We are conducting an EU Coordination and Support Action named “SciCafe2.0” with the goal of providing a tool, “Scicafe2.0 Virtual Platform”, plus facilitation know-how for Participatory Engagement and Collective Empowerment Leadership (PEL) within the frame work of our support for Crowd-Sourcing (The European Observatory for Crowd-Sourcing).
This is motivated by the fact that increasingly innovative and sustainably actionable solutions would benefit from grass-rooting initiatives, and are best mediated by social interactions and not by strict hierarchical rules.
By exploiting the technological possibilities of new media facilitated cooperation, collaboration and participation of citizens in public initiatives may help transform the way people deals with and resolve societal problems and envisage a more sustainable future.
However, such initiatives often face common challenges, mostly arising from the “human” agency e.g.: How to best motivate participation? How to convey the right message? How to exploit synergies with other initiatives? Which economic model can be applied? And so on.
Participatory Engagement events would be expected to be motivated by social issues rather than purely economic considerations, and therefore it is difficult to analyse such PEL processes using the classical models. Hence it is interesting to study what models would best serve the objectives of which context of social issues and suitable PEL approaches consistent with outcomes that would be most valued by the stakeholders in relation to their particular issues of concern and debate.
In SciCafe 2.0 we are attempting to address these aspects in several ways. First of all, with this communication, we are inviting your participation in a survey to identify common issues and approaches to PEL as practiced within the community of stakeholders. This is to inform an interpretative model that can be applied to the domains addressed by the CAPs projects. Such a model would also need to factor in the users’ behaviour, and for this reason we shall subsequently invite you also to kindly pass a further survey to the participants in your collective engagement domains
A “Science Café” as a type of engagement of the public is in a sense to be distinguished from a conference-like event whereby the information flow is predominantly from experts to the audience. In a Science Café, the whole debate is driven by the public, and the information is “pulled out” of the experts on demand. This approach has started changing the way scientists relate to citizens in raising their awareness level. We are working to adapt the SciCafe approach to support the societal-issues engagement types; and you are most welcome to join us in this exploration by taking a few minutes to fill the form below.
The SciCafe2.0 interactive platform is available at the address http://scicafe2-0.european-observatory-for-crowdsourcing.eu/, please have a look