Milestones of the Zero Project
The Zero Project Conference 2019 highlights 66 Innovative Practices and 10 Innovative Policies concerning Independent Living and Political Participation from around the world and gathers more than 600 participants from more than 70 countries at the United Nations Office in Vienna. 11 Zero Project-Impact Transfer fellows are trained and presented
The Zero Project Report 2019 on Independent Living and Political Participation is launched.
The UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development is launched, referring more than 40 times to Innovative Practices and Policies of the Zero Project.
October to December 2018
In October, the second Zero Project Analysis on Assistive Technology is presented jointly with the EASPD in Barcelona. In November, the Essl Foundation co-organizes the second meeting of some 15 European foundations working on disability issues as part of the Disability Thematic Network of the EFC. Between October and December 2018, the Zero Project also presents at Conferences of the EVPA (Warszaw), EDF (Vienna), ITU (Vienna), and organizes a stakeholder dialogue on an accessible urban development in Graz, where several Innovative Practices join in.
The Essl Foundation publishes a newspaper-supplement on inclusive employment jointly with the Austrian daily “Die Presse”. In October, a second supplement is published on accessibility, both focusing on showcasing innovative practices and policies.
The Zero Project co-organizes several Side Events at the 10th Conference of State Parties.
May to December 2018
The Essl Foundation again organizes the “Zero Project Unternehmensdialoge”, co-funded by the Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs and co-organized with regional partner organizations. In this year, 7 regional and sectoral conferences are organized. The Essl Foundation is also giving a special Awards to inclusive employers across Austria as part of the renowned Austrian Leading Companies-Awards.
The Zero Project Conference 2018 highlights 68 Innovative Practices and 15 Innovative Policies concerning Accessibility from around the world and gathers more than 500 participants from more than 70 countries at the United Nations Office in Vienna, also celebrating its fifth year in the U.N. by revealing the Zero Project Artwork and presenting the Zero Project Hymn.
The Zero Project Report 2018 on Accessibility is launched.
Zero Project presents at the Harkin Summit in Washington, DC, and at the Ruderman Inclusion Summit in Boston. The Essl Foundation also co-organizes the first meeting of 20 European foundations working on disability issues as part of the Disability Thematic Network of the EFC.
The Zero Project presents at the GREAT SUMMIT, organized by WHO in Geneva.
The Zero Project co-sponsors the UN DESA Forum on Advancing Accessible and Inclusive Urban Development for All in the United Nations Headquarters in New York and co-organizes several Side Events at the 9th Conference of State Parties.
Zero Project team members also present their current research at the Swiss Foundations Annual Conference in Geneva in June and the Annual Meeting of EASPD in Belfast.
The Essl Foundation organizes the first “Zero Project Unternehmensdialoge” with the first conference taking place in Vienna on the 6 April, co-funded by the Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs and co-organized with regional partner organizations. These conferences engage with Austrian companies on the topic of employment of people with disabilities and take place in most Austrian country states until September.
With the cooperation between the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council ending, the Essl Foundation is now the single organization behind the Zero Project.
The Zero Project Report 2017 is presented at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council in Palais des Nations, Geneva, and at a Conference that is part of the Special Olympics 2017 Openings in Graz.
The Zero Project Conference 2017 highlights 67 Innovative Policies and Innovative Practices concerning Employment from around the world and gathers more than 450 participants from more than 70 countries at the United Nations Office in Vienna.
The Zero Project Report 2017 on Employment is presented, as well as the “Zero Project Almanac 2013 – 2016”, covering the results and impact of four years of research.
The Zero Project presents at the first “Harkin International Disability Employment Summit” in Washington D.C./United States on inclusive employment, initiated by former US-Senator Tom Harkin.
The Zero Project headquarters move into the newly founded “House of Philanthropy” in Vienna, jointly with several other Austrian foundations and co-initiated by the Essl Foundation.
The Zero Project is taking part in the HABITAT III-Conference in Quito/Ecuador. UN DESA, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Zero Project present the report “Good Practices in accessible urban development“.
The Zero Project Supports the Disability Thematic Network of the EFC to organize the first “European Foundation Forum for Inclusion” in Brussels, focusing on the European Accessibility Act.
The Zero Project co-organizes two Side Events at the 8th Conference of State Parties in New York on “Early Childhood Development” and “ICT supporting Education for All”, and also co-sponsors the Side-Events “Promoting Urban Development Inclusive Policies for Persons with Disabilities” and the “UN DESA Forum on Accessible Urban Development”.
On June 30, the Zero Project in Japan and the Austrian Embassy in Tokyo co-organize an evening of exchange and Networking. 40 representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international organizations (UNDP, JICA), diplomatic corps, foundations (Nippon Foundation, Japan Foundation), academia and the civil society (JSRPD, World Blind Union APAC, WNUSP, DPI Japan, Inclusion International, Techbility..) are attending.
The “Zero Project Analysis” covering eight outstanding Innovative Practices on Early Childhood Intervention is published and presented at the Annual EASPD Conference which takes place in Chisinau/Moldova for April 20 to 22, 2016.
The Zero Project Report 2016 is presented at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council in Palais des Nations, Geneva.
The Zero Project Conference 2016 highlights 98 Innovative Policies and Innovative Practices concerning Inclusive Education and/or ICTs from around the world and gathers more than 450 participants from more than 70 countries at the United Nations Office in Vienna.
The Zero Project Report 2016 on Education and ICT is launched.
Zero Project is presented to stakeholders at the UN Forum on Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Handbuch fuer Selbstbestimmtes Leben, summarizing the most important results of the Zero Project Austria 2015 Conferences, is published (in German language).
