According to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals education has a central role and progress has been made to offer a quality educational lifelong learning path to all. Unfortunately, recent crises, namely the pandemic and wars, have hampered progress and a prompt recovery is mandatory. Similarly, OECD recommendations on creating better opportunities for young people1 addressing key areas such as: ensuring relevant knowledge and allowing to develop appropriate skills and competencies; supporting youth in the transition to the labor market; promoting social inclusion. In this regard computing is considered important with a central role both as a discipline “per se” and as a supporting cognitive tool for all knowledge domains. The informatics reference framework for schools (Caspersen, 2022) offers a solid foundation, as does the STEM teaching framework (Tasiopoulou, 2022). Considering the current shortage in computing and information technology professionals and the projected need of a highly skilled workforce with increasing cognitive competencies, the importance of a quality lifelong education, including computing, is considered mandatory. An alliance between the educational system, from school to universities both formal and informal, and the Information Technology (IT) sectors has the potential for a win-win collaboration offering a more focused education with the right mix of foundational competencies and cutting-edge technical skills. Supporting all learners in improving their education by offering both quality content, pedagogies, technologies, and financial support is of highest importance and should be considered central to any organization’s corporate social responsibility agenda. In this respect the guest editors would like to rise a call for action for an even greater collaboration between the whole educational system and etenterprises with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of young people who are neither employed nor in education and training. The work for this special issue has been embraced with the aim to contributing with a grain of sand in this direction.
This special issue offers a variegated view of collaborations between academia and the commercial sector. The first group of papers deals with live educational experiences designed and developed with industries.