Work Package three (WP3) has as its objective to design and implement six pilot projects on innovative PE processes. Such projects (or ‘pilot initiatives’) are being organised in the context of on-going research programmes in Finland and Italy. PE2020 is being funded through the Seventh Framework programme, and it is developing tools and instruments for better societal engagement in Horizon 2020. The pilot initiatives are collectively linked to the six ‘Societal Challenges’1 of the European Commission. To ensure that there is an EU-wide dimension and relevance, three of the pilot initiatives have been conducted in the context of EU joint research programmes, European innovation partnerships or other types of research and innovation activities with a transnational dimension.
Workshop in progress
The six pilot initiatives have been co-designed and implemented with our target research projects and programmes. The original plan of the PE2020 project was that after a global survey and identification of the most innovative PE processes, two to six of the more interesting public engagement (PE) methods would be transferred and tested in new research policy contexts. Soon, however, it was realised that such a transfer process is far from a straightforward process. On-going research projects and programmes have their own priorities, expectations, quality criteria and cultures of operating; testing and introducing new PE processes need to be adapted to the preconditions of the target programmes.
The PE2020 consortium took part in a two-day conference Engaging Society in Responsible Research and Innovation: What’s Next? which took place 9th – 10th November 2015 in Brussels and was organised by the Engage2020 project (http://www.engage2020.eu).
The PE2020 project consortium got together in the beautiful capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, November 2-3, 2015. It was great to see the partners again especially as the project has reached a very exciting phase! Workpackage 2 is finalizing its work on the conceptual model of PE across the dynamically governed research policy cycle and related participatory performance factors. We are very glad to be able to soon publish the new conceptual model designed by the consortium! So stay toned!
Please findhere the first policy brief of the project that is aimed at introducing the reader to the aims of the PE2020 project and to the work done so far. There, we also shortly present our initial ideas of the core factors that enhance the factors for successful PE related to the quality of governance and research, as well as to better interaction and communication. These are transparency, balanced inclusion and improvement of policies in terms of effectiveness and responsiveness.
Urbanization is a global megatrend and, in the future, the majority of people will live in cities also in Finland. In September 2015, Future Earth Finland gathered an extensive group of experts from different backgrounds to discuss the challenges of sustainable urbanization. The event was part of the “Living lab network for global change research” run by Future Earth Finland. Future Earth Finland is a pilot project of PE2020.
Changes in nature and societies are interlinked
The day started with a talk by professor Markku Kulmala, a renowned climate scientist and the Chair of Future Earth Finland. Kulmala stated that if we want to tackle the grand challenges of our lifetime, we must grasp the big picture of the dynamic interactions between nature and societies.
A new book on the emerging practice of global citizen consultation and deliberation provides tips and tools for increasing citizen participation and developing environmental protection in international politics.
The PE2020 project organises together with the Consumer Society Research Centre at the University of Helsinki a seminar “Public Engagement in Decision Making Related to the Global Environmental Policy”. In this seminar, a new book will be released that is based on a method that has been recognised as an innovative new way of engagement by the PE2020 project consortium.
In Governing Biodiversity through Democratic Deliberation (Routledge, 2015), edited by Docent Mikko Rask and Professor Richard Worthington (from Pomona College, Claremont, California), an international group of 30 researchers evaluates the role of new deliberative processes in international environmental policy.
hereIn May 2015, Future Earth Finland organised together with the PE2020 project a Townhall meeting to discuss research priorities related to global change in Finland. The first Future Earth Finland Townhall meeting gathered over 60 participants from different fields of science from universities and research institutes, and included stakeholders from ministries, private companies, interest group organizations, and NGOs.
The objective of the workshop was to gain deeper understanding of global challenges in Finland and especially to increase the knowledge and collaboration to influence research agendas and research funding at the national level. Take a look at the post of the Future Earth Finland presenting the main results of the first global change Townhall meeting: Future Earth Finland blog.
The efforts to deepen the understanding of the research needs related to global change problemmatic will continue in form of series of Future Earth Townhall meetings. The next will be organised in Tampere, Finland, in September. The focus of the second Townhall meeting will be to continue with the topic that was found important in the first meeting: sustainable cities. You can find more information here (in Finnish language).
The Pe2020 project welcomes you to take a look at the newly published catalogue of innovative public engagement activities!
The catalogue presents first-hand information gained directly from the organisers of the most innovative activities in Europe. The PE2020 project gratefully thanks the organisers of these cases for their valuable input in providing the consortium with first-hand information on their activities, without which the information included in the catalogue would have been difficult or impossible to gain.
Currently, we are finalising the report related to enhancing and hindering factors for public engagement (PE) combining dynamically governed research policy cycle and participatory performance model. Within the frame of literature review and survey analysis, we identified driving forces and barriers to get people engaged in science and research policy.
As a result, we collected a list of core enhancing factors for successful PE, which is related to quality of governance and research, better interaction and communication: 1) transparency; 2) balanced inclusion; and 3) improvement of policies (effectiveness & responsiveness). Moreover, PE is more successful when it is repeated, i.e. it helps to reorient public towards self-organisation and create overall dynamics. Despite promising keywords for the success of PE, inevitably, we are faced with barriers such as passivity and fatigue of lay people to get engaged. Continue reading Pros and Cons for Public Engagement→
What are the incentives to take part in science-society dialogue? Does my research have any impact? How could I efficiently interact with stakeholders and citizens? These were some of the questions that we (Mikko Rask and Maria Pietilä from the University of Helsinki) used in order to spur early career scientists’ imagination and to entice them to attend a workshop on public engagement in research in Riga, Latvia.
PE2020 had the pleasure of organizing this futures workshop on public engagement as part of the 10th Baltic Sea Science Congress the 16th of June, 2015. The workshop was organized in collaboration with BONUS, the European Union’s joint Baltic Sea research and development programme. BONUS is one of the research contexts for PE2020 in piloting innovative public engagement processes related to the societal challenges identified in Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Check out the video for interviews of experts about public engagement!
The PE2020-project organised in April a context tailoring workshop about living labs and public engagement. Some of the experts participating into the workshop expressed their expert opinions related to public engagement.
You will hear answers to questions such as:
What would be the benefits if research would take into account stakeholder engagement in greater extent?
Does public engagement have a role in social Innovation and reflective learning and why?
What kinds of problems do you see in science and governance?
How do you see that public or stakeholder engagement (for example in living labs) could find answers to societal challenges and the development of technology?
Please listen to Tanja Suni, Iina Koskinen, Maija Sirola, Timo Hämäläinen, Tony Gaye and Erkki Ormala and share us your views in the comment page!