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Sneak peek into the ‘technical’ side of STEP

The STEP project is supported by the work of many – and the technical partners play an important role in it. They are creating the e-participation platform that young people will be soon using to share ideas and discuss possible solutions for environmental issues.

So if you want to learn more about some of the online features of STEP, this article might be a good place to start.

The STEP Platform in a nutshell

Young people are tomorrow’s decision makers. They are also the ones most affected by environmental decisions. STEP is an e-Participation platform created for young people to give youngsters the opportunity to have a say in decisions concerning the environment. The STEP platform brings together several ideas and technologies with the goal to engage Young European Citizens and Public Authorities in decision making about environmental strategies, policies, plans, programmes, laws, and projects.

STEP has the following main components:

- Web Platform, also available as an Android and iOS app

- e-Participation

- Social media/web mining and visualization

- Machine translation and Text-to-Speech

About the STEP Social Media Monitoring Tool

STEP Platform uses social media and web mining technologies that will enable young people to view personalized and enriched information relevant to the topic they are viewing, filtered through multiple social media and web sources, in one unified environment. This eliminates the need to search for content on multiple platforms, and to navigate through the overflow of information available.

Actually… how does it work?

The STEP Social Media Monitoring Tool can be used for continuous collection and analysis of content shared in social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The user can specify his/her interests by defining a set of keywords, phrases, even accounts in these platforms. Then the tool starts to collect related content and exposes it through an intuitive web interface. A set of filters, for example language or time, is provided to make easier the navigation to the content and more efficient the identification of posts that fulfill the information needs of the end user. Aside content itself, the user interface provides a set of interactive widgets that depict analytics over the content. These widgets include important users, most used entities, such as tags, persons and organizations, detected topics, activity timeline etc.

The integration of Social Media Monitoring Tool into the e-Participation platform of STEP serves multiple purposes: Firstly it gives policy makers the means to identify useful ideas that can be used for policy-making. Secondly, given implemented policies or controversial issues of the local community, the STEP Social Media Monitoring Tool can be leveraged as a vehicle for public authorities to get an insight of the ongoing discussions. Finally, the STEP Social Media Monitoring tool will be used in order to assess the impact of the social media campaigns that the public authorities will be launching in order to increase young people's environmental awareness.

For more information on STEP H2020 project, STEP pilot cities and partners, visit


STEP partners contributed to this article: Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH), Sampas Bilisim Ve Iletisim, Kairos Future AB.