Presenting Engage2020 – a sister project of the PE2020

The European Commission has identified seven Grand Challenges – key issues ranging from demographic change, green transport to efficient energy. And it is targeting the challenges with the largest research programme to date – the €80 billion Horizon 2020. The challenges can only be tackled effectively if all of society’s actors are fully engaged. And this is what Engage2020 will contribute to.

The Engage2020 project will map and explore existing societal engagement in research and innovation and inspire new actors to include this in their praxis. The project focus is on where and why citizens, stakeholders, CSO’s and other societal actors can be engaged in research and innovation processes. The aim is to increase the use of engagement methods and policies in connection to the Grand Challenges.

Existing methods
During spring 2014 the Engage2020 partners have gathered information on engagement approaches through an online survey. The response was overwhelming, more than 200 entries was registered. The partners have narrowed the number of methods down to 58 categories and are now in the process of completing a detailed description of each method for an online Action Catalogue. If you want to provide your input please fill out their short survey.

Future praxis
Among other things, the Engage2020 project will look at future trends for societal engagement. And in June 2014 a workshop with experts were held in London. The workshop was about what practices of societal engagement in Europe we are seeing today, and what might be the practice of the future. The participants shared interesting experiments, talked of ideas that are considered crazy today but might become daily practice in 2020. They came up with examples on citizen science, user led innovation and deliberation and discussed what could happen if you scaled these up.

Upcoming reports
During the fall of 2014 the project will deliver a couple of reports on Current praxis of policies and activities supporting engagement, Policy options for engagement within the frame of Horizon2020, and Promises, demands and fields of practice in public engagement. Please stay updated at www.engage2020.eu.

Engage2020 will

  • Highlight what is possible for societal engagement in the coming years.
  • Map and explore existing policies and methods, tools and instruments for engagement.
  • Arrange conferences and workshops to discuss how we can improve praxis.
  • Inspire new actors to include societal engagement in research and innovation.
  • Create an Action Catalogue – an online decision support tool on relevant engagement approaches.
  • Inspire future developments aimed at policy makers and practitioners.

– Marie Louise Jørgensen, the coordinator of the Engage2020-project-