Meet our staff

François de Gaspé Beaubien

Janice Richardson

ACOPEA Director

Janice Richardson, senior advisor and project coordinator, works in areas relating to the development of on- and offline literacy skills and the cyber wellbeing of children and young people. Creator of Safer Internet Day (in 2003), an annual event now celebrated by more than 50 million people in well over 100 countries worldwide, Janice is also author of books and publications for children and adults, public speaker and project innovator. She is a member of Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board, Director of ACOPEA (African Child Online Protection, Education, Awareness), and works extensively with other social media and mobile operator companies including Twitter, Ask.fm, Google, Microsoft, Vodafone, Telefonica… She regularly conducts projects and missions for European institutions such as the European Commission, Council of Europe, ITU (International Telecommunications Union), UNESCO and European Schoolnet (a Brussels-based consortium of 30 European Ministries of Education where she is Senior Advisor). Janice currently leads the EC-funded ENABLE (European Network Against Bullying in Learning and Leisure Environments) initiative, striving to develop social and emotional literacy and empower young people to create their own solutions to tackle bullying. Concurrently, she is working with the Emirates-based DISC Foundation to support skills and cyberwellness development in the Middle-East.

Building on a background as teacher, teacher trainer, university lecturer and company director from 1967 to 2001, Janice was member of the eLuxembourg Task Force from 2001 to 2004, advising the national government on ICT integration in society, culture and education. She spent the next decade, to the end of 2014, leading the European Commission’s 30-country internet safety network (Insafe).

Janice was born and educated in Australia, is a French citizen and Luxembourg resident, and is driven by a desire to better understand the impact of ICT on children and young people, empower them to fully exploits their rights and responsibilities in today’s challenging world, and actively involve them as future citizens in making the online world a better place.

Recent publications, several with accompanying websites, include Play and Learn: Being online (for 4-8 year olds, 2011), the Family eSafety kit (2008, 2014 at www.esafetykit.net), The Web We Want (for teens and teachers, 2013, 2014 at www.webwewant.eu), the Internet Literacy Handbook (Council of Europe, 2003, 2005, 2008 and currently under revision): Guidelines for Teachers (Council of Europe, 2009). She has also published two books A New Path to Creativity in Education (Eska, 1996) and Upon What Does the Turtle Stand? (Kluwer, 2003) as well as many book chapters and articles on literacy and sustainability. Janice won a Facebook Citizenship Grant in 2012 and with it implemented a project (SMILE – social media in learning and education) that was runner-up for the 2013 Google Award for Most Outstanding Use of Technology (European Diversity Awards). In October 2015, she was awarded by Telefono Azzurro (Italy) for her outstanding contribution to education and child protection.