Outreach and engagement specifications for POPREBEL and NGI Forward

Further to our meeting in September, may I (finally :sweat_smile:) share some specifications for you @nadia in your strategy and planning for the outreach and engagement deliverables on POPREBEL and NGI Forward. You’ve said that you intend on shaping an umbrella engagement campaign for both projects, so I’ll be framing this brief with that in mind.

It covers:

  • framing
  • POPREBEL engagement task/s
  • POPREBEL project wide engagement considerations
  • NGI engagement task/s
  • NGI Forward project wide engagement considerations
  • communications
  • project planning and reporting
  • recruitment and budget.

Collaborating to deliver and strategic considerations

As discussed, the project management team is here as an interface between the European Commission, our consortia partners and you to support in delivery of the best possible work packages we can. Unlike some of the other tasks, engagement calls for particularly close communication and mutual support between you @nadia and I because of the role it plays in Edgeryders’ Research Network strategic positioning. We have agreed in distinguishing between engagement to bring people into the conversation - @nadia, and stakeholder relations involved in Research Network development - myself.

Based on this, I wanted to reassure you that I am here to make sure your expertise and talent are free to lead your engagement activities as you see fit. I also ask for your understanding in my stewardship of our presence in EU research and innovation stakeholder relations and you’ll see below, this will cover sector building, strategy and communications, which we’ll both touch on. To be specific, I will continue to build relationships for Edgeryders’ Research Network with Horizon2020 stakeholders and the Commission, while also contributing to project-wide engagement activities including leading Edgeryders involvement in the following tasks:

T.1.3 :Topic co-occurrence analysis: where do technology and social issues meet? with @alberto
T2.6: Knowledge transfer into consultation platform
T3.1: NGI Topics: Future scenarios
T3.6 Developing a shared vision for the NGI
T4.6 National contact point & FIF coordination
T5.4 NGI Visions Book

Which is a fine segue way to the juicey stuff and addressing your questions from our meeting!


Based on the success of your work in the past, engagement in both projects was framed in the almost the same way as you’ve lead it previously. We are grateful that you are willing to continue to collaborate on these projects and understand that this is being done alongside other professional activities. Let’s make sure that we keep our communication channels open to support wellbeing as a priority in delivery of this work.

In line with this, there are no deliverables under the engagement tasks and only milestones for the onboarding workshops to be finished by the end of the second year on both projects (this lightens pressure and reporting demands from the Commission). However, you will be required to contribute to project-wide periodic reporting as well as the Consultation Insights report in NGI Forward. Please also note that as mentioned elsewhere the Impact Summit/ Conference sits in other work packages in both projects – in POPREBEL being lead by UCL – and is a milestone in POPREBEL while a deliverable in NGI Forward (more below).

By now you’ve read the proposals and are across their objectives. The main thing I’d like to foreground is that POPREBEL is a Research and Innovation Action while NGI Forward is a Coordination and Support Action, so their expected impacts are different. From the call, POPREBEL is expected to “enhance the knowledge base on populism in comparative and historical perspective. It will develop indicators as well as medium to long-term scenarios on the consequences of populism, which will support policies, narrative construction and other actions to address the phenomenon.” While also from the call, for NGI Forward: the whole initiative is expected to “…Shape a more human-centric evolution of the Internet; Create a European ecosystem of top researchers, hi-tech startups and SMEs with the capacity to set the course of Internet evolution; Generate new business opportunities and new Internet companies with maximum growth and impact chances, notably through the creation of startups and their scaling up in Europe…;” while NGI Forward as the technology policy and strategy CSA is specifically expected to enable “European research and innovation leaders driving the debate for a human-centric Internet research and policy strategy.”

You made a sound point in our meeting; namely the opportunity to work out loud on the hypothesis of which the project’s research is validating so participants can discuss it in a specific format; a kind of “participatory reframing of research questions” in your words. I have been advocating that all consortium planning and comms happen on the platform to keep partners there as much as possible to support this working out loud. This is going ahead. What’s more, you will be able to highlight this and your engagement approaches further at both project kick off meetings in January.


Considering the symbiotic relationship between engagement and community management, @noemi and @johncoate have requested a session to work through how the community management and engagement tasks interweave. I agree that this will be of great value in making sure the boundaries between tasks can also act as interfaces. I propose it happens before you finalise your engagement plan - let’s arrange it in the riot channel.

Please also note that the Culture Squad lead by @natalia @alex_levene and @noemi have and are preparing proposals around REBELVillage that feeds into POPREBEL. This is clearly a great engagement opportunity and also calls for consideration around messaging and impact.

POPREBEL engagement task (WP 2 Online conversations) + Impact conference task

Project Abstract

As we’ve discussed already and has been mentioned elsewhere:

A recap on the exact requirements associated to the task you’re leading in POPREBEL from the Description of Action in the Grant Agreement (an updated version of the proposal; herein referred to as the DOA of the GA):

The milestone associated to this Task:
MS7: On-boarding workshops delivered.
By month 24 (ie. December 2020).
The means of verification: 12 onboarding workshops delivered.

The Impact conference

The impact conference will be lead by UCL with our curatorial leadership and is written in as a task in the WP7:

It is listed as a milestone for month 33.

