FINE ACTS LABS SOFIA

 
Illustration: Borislava Willnevermadeit for Fine Acts Labs

Illustration: Borislava Willnevermadeit for Fine Acts Labs

 

Fine Acts Labs are unique events exploring the intersection of human rights, art and technology. Our goal is to develop a range of solutions – from immersive, participatory art pieces to apps with a strong art component that disrupt, challenge and deliver.

Briefed and supported by high-profile mentors, teams of artists and technologists work together over a weekend, and prototype projects that raise awareness or contribute to a concrete solution. A jury then awards the best idea with a grant for further development.

The latest edition of Fine Acts Labs was on 24-26 November in Sofia, Bulgaria, and was focused on three diverse topic areas – Freedom of speech, Climate change and pollution, and LGBT rights. Access the full photo gallery here.

 
 
 
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See how things unfolded at the pilot Fine Acts Labs event.
 

 

TEAMS

 
Ivan Shulev & Iliyana Kancheva (Freedom of speech) Fakery A project that addresses the lack of awareness about fake news – what it is and how to avoid it. Fakery takes a human-centric approach, educating via a powerful analogy, humour and a large dose of surprise (thus for now we are keeping all details a secret). Development grant from Fine Acts.

Ivan Shulev & Iliyana Kancheva (Freedom of speech)

Fakery
A project that addresses the lack of awareness about fake news – what it is and how to avoid it. Fakery takes a human-centric approach, educating via a powerful analogy, humour and a large dose of surprise (thus for now we are keeping all details a secret).

Development grant from Fine Acts.

Vladislav Iliev (Vladzen) & Dean Panayotov (Freedom of speech) Don’t be Newsless An audio-visual installation, with an online component, demonstrating the disbalance between useful information and entertaining distractions online. An attempt to raise awareness and sharpen the audience’s attention towards their own media diet, and to give tools and ideas about how not to be newsless. Adopted by TimeHeroes. Free hosting by SiteGround.

Vladislav Iliev (Vladzen) & Dean Panayotov (Freedom of speech)

Don’t be Newsless
An audio-visual installation, with an online component, demonstrating the disbalance between useful information and entertaining distractions online. An attempt to raise awareness and sharpen the audience’s attention towards their own media diet, and to give tools and ideas about how not to be newsless.

Adopted by TimeHeroes.
Free hosting by SiteGround.

Albena Baeva & Daniel Stefanov (Freedom of speech) AiAye Facts A web browser extension analysing media content and providing credibility score in %. The extension using semantic tagging for data aggregation based on sophisticated mathematical model for criteria weight management. The criteria is based on scientific input from specialists in media and also on well-acknowledged ethical codes of mass media.

Albena Baeva & Daniel Stefanov (Freedom of speech)

AiAye Facts
A web browser extension analysing media content and providing credibility score in %. The extension using semantic tagging for data aggregation based on sophisticated mathematical model for criteria weight management. The criteria is based on scientific input from specialists in media and also on well-acknowledged ethical codes of mass media.

Kosara Spasova & Elitza Koeva (Freedom of speech) Spectrum Space A curated online space offering a spectrum, polyphony of viewing angles, enabling the creation of informed opinions on complex issues. The project aims to burst the “filter bubble”, by fostering critical thinking and digital literacy.

Kosara Spasova Elitza Koeva (Freedom of speech)

Spectrum Space
A curated online space offering a spectrum, polyphony of viewing angles, enabling the creation of informed opinions on complex issues. The project aims to burst the “filter bubble”, by fostering critical thinking and digital literacy.

Boyan Chakandrakov & Phelia Barouh (LGBT rights) What Did I do Wrong A project targeting parents of LGBT people. The project’s idea comes from the insight that many parents google the phrase “what did I do wrong” when their child comes out as gay. What Did I do Wrong is a web platform (appearing on top of the search results through smart SEO) featuring other parents’ stories of acceptance and love, as well as an immersive installation that reinforces the message – you did nothing wrong, as there is nothing wrong. Adopted by Glas Foundation. Free hosting by SiteGround.

