What happened?

On the 19th of April, the INCENTIVE team members met in person for the first time since the project kicked off in a landmark workshop that was held in the DesignLab of University of Twente!

The workshop, which was part of the preparation for the operationalisation of Citizen Science Hubs, was organised by the Autonomous University of Barcelona. The aim was to gather the representatives of the pilot universities in order to work together on designing the pilot operation plans for the four Citizen Science Hubs that are going to be piloted.

How did our team prepare for the event?

The need for a face-to-face meeting has long been a topic of discussion in many consortium meetings, in order to facilitate the design of the pilot operation plans at each pilot university. The University of Twente, as the coordinator of the project, offered to pilot universities to host the workshop. The aim was also to get to know each other and the facilities at DesignLab, which could also be an inspiration for the rest, as it is well-resourced in terms of space and materials for co-creating ideas.

Based on that plan, UAB created the structure of the pilot operation plans and asked the participants to internally discuss and think about the main activities to be carried out before the face-to-face meeting and offered bilateral meetings with AUTh and VGTU in case they needed any clarification or assistance. Moreover, UT, together with UAB, created an on-boarding kit for all participants of the meeting.

What happened during the event?

Each of the pilot Hubs was represented either in person or by virtual attendance. Ursina from the Citizen Science Competency Centre in Zurich and Claire from European Citizen Science Association attended to share relevant expertise and experience and to support the development of the operational plan.

The workshop was split into two working sessions. During the first working session, Q-PLAN, ECSA, and CC-CS shared learnings of successful and unsuccessful activities, and pilot universities plotted the main activities of their hub. Each hub defined an overall year of planning until the end of the project, and participants drafted a communication plan on how to reach and engage the target groups of their planned activities.

In the second working session, participants exchanged ideas on their CSH year plan. They also discussed potential local synergies and how they can benefit from mutual learning opportunities. The session was concluded with the finalisation of their yearly plan.

To facilitate interaction and make the workshop vibrant, a working session package was made that consisted of all relevant reports made during the first year of the project completed with the various online Mural whiteboards that contained much relevant information. Post-its, pens, paper, walls of inspiration, handouts with templates on the different activities that need to be carried out, as well as laptops with presenting tools, were also used by participants.

In addition, Claire from ECSA delivered to the rest of the partners an inspirational talk about the importance of inclusiveness in citizen science, and Q-PLAN presented its performance report that will be needed to complete during the piloting phase. Eventually, all CSHs were able to improve each other’s proposals with the input of the rest of the partners. New ideas were generated to enhance the collaboration among the partners, such as the co-creation of activities as a consortium, to be adapted to the local contexts and implemented in each of the Hubs.

Finally, students from the University of Twente were the guest stars of the workshop. The students had the chance to interview each of the CS Hub’s representatives from each RPFO to be able to create a visualisation of the different CS Hubs.

It was an amazing experience that promises exciting future steps! Stay tuned!