Overview of the DANDELION’s Thematic Workshop "SSH Valorisation Activities and Research Readiness for Impact"

Overview of the DANDELION’s Thematic Workshop

Overview of the DANDELION’s Thematic Workshop "SSH Valorisation Activities and Research Readiness for Impact"

The DANDELION workshop was held on 31st of October, 2017 in Lisbon, as a side event of the Net4Society conference “Democracy and Europe. Our Common Future?”.

The workshop brought together 28 SSH researchers, research managers and dissemination/impact managers from all over Europe. All participants engaged in active discussions in order to generate insights for the everyday practice of SSH research, and help demonstrate and enhance its unique value.

In the first session the participants shared experiences from their work/projects about dissemination, communication, and transfer activities that have created or have the potential to create impact. During the second session the shared examples were assessed according to their ripeness or readiness to deliver impact using the Impact Readiness Level flow model. The plenary session aggregated the results of the previous discussions held in tables.

The main takeaways from the workshop are:  

  • Early involvement of stakeholders, e.g. already in the problem defining stage and throughout the project is crucial for achieving higher readiness to deliver impact.
  • Lower stages of readiness to deliver impact are perceived in projects where the activities are limited only to the target group or countries involved in the project.  In order to aspire for higher stages (5 and 6 of the IRL Model), there would need to be a replicable model, that could also be used by other organisations/countries/target groups.
  • Sometimes impact may arise unexpectedly. Accidental impacts, similarly with the innovation process, might happen and this indicates that impact does not have to be intended and carefully planned all the time. However, in most cases planning from the early stages is useful, in order to elucidate the specific Value Chain of the project and which stakeholders, at which stage, and what are they important for.
  • Important for impact achievement is sound awareness of the set goal of each research activity. If the conscious objective of the project is to achieve specific impacts, e.g. around the stages 3 or 4, then it should be evaluated according to those set objectives.

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Prior to the DANDELION workshop on the 30th of October 2017, the project partners from LOBA, FVA, QPLAN, Civitta and the University of Frankfurt had an opportunity to display and introduce the results of the DANDELION project at the main conference “Democracy and Europe. Our Common Future?”, which aimed to discuss the widespread perception that democracy is in need of reshaping with an emphasis on participation, engagement, transparency, responsiveness, accountability and effectiveness.