Boyan Chakandrakov & Phelia Barouh (LGBT rights)

What Did I do Wrong
A project targeting parents of LGBT people. The project’s idea comes from the insight that many parents google the phrase “what did I do wrong” when their child comes out as gay. What Did I do Wrong is a web platform (appearing on top of the search results through smart SEO) featuring other parents’ stories of acceptance and love, as well as an immersive installation that reinforces the message – you did nothing wrong, as there is nothing wrong.

Adopted by Glas Foundation.
Free hosting by SiteGround.

Sevda Semer & Yana Nikolova (LGBT rights) Emotional Rehearsal A sound installation consisting of voices of support, real messages of love recorded by parents of kids in pre-teen years in case they ever come out as LGBT. The art installation also exists as an interactive website, a message in a bottle or sorts. It creates a generous, non-judgmental space, an emotional rehearsal for understanding that sexuality and gender are not a problem to be solved, but a situation that simply requires acceptance and ultimately, love. Adopted by Glas Foundation.

Sevda Semer & Yana Nikolova (LGBT rights)

Emotional Rehearsal
A sound installation consisting of voices of support, real messages of love recorded by parents of kids in pre-teen years in case they ever come out as LGBT. The art installation also exists as an interactive website, a message in a bottle or sorts. It creates a generous, non-judgmental space, an emotional rehearsal for understanding that sexuality and gender are not a problem to be solved, but a situation that simply requires acceptance and ultimately, love.

Adopted by Glas Foundation.

Voin de Voin & Kamen Dimitrov (LGBT rights) Channelling the Goddess Every 15 minutes a member of the LGBT community in Bulgaria is aggressed verbally, psychologically or physically. The Goddess is an interactive piece, connected to a web platform, that reacts, through movement and sound, to reported abuse and hate crimes in real time. Like a glitch The Goddess appears in different points in town, and raises the public awareness about the rate and intensity of hate crimes against the LGBT community.

Voin de Voin & Kamen Dimitrov (LGBT rights)

Channelling the Goddess
Every 15 minutes a member of the LGBT community in Bulgaria is aggressed verbally, psychologically or physically. The Goddess is an interactive piece, connected to a web platform, that reacts, through movement and sound, to reported abuse and hate crimes in real time. Like a glitch The Goddess appears in different points in town, and raises the public awareness about the rate and intensity of hate crimes against the LGBT community.

Tsveta Doycheva & Yan Lesnevskiy (LGBT rights) Jane’s Room An interactive (physical & VR) room aimed at raising awareness about transgender issues. Three human senses – audition, touch and sight are engaged to gently familiarize the public with Jane, her living room and her story. Would you like to meet Jane? Is she more than meets the eye?  

Tsveta Doycheva & Yan Lesnevskiy (LGBT rights)

Jane’s Room
An interactive (physical & VR) room aimed at raising awareness about transgender issues. Three human senses – audition, touch and sight are engaged to gently familiarize the public with Jane, her living room and her story. Would you like to meet Jane? Is she more than meets the eye?
 

Stefan Valentinov & Juliana Tekova (Climate change/Pollution) Breathe It, Eat It An installation visualising air pollution – a table with “gourmet” dishes made with air pollution is placed in an interactive transparent cube, equipped with a smoke machine, visualising the quality of air in different parts of the city. Adopted by Za Zemiata & Greenpeace Bulgaria.

Stefan Valentinov & Juliana Tekova (Climate change/Pollution)

Breathe It, Eat It
An installation visualising air pollution – a table with “gourmet” dishes made with air pollution is placed in an interactive transparent cube, equipped with a smoke machine, visualising the quality of air in different parts of the city.

Adopted by Za Zemiata & Greenpeace Bulgaria.