The Zero Project research results on Independent Living are presented at three side events at the 7th Conference of States Parties to the Convention at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. On June 12, the Zero Project is also presenting at the UN DESA/DSPD Forum on Disability and Development (Accessible and Inclusive Urban Development) in New York.
April and May 2015
9 regional Zero Project Austria Conferences are organized in all capital cities of the Austrian Country States, jointly with regional partners: Caritas Wien, Caritas St. Poelten, Land Oberoesterreich, Lebenshilfe Salzburg and Land Salzburg, Innovia and arge SODit, Institut fuer Sozialdienste, Fachhochschule Burgenland, Sozialwirtschaft Steiermark, autArk
The Zero Project Report Austria 2015 on Independent Living and Political Participation in Austria is launched (in German language).
The Zero Project Report 2015 is presented at the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Palais des Nations, Geneva.
The fourth Zero Project Conference gathers more than 400 participants at the United Nations Office in Vienna. For the first time, the Conference includes the Award Ceremony for Innovative Policies and Practices.
The Zero Project receives the GAATES Recognition Award.
The Zero Project Report 2015 on Independent Living and Political Participation is launched.
The Zero Project is presented at international conferences including events in: Maputo, Mozambique; Vienna, Austria; Oslo, Norway; Montréal, Canada; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; Paris, France; Istanbul, Turkey; and elsewhere.
The Essl Foundation is awarded ECOSOC status.
The Zero Project research results on accessibility are presented at a Side Event at the 6th Conference of States Parties to the Convention at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Zero Project wins a “Progress” Grant from the European Union that funds the “Zero Project Austria”, a series of nine conferences on independent living and political participation in the nine Austrian country states and the production of an handbook on innovative solutions for Austria in 2015.
Research on the topics of independent living and political participation begins.
Once again, the Zero Project research is presented at a Side Event at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The 3rd Zero Project Conference takes place, for the first time, at the United Nations in Vienna. More than 300 participants from 50 countries are attending.
The Zero Project research results are presented at a Side Event at the annual Conference of States Parties at the U.N. Headquarters in New York.
The Zero Project starts its next round of research, this time focusing on accessibility.
The Zero Project research is presented for the first time at the United Nations, in a side event organized by the Austrian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, at a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The year’s Zero Project Conference takes place for the second time in Palais Niederösterreich. Over 250 persons from 30 countries participate.
The Zero Project research is also presented later this year at conferences in Athens, Istanbul, Lucca and Oslo.
The Zero Project is presented for the first time in Latin America at the triennial conference of RIADIS (the Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families) in Quito, Ecuador.
Current research is presented at the European Parliament in Brussels, jointly organized with the European Foundation Centre (EFC).
For the first time, the Zero Project is presented outside Europe, at a conference on Disability and Work organized by McGill University in Montréal, Canada.
The Zero Project decides not only to concentrates its work on disability and the implementation of the UN CRPD, but also to focus its research, for the year only on the employment issues addressed in the UN CRPD. Research is undertaken during spring, summer and autumn of 2012.
This year marks the inaugural Zero Project Conference. Organized in Vienna, it takes place in the historical Palais Niederösterreich, on January 22-23, 2012. Over 200 practitioners and experts on the rights of persons with disabilities from 30 countries take part and discuss innovative solutions for the advancement of the rights and daily lives of persons with disabilities.
The first Zero Project Report is published on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The Essl Foundation decides to expand its activities to include the research and selection of both Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies, and to include them in its annual report. It also decides to rename the initiative THE ZERO PROJECT – FOR A WORLD WITHOUT BARRIERS taking into account the broadened scope of work and growing potential.
Michael Fembek and Tom Butcher present the Zero Project to the European Consortium of Foundations on Human Rights and Disability at the European Foundation Centre (EFC) in Brussels. Present at the presentation is also Ms Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, Deputy Head of the Unit “Rights of Persons with Disabilities” of the European Commission‘s DG Justice.
It is decided to establish a cooperation with the World Future Council, an organization founded by Mr Jakob von Uexkull, with experience in identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions.
The Essl Foundation also decides to join forces with Ashoka and social entrepreneurs supported by Ashoka, especially those working in the field of disabilities.
The first report, entitled ESSL SOCIAL INDEX PILOT STUDY 2010, is published and mailed out to NGOs and service providers in Austria. It is also mailed to decision makers, governments and others in the countries that have been surveyed for the report. As the first of its kind, the report also receives some media attention within Austria.
Spring and Summer 2010
The first research using the newly developed social indicators is undertaken in Austria and 15 other, mostly European, countries.
As sort of by-product, seven best practice examples are added to the research results. These not only flag the problems, but also, most importantly, provide solutions. The dearth of any research, studies or literature covering either best or innovative practices is noted.
Several workshops are held together with different Austrian organizations and service providers for persons with disabilities.
Late in 2009, before the active research on the indicators begins, it is decided that the Essl Social Index should measure the implementation of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the UN CRPD). At the time, the Convention is relatively new, Austria having only ratified it in 2008.
By the end of 2009, 14 indicators have been defined that measure the implementation of the UN CRPD.
The Essl Foundation starts to research and create a whole new set of indicators called, at that time, the Essl Social Index. These indicators are to provide both individual country evaluations and country comparisons.
The initial set of social indicators are to be designed around persons with disabilities as the first group of disadvantaged persons, to be followed by others such as the elderly, the homeless, children, women, migrants and others.
The Essl Foundation does a preliminary study on existing data related to persons with disability and other disadvantaged groups.