On 7 July, Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI) and Politecnico di Milano (Polimi) hosted the first workshop of the CoRRI Network First Cycle of Workshops. The two-hour virtual workshop gathered diverse audiences from multiple nations, fields of specialisation and differing experiences in co-creation journeys and online activities.
The core aim of the workshop was to commence the establishment of the CoRRI Network of the SISCODE project in order to cement and maximise the impact of the project’s outcomes in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Public Engagement in research and innovation practice and policymaking. The goal was to provide the participants an opportunity to discuss the implications of shifting co-creation activities from residential to online, and hence experience some methods, practice, and tools for engaging users online. The contents of the workshop provided enlightenment of the SISCODE project for those participants who were not familiar with it, followed by a short overview of online co-creation and the SISCODE co-creation journey. The main focus of the first out of four workshops was to define and illustrate through hands-on practice the first stage of the co-creation journey: Context Analysis and Stakeholder engagement conducted online. At the time we are now amid the COIVD-19 crisis, CoRRI Network is adapting its framework to meet the demands of the current global state of being: having to manage most aspects of day-to-day activities online.
Using the online interactive platform Deskle and communication channel Microsoft Teams, the first workshop divided the participants into two groups in which they were given the floor to create and collaborate in their innovative venture to recreate the Context Analysis and Stakeholder Engagement stage online (Figure 1 & Figure 2 ). In total, there were 15 participants from 9 countries, 2 co-moderators coming from two of the SISCODE Labs, Fab Lab from Barcelona and Science Gallery from Dublin, and 4 co-facilitators. In order to get comfortable and feel at ease during the activities, the participants were first asked to partake in a fun game of ‘get to know each other’ where they briefly introduced themselves (Figure 3 & Figure 4). Half of the participants did join the workshop from outside SISCODE’s network bringing in new points of view and experiences with their dedication and effort.
Fig 3. ‘Get to know each other’
A quick anonymous survey was issued right after the closing of the workshop and the responses from the participant were found to be positive and encouraging for future activities (Figure 5). The workshop was deemed to have been helpful to learn about moving co-creation activities online, creating new ideas and practical tools for online activities and reflect and increase know-how about co-creation. It should be noted that the participants expressed the co-creation aspect which were discussed (e.g. needs, challenges and barrier assessment during stakeholder engagement online and technological know-how) had as great an impact as the activities themselves. Nevertheless, the workshop did bring about the question of transparency and reliability of online activities as not everyone is tech-savvy and finding immediate and permanent solutions to technology-related technical problems is near impossible.
The survey showed that there is a need to create more room for fruitful discussions among the participants during the activities and perhaps a more defined group-topic to help them focus and make the exercise less abstract, especially for participants working in research and academics.
The participants are once again invited to join the CoRRI Network team in the successive three workshops of the First Cycle in July 2020. Registration is now open for the second workshop which will take place on 14 July, 15.00-17-00 CEST.