POPREBEL project wide engagement

Your question: which activities are tied to other tasks and partners and how do we insulate the work so we can get results regardless of others?

I quote from p32 – 33 of the DOA of the GA that summarises well all of the communication and engagement activities in a digestible way:

Associated Tasks and Work Packages

In particular, it’s worthwhile noting that WP3: Culture is directly using the conversation as their core research corpus, and we are in dialogue about WP5: Economics to also.


This work package lead by our fellow Estonians at UTartu includes three tasks of engagement seminars that I mentioned in our meeting. Vello our partner there is interested in working together to make sure we’re aligned in the strategies.

The relevant tasks are:
Task 6.2 - Preparation of an engagement seminar with academics, policy-analysts, journalists
Task 6.3: Preparation of an engagement seminars with politicians and policy-makers
Task 6.4 - Preparation of an engagement seminars with members of the public


Lead by UCL, the Impact Summit sits in this WP and it is also where we’ll be working closely with them on communications messaging and delivery.


It will vital that you work closely with our Advisory Board for Ethics and Impact on the Edgeryders Ethics and Impact Plan, and its implementation. It is a deliverable at month 2 as follows.

D8.3 : Edgeryders Ethics and Impact plan [2]
First draft of ethics and impact plan specific to WP2 and Edgeryders methodology (reference Section 5 of Annex 1 - Part B) in place and accessible as agile wiki.

And from our section on ethics:

NGI Forward engagement task (WP 2 Collective Intelligence) + Impact Summit

Project Abstract

And now the same for NGI Forward - a recap on the exact requirements associated to the task you’re leading, from the DOA of the GA):

The milestone associated to this Task:
MS5: 12 onboarding workshops delivered
By month 24 (ie. December 2020).
Means of verification: Final consultation platform onboarding workshop delivered.

Impact Summit

The Impact Summit is written in as a task in WP4: NGI Ecosystem Engagement. Indeed this is a key work package associated to your engagement strategies as further outlined below.

The deliverable associated to this Task

D4.2 : Impact Summit [34]
Final flagship event, bringing together representatives from all our key stakeholder groups.

NGI Forward project wide engagement

Your question: which activities are tied to other tasks and partners and how do we insulate the work so we can get results regardless of others?

As mentioned, our engagement strategy is one part of an interdisciplinary and consortium wide events and consultation one. I invite you to review pp 22 – 27 in the DOA for a full overview of events and communications and include below the summary of the events strategy for ease of reference:

In our own WP, this Task is particularly relevant to your engagement activities, and of course those of @johncoate and @noemi in community management.


This work package is lead by Nesta and involves Edgeryders in two tasks. These are the tasks I’ve written myself into and are relevant to your engagement work, particularly in terms of where the conversations will be leading.

The two tasks Edgeryders is involved in are:
T3.1: NGI Topics: Future scenarios [M3-M31]
T3.6 Developing a shared vision for the NGI [M7-M36]

You can review the whole work package on pp21 – 23 in the DOA.


In WP4, we lead the Impact Summit and are listed as partners on three associate tasks…

Every task in WP4 – lead by Resonance Design (our friend Rob van Kranenburg) - is directly relevant and significant for consideration in your strategy. Three of them include Edgeryders as collaborating partners. You and I need to get clear on how these tasks feed into your engagement strategy and likewise with my own role in stakeholder relations, topic identification and policy and technology roadmaps across the project.

It is made up of five tasks as follows:
T4.1 Meetups and salons throughout all of Europe (Resonance)
T4.2 Impact Summit (us)
T4.3 Policy and Research Summits (Nesta)
T4.4 Town hall forums (Nesta)
T4.5 Innovators Summits (Resonance)
T4.6 National contact point & FIF coordination (Nesta)

See see pp26 – 28 of the DOA if you’d like to read on each task in detail.


And of course clearly the work package on comms is directly relevant to your engagement work. Lead by Nesta it features three tasks that are relevant to your engagement strategy, including the Community journalism programme which we need to discuss further with @johncoate and @noemi in terms of leadership and roll out. We have 12 PMs for this work package and as you and I talked about, in addition to the two aforementioned tasks, there is budget for us to engage a comms specialist that will work with you and I.

Comms specialist:

Currently written as lead by @johncoate:

One of the tasks I’ll be responsible for:


To continue on comms, as discussed in our meeting, it requires great consideration and sensitivities across both projects. In addition to you and I working closely on communications as they extend beyond your outreach campaigning to meet consortia wide guidelines, POPREBEL has political sensitivities the consortia needs to attend to, and and in the case of NGI Forward, significant collaboration will be required with the project tasked with communications for the whole NGI initiative. From the call:

I have chosen to wait on the comms brief in light of the above and limited background on it until the projects start. This is something we’ll need to bring up for further clarification at the kick off meetings in January, particularly for POPREBEL as you’ll be starting engagement so early on.

Project planning and reporting

As per this post

So in short:

  • Please document key milestones in the Edgeryders Events calendar and Dynalist
  • Please join the team stand ups on every second Monday at 17:00 CET from 7 January 2019 (see your calendar) which will be short calls between the teams to keep us cohesive, informed and in joy.
  • Please document on the platform and work with the project