Vera Gotseva (Lomovera) & Ivan Sharlandzhiev  (Climate change/Pollution) Pollution Filters A photo app with image filters showing the various degrees of pollution of the air.  Static filters will be developed in advance, based on the median values measured in various cities around the world (Sofia, Beijing, London, Kiev).  Furthermore, dynamic filters, based on real-time geolocation and air quality data acquisition will be graphically showing the changing state of air pollution in a particular area. Free hosting by SiteGround.

Vera Gotseva (Lomovera) & Ivan Sharlandzhiev  (Climate change/Pollution)

Pollution Filters
A photo app with image filters showing the various degrees of pollution of the air.  Static filters will be developed in advance, based on the median values measured in various cities around the world (Sofia, Beijing, London, Kiev).  Furthermore, dynamic filters, based on real-time geolocation and air quality data acquisition will be graphically showing the changing state of air pollution in a particular area.

Free hosting by SiteGround.

Evgeniya Syarova & Ivo Ivanov (YvesO) (Climate change/Pollution) Bad Habits A fun, easy-to-use and anonymous platform to raise awareness of bad habits, inspire and vowel the community to be part of a collective solution to effective resource consumption. The app introduces bad habits as a resource – the same way we have to use waste as a resource and integrate it in into our everyday life thinking. The feelings of empathy and self-observation are core for this project, and are awoken by offering the user to share bad habits and compare them locally and globally with other users from the bad habit crowd.

Evgeniya Syarova & Ivo Ivanov (YvesO) (Climate change/Pollution)

Bad Habits
A fun, easy-to-use and anonymous platform to raise awareness of bad habits, inspire and vowel the community to be part of a collective solution to effective resource consumption. The app introduces bad habits as a resource – the same way we have to use waste as a resource and integrate it in into our everyday life thinking. The feelings of empathy and self-observation are core for this project, and are awoken by offering the user to share bad habits and compare them locally and globally with other users from the bad habit crowd.

Katerina Vaseva & Martin Bakardzhiev (Climate change/Pollution) Impackt A social game with hidden bonuses that targets the widespread usage of non-recyclable plastic products with a short functional life. The game has two components: a 4-piece ergonomic kit (reusable cup, bottle, food box, bag) and an application. The application gives users small daily quests to solve fun and engaging puzzles and discover a location in their vicinity (a restaurant, a bar, a shop) where they can get a free drink/lunch with their kit.

Katerina Vaseva & Martin Bakardzhiev (Climate change/Pollution)

Impackt
A social game with hidden bonuses that targets the widespread usage of non-recyclable plastic products with a short functional life. The game has two components: a 4-piece ergonomic kit (reusable cup, bottle, food box, bag) and an application. The application gives users small daily quests to solve fun and engaging puzzles and discover a location in their vicinity (a restaurant, a bar, a shop) where they can get a free drink/lunch with their kit.

All projects were awarded future mentoring and support by Fine Acts, and, accordingly, by AEJ Bulgaria, Glas Foundation, Za Zemyata & Greenpeace Bulgaria.


 

MENTORS

 

Maria Cheresheva / AEJ Bulgaria
Freedom of Speech

Correspondent of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Sofia, Maria is part of the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria since  2010. Maria has published in Balkan Insight, ZDF, Ethical Journalism Network, DW, amongst others. Her interests lie predominantly in human rights, migration and freedom of expression. Maria has studied European Studies in Sofia and Maastricht.

Boryana Dzhambazova / AEJ Bulgaria
Freedom of Speech

Freelance journalist, covering a wide range of topics - from economic and political developments to social affairs and human rights issues. Boryana's articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Economist and Politico, amongst others. She holds BA in journalism from Sofia University and MA in new media from New York University as a Fulbright scholar.

Simeon Vassilev / Glas Foundation
LGBT Rights

Director and co-founder of GLAS foundation – protecting and promoting the rights and acceptance of LGBT people in Bulgaria – Simeon is also project manager at Credo Bonum Foundation, creator of the mobile app Zdravi, and founder of the online publications HUGE.bg and DJbook.bg, and an avid traveller.

Meglena Antonova / Greenpeace Climate Change and Pollution Climate and energy campaigner at the Greenpeace office in Sofia, Meglena is an environmental activist with a master’s degree in environmental and energy law from the University of Oslo, Norway. Her attention is dedicated mostly to the fields of coal and renewable energy, often from a legal perspective.

Meglena Antonova / Greenpeace
Climate Change and Pollution

Climate and energy campaigner at the Greenpeace office in Sofia, Meglena is an environmental activist with a master’s degree in environmental and energy law from the University of Oslo, Norway. Her attention is dedicated mostly to the fields of coal and renewable energy, often from a legal perspective.

 
Teodora Stoyanova / Greenpeace Climate Change and Pollution Climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Bulgaria, Teodora has a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In her work, she mainly focuses on energy issues and their impact on climate and air quality. She is also a co-founder of Kashalot, a NGO focused on urban innovations and creative solutions using renewable energy.

Teodora Stoyanova / Greenpeace
Climate Change and Pollution

Climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Bulgaria, Teodora has a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In her work, she mainly focuses on energy issues and their impact on climate and air quality. She is also a co-founder of Kashalot, a NGO focused on urban innovations and creative solutions using renewable energy.

Ivaylo Hlebarov / Za Zemiata Climate Change and Pollution Clean Air and Zero Waste campaigner for the environmental organization Za Zemiata, Ivaylo holds an engineering degree from Sofia Technical University and MSc in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science from Lund University in Sweden. He is an activist also interested in deliberative democracy, limits to growth and new economy, governance and politics.

Ivaylo Hlebarov / Za Zemiata
Climate Change and Pollution

Clean Air and Zero Waste campaigner for the environmental organization Za Zemiata, Ivaylo holds an engineering degree from Sofia Technical University and MSc in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science from Lund University in Sweden. He is an activist also interested in deliberative democracy, limits to growth and new economy, governance and politics.

Maria Milusheva / Noble Graphics Marketing Creative Director at Noble Graphics TBWA – a three times Creative Agency of the Year at the annual FARA festival. Maria’s passion for problem-solving has earned her a bevy of creative and marketing effectiveness awards. In 2017 she has been selected as one of 15 women globally for the Cannes Lions See It Be It programme, which recruits high-potential creative women from around the world.

Maria Milusheva / Noble Graphics
Marketing

Creative Director at Noble Graphics TBWA – a three times Creative Agency of the Year at the annual FARA festival. Maria’s passion for problem-solving has earned her a bevy of creative and marketing effectiveness awards. In 2017 she has been selected as one of 15 women globally for the Cannes Lions See It Be It programme, which recruits high-potential creative women from around the world.

Zhelez Atanasov / Noble Graphics Marketing Strategic planning director of Noble Graphics - one of the leading advertising agencies in Bulgaria. When he’s not working for beer brands, big banks, retailers and soft drinks, Zhelez spends his time doing campaigns for nonprofits like Time Heroes, The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and WWF. Young Lions Winner at Cannes 2014. Cat person.

Zhelez Atanasov / Noble Graphics
Marketing

Strategic planning director of Noble Graphics - one of the leading advertising agencies in Bulgaria. When he’s not working for beer brands, big banks, retailers and soft drinks, Zhelez spends his time doing campaigns for nonprofits like Time Heroes, The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and WWF. Young Lions Winner at Cannes 2014. Cat person.

 
Krasimir Tonchev / TU Sofia Technology Senior researcher at Telilab, located at the Technical University of Sofia. Krasimir is an experienced software engineer, participating and leading multiple international projects in the field of ICT.

Krasimir Tonchev / TU Sofia
Technology

Senior researcher at Telilab, located at the Technical University of Sofia. Krasimir is an experienced software engineer, participating and leading multiple international projects in the field of ICT.

Agata Manolova / TU Sofia Technology Currently a professor at the Technical University of Sofia, Agata holds a PhD from the University of Grenoble. She is an experienced researcher in the field of machine learning and computer vision.

Agata Manolova / TU Sofia
Technology

Currently a professor at the Technical University of Sofia, Agata holds a PhD from the University of Grenoble. She is an experienced researcher in the field of machine learning and computer vision.

Kalina Zhuleva / Generator Design Thinking Clinical psychologist and design thinking expert, Kalina has a vast experience in advertising & communications. Ex Managing Director of New Moment, a leading ad agency in Bulgaria. Currently co-founder of Generator - a concept/physical space using design to generate ideas, experiments, solutions and experiences that provoke innovation and add value to life and society.

Kalina Zhuleva / Generator
Design Thinking

Clinical psychologist and design thinking expert, Kalina has a vast experience in advertising & communications. Ex Managing Director of New Moment, a leading ad agency in Bulgaria. Currently co-founder of Generator - a concept/physical space using design to generate ideas, experiments, solutions and experiences that provoke innovation and add value to life and society.

Dima Peteva / SiteGround Pitching One of the first people to join the team of SiteGround, an international tech company, founded in Bulgaria and Best Employer in their field in AON’s survey for the past two years. Since 2004 Dima has played a key role in different departments such as project management, product and creative marketing. Today she is SiteGround’s Brand Director and part of the team behind Creative Mornings Sofia.

Dima Peteva / SiteGround
Pitching

One of the first people to join the team of SiteGround, an international tech company, founded in Bulgaria and Best Employer in their field in AON’s survey for the past two years. Since 2004 Dima has played a key role in different departments such as project management, product and creative marketing. Today she is SiteGround’s Brand Director and part of the team behind Creative Mornings Sofia.

 
Aleksander Grozdanov / Dextrophobia Gamification & Active Entertainment Co-founder in Dextrophobia Rooms - the first and most successful real-life room escape games in Bulgaria. Aleksander's passion is in creating active entertainment commercial products and events by mixing various technologies, artists and gamification patterns.

Aleksander Grozdanov / Dextrophobia
Gamification & Active Entertainment

Co-founder in Dextrophobia Rooms - the first and most successful real-life room escape games in Bulgaria. Aleksander's passion is in creating active entertainment commercial products and events by mixing various technologies, artists and gamification patterns.

Petar Kostov / Dextrophobia Technology & Interactive experiences Co-founder of Dextrophobia Rooms. Petar has extensive experience in creating interactive experiences. His quiver includes tools like game/puzzle design, physical interaction, electronics, mechanical installations and small-scale production. Experienced software engineer with BSc in Computer Science and an interest in intelligent technologies. 

Petar Kostov / Dextrophobia
Technology & Interactive experiences

Co-founder of Dextrophobia Rooms. Petar has extensive experience in creating interactive experiences. His quiver includes tools like game/puzzle design, physical interaction, electronics, mechanical installations and small-scale production. Experienced software engineer with BSc in Computer Science and an interest in intelligent technologies. 

Ana Alexieva / Fine Acts Pitching Project manager at Fine Acts, Ana is a documentary producer and a cultural manager. She graduated documentary production at EURODOC and audio-visual entrepreneurship at EAVE. Selected in the Emerging Producers 2015 initiative of Jihlava International Film Festival. Friedrich Ebert Foundation Fellow. WEF Global Shaper. YTILI Fellow.

Ana Alexieva / Fine Acts
Pitching

Project manager at Fine Acts, Ana is a documentary producer and a cultural manager. She graduated documentary production at EURODOC and audio-visual entrepreneurship at EAVE. Selected in the Emerging Producers 2015 initiative of Jihlava International Film Festival. Friedrich Ebert Foundation Fellow. WEF Global Shaper. YTILI Fellow.

Martina Koleva / Fine Acts Presentations Organisational Lead at Fine Acts, Martina is a digital specialist with a background in communications, psychology and design. She is one of the co-founders of CoderDojo Bulgaria and is actively involved in the organization of Rails Girls Sofia, making coding more accessible to women and children.

Martina Koleva / Fine Acts
Presentations

Organisational Lead at Fine Acts, Martina is a digital specialist with a background in communications, psychology and design. She is one of the co-founders of CoderDojo Bulgaria and is actively involved in the organization of Rails Girls Sofia, making coding more accessible to women and children.

 
Julie Freeman / Fine Acts Art & Impact Co-founder and Creative Director of Fine Acts, Julie is an artist who explores how technology can connect us to nature. She translates complex processes and data from natural sources into art. A TED Senior Fellow, Julie leads the Data as Culture art programme at the Open Data Institute, and holds a PhD from the Queen Mary University of London.

Julie Freeman / Fine Acts
Art & Impact

Co-founder and Creative Director of Fine Acts, Julie is an artist who explores how technology can connect us to nature. She translates complex processes and data from natural sources into art. A TED Senior Fellow, Julie leads the Data as Culture art programme at the Open Data Institute, and holds a PhD from the Queen Mary University of London.

Yana Buhrer Tavanier / Fine Acts Campaigning & Impact Co-founder and Director of Fine Acts, Yana is a human rights activist who also serves as Deputy-chair of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and expert member of Amnesty International’s Europe & Central Asia Regional Oversight Group. TED Senior Fellow, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  

Yana Buhrer Tavanier / Fine Acts
Campaigning & Impact

Co-founder and Director of Fine Acts, Yana is a human rights activist who also serves as Deputy-chair of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and expert member of Amnesty International’s Europe & Central Asia Regional Oversight Group. TED Senior Fellow, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  

 
 

 

JURY

 
Adriana Andreeva / Studio Komplekt & Generator Curator of good ideas in design. Former editor of Edno Magazine, former manager and curator of Sofia Design Week and Sofia Architecture Week. Together with Boiana Gjaurova, Adriana founded Studio Komplekt, a creative consultancy for cultural management. As of Autumn 2017 Adriana and Boiana are amongst the co-founders of Generator Sofia - a center for design, creativity, culture and experiments.

Adriana Andreeva / Studio Komplekt & Generator

Curator of good ideas in design. Former editor of Edno Magazine, former manager and curator of Sofia Design Week and Sofia Architecture Week. Together with Boiana Gjaurova, Adriana founded Studio Komplekt, a creative consultancy for cultural management. As of Autumn 2017 Adriana and Boiana are amongst the co-founders of Generator Sofia - a center for design, creativity, culture and experiments.

Dimitar Dimitrov / Rails Girls Sofia One of the first organizers of the programming workshops for women Rails Girls Sofia, Dimitar has been involved in numerous civic hacking initiatives throughout the years, alongside his career in software development.

Dimitar Dimitrov / Rails Girls Sofia

One of the first organizers of the programming workshops for women Rails Girls Sofia, Dimitar has been involved in numerous civic hacking initiatives throughout the years, alongside his career in software development.

Pavel Kounchev / Fine Acts Co-founder and Chair of the Board of Fine Acts, Pavel is a social entrepreneur with a strong background in advertising and marketing. Co-founder and Managing Director of TimeHeroes.org, the largest do-more-good platform in Bulgaria. WEF Global Shaper, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Forbes Bulgaria 30 Under 30, Aspen Institute Romania Alumnus.

Pavel Kounchev / Fine Acts

Co-founder and Chair of the Board of Fine Acts, Pavel is a social entrepreneur with a strong background in advertising and marketing. Co-founder and Managing Director of TimeHeroes.org, the largest do-more-good platform in Bulgaria. WEF Global Shaper, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Forbes Bulgaria 30 Under 30, Aspen Institute Romania Alumnus.


 

PARTNERS

 
 

Patrons

 
 
 
 
 
 

Supporters

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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