Turkey's leading, one of the world's leading e-commerce platforms Trendyol and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) carried out the first phase of the "Villages of Tomorrow" project, which will support the development of villages by providing digital transformation opportunities to villages all over Turkey. . Workshops were held in three provinces with the participation of officials from public institutions, representatives of non-governmental organizations, academics and opinion leaders in order to get the opinions of local stakeholders and to create a roadmap for the digital centers to be established in Adana Kürkçüler, Diyarbakır Bağıvar and İzmir Ulamış villages. With the outputs of the workshops with broad participation, product identification, product roadmaps and governance plans were created for the next steps of the project.
The Urban Strategy team directed the creation of product roadmaps in the project, which focused on branding the products of Anatolia's fertile lands, handicrafts and crafts, meeting the consumers with the power of technology and encouraging rural development. Urban Strategy Founder and City Planner Faruk Göksu said: “Road maps focusing on technology and its positive benefits in the countryside are an important guide for the production of new generation products that create added value with the basic steps of discover today, design tomorrow and digital development. With smart agricultural practices, we aim to manage soil and crops in order to increase agricultural productivity, to use resources more economically and to minimize the damage to the environment. The programs and projects to be developed in the digital centers to be established in our villages, especially to increase the young generation entrepreneurship, will be important in terms of spreading the village of tomorrow model.”
The project also focuses on increasing productivity by using smart agriculture technologies in production and making nature-friendly agriculture. Studies in the field of smart agriculture are carried out by Boğaziçi University Faculty of Economics Professor. Dr. It is carried out under the consultancy of Gökhan Özertan. Prof. dr. Gökhan Özertan said, “With this project, we will not only bring small-scale manufacturers together with technology, but also ensure that they live together by making technology a part of their lives. By seeing, learning and applying the technologies they need, it will be possible for them to gain efficiency in production, gain economic gain and ensure sustainable resource use.
While the digital centers to be established within the scope of the Villages of Tomorrow project will provide training and consultancy support to the beneficiaries, they will also be the meeting point of the region with applied workshops and technological opportunities to be offered. I Am Istanbul company, on the other hand, takes a role in digital center design processes by developing human-oriented innovative designs that meet physical and digital needs. Zeynep Durukan, Director of Customer Relations at I am Istanbul, said, “While designing digital centers, we must ensure that they are compatible and inclusive with the local culture, that the digital center offers technological opportunities to the region; On the other hand, we focused on creating a technology-oriented experience. In the design workshops we held with Trendyol and UNDP teams, we guided the design with the aim of accurately understanding the needs and lifestyles of users in different locations and making digital centers a center of attraction for them. We are very happy to be a part of such a social benefit-oriented project that aims to increase technology and digital literacy and strengthen the local community.”
In the digital centers to be established; Training and consultancy will be provided to all manufacturers and the production ecosystem, especially young people, women and people with disabilities, on issues such as e-commerce, product development, branding, finance and quality. In addition, the dissemination of smart agriculture models and smart agriculture applications will be supported. Children will be prepared for the digital world with coding and robotics workshops.
Reaching 1 million people with the “Villages of Tomorrow” project
Hatay is planned to be included in the first phase of the “Villages of Tomorrow” project, which started with three pilot villages in Adana, Diyarbakır and İzmir, by 2024, after the earthquake disaster. With the project, it is aimed to reach a total of 10 villages and more than 1 million people in five years. Within the scope of the project, three local products with development potential will be focused on for each village in the first place. It will be possible for all nearby villages to benefit from the digital centers to be established in the pilot villages. In the Villages of Tomorrow, which will meet with technology opportunities, it is aimed to strengthen production, increase employment, provide digital opportunity, support the local economy and social development together with the surrounding villages. The rate of new e-commerce entrepreneurs in the determined pilot provinces is expected to increase by 60 percent when the project is completed.