψη της κοινής γνώμης, όπως αυτή εκφράζεται στο διαδίκτυο, στη λήψη αποφάσεων, ενισχύοντας με τον τρόπο αυτό την ανοιχτή, συνεργατική διακυβέρνηση. Τα αποτελέσματα των πιλοτικών εφαρμογών που αναπτύχθηκαν κατά τη διάρκεια του έργου, σε θέματα υγείας, ενέργειας και ανοιχτών δεδομένων θα αποτελέσουν τη βάση της συζήτησης μεταξύ εκπροσώπων επιχειρήσεων, δημόσιων φορέων και μελών μη κυβερνητικών οργανισμών.

Το  NOMAD είναι ένα εύχρηστο εργαλείο για όσους συμμετέχουν άμεσα ή έμμεσα στη διαδικασία λήψης αποφάσεων, σε οποιονδήποτε τομέα εφαρμογής και επιθυμούν να διαμορφώσουν τη θέση τους, λαμβάνοντας υπόψιν την επιχειρηματολογία όπως αποτυπώνεται στο διαδίκτυο από τα κρίσιμα κοινά.

Το NOMAD είναι ένα ερευνητικό έργο χρηματοδοτούμενο από την Ευρωπαϊκή  Ένωση, υπό το 7ο Πρόγραμμα Πλαίσιο και υλοποιείται από ομάδα 9 φορέων: Ε.Κ.E.Φ.Ε. "Δημόκριτος",  Ελληνικό και Αυστριακό Κοινοβούλιο, Ινστιτούτο Fraunhofer Γερμανίας, GoogleAthens Technology Center (ATC), Kantor QwentesCritical Publics, υπό το συντονισμό του Πανεπιστημίου Αιγαίου.

Η ημερίδα θα πραγματοποιηθεί στην ελληνική γλώσσα και η συμμετοχή είναι δωρεάν.

Για να δηλώσετε συμμετοχή, παρακαλούμε, όπως συμπληρώσετε την online φόρμα. Θα τηρηθεί σειρά προτεραιότητας.