COESO consortium meeting, Brussels 24-25 October 2022

Brussels 24-25 October 2022
for the notes on the pilotes and full minutes - here

The COESO (Collaborative Engagement on Societal Issues) project is closing its second year. It ends in December 2023.
It was the first in person partners’ meeting, hosted in OPERAS’ venue in Brussels.

During the first period the project produced:
22 deliverables
54 events (organised and attended)
29 funders directly reached through workshops in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Among the deliverables:

  • The most downloaded deliverable from Zenodo is Landscape study on Citizen Science funding
  • 5 citizen science pilots concluded their activites during the first period and 5 more were introduced after an open call with more than 170 applications. Their aim is to provoke conversations by speaking to a diversity of social groups and building on existing communities. Some of them raised a lot of collaborations (pilot 2 - the dancing philosophy and
  • pilot 3 on social impacts of redistributing propert taken from the mafia)
  • The first policy brief on main challenges for fostering funds analyzes the mismatch between the current funding calls and the diversity of SSH citizen science practices

The feedback from EU Commission

(full report available in the shared drive)

  • overall assessment: significant impact potential, deliverables are all hi quality: the pilots, the methodologies, the funding advocacy plan
  • objective and workplan is satisfactory, all projects are still relevant, diversity (!) good: VERA, designs, countries
  • impact - citizen scientist actively contributing to civic knowledge, small scale intensive participatory project, capacity building through the mutual learning exercise, concrete action evaluated effective, able to reach stakeholders in at least 33 countries
  • implementation - delivered time and active dissemination
  • resources
  • expert’s opinion about each deliverable: kudos to 2.1 Open call texts rules “really really clear!” (@marina, let’s check this); 2.5 particularly appreciated the choreographic score from pilot 2 - the deliverable itself also an invitation


  • create one coherent story for all the future and current users of the output
  • align all the technical development
  • find a methodology to record the total impact
  • update deliverables 1.2 and 5.2
  • **use more blogs (we are expected to contribute!)
  • enhance the transmedia approach
  • strong exploitation plan for VERA to ensure the uptake - all partners should populate the platform once it is on
  • even if the pilot has ended, it should still be usable

In conclusion, “for the coming reporting period much will depend on how the pieces of the puzzle will come together”.

Some basic rules and devices to deal with it:

  • leave open a vital space which provides new journeys
  • tackle SSH citizen science challenges
  • development of a dedicated “co-laboratory”
  • development of a dedicated tool
  • experiment new formats for public engagement
  • mutual learning exercise (MLE)
  • work on funding - In January a workshop with the international panel of funders; the project relies on the FundIt platform
  • podcast Exploring citizen science
  • VERA (Virtual Ecosystem for Research Activation) a unified platform for projects (mandatory for pilots?)

In two days of the workshop all 10 pilots were presented (including the Playful Futures by @matteo_uguzzoni from the dead of the NYC night); all very interesting and worth exploring (description here) - in particular @nadia check Pilot 8 The Women Water Watch, Tanzania - Uni Antwerp - might be a good match for Climate Gains; and the visual ethnographers - Pilot 1.

1. Innovative storytelling and blogging practices for SSH citizen science
The platform for blogging in COESO (see link above) is part of managed by OpenEdition which aims to provide access to SSH research to a large audience.
Recommendation for the new five pilots - the blog is the space to gather your tests!
Make a zine!!

2. Engagement in CS through transmedia and Mutual Learning (exercises)

Trans-mediatized ethnography for public engagement (WP6) - Pilot 1 (T2.3) inscription in its urban environment, with several layers of collaboration with partners: photographs, videos, sound recordings, interviews, archives, visual cartographic experimentations collected through citizen participation.
It will be presented on a dedicated transmedia website for ethnographic purposes (F.A.I.R.-ified: findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable)

The Mutual Learning exercise was explored within Pilot 2 with the collaboration of Centre Norbert Eilas. It is a practice of collective sharing of the learning methods: cartographies, photovoice activities, memorekall, urban sensory walks.
It worked well, the format may be reproposed in another workshop, possible dates: 1 day in January online; 3 days in Marseille in May (in case, we are invited to organise a Town by the Sea session session - waiting for a questionnaire)

3. Dissemination
Target audience for COESO dissemination - 4 tiers: 1) certain users - SSH researchers and societal actors involved in CS (organisations or community leaders working directly with citizens), 2) funding organisations, policymakers 3) SSH but not involved in CS, 4) researchers from other disciplines
Dissemination measures: publications, reports on events, trainings, guidelines, reports, online diss, project deliverables
Coeso website - everything there - connected to social (twitter, linkedin, operas, podcast)

4. WP5 Cooperation Analytics
A plurality of cooperation types to understand diversity of pilot practices - a dashboard available on VERA for pilots with constant feedback in quasi real time (60 pages report on the project repository)
Tries to work on feasibility and relevance, following: Diversity, asymmetry, formalism, intensity - divided in 8 themes and 29 sub indicators
Trying to implement a new protocol of work which focuses on emails, minutes, metadata from Zoom calls etc.

5. Funding

Funding advocacy action plan - fundees and funders

  • 4 national funder workshops - SP, D, I, F
  • Policy Brief #1
  • The mismatch, why it matters, recommendations
  • International Funder roundtable January 2023
  • Fundit focused on SSH research regularly updated by RFIEA with calls

In conclusion

The pace of COESO is going to be intense until December 2023 with:

  • two major outputs - VERA and cooperation analytics have to be delivered, together with
  • the reports on pilot 1 and 5, and the report for WP6 on Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) as a model for knowledge exchange usable in all citizen science projects
  • the Policy Brief #2
  • communication: podcast and articles (tbd bte 2022)
  • the final conference in autumn next year (second part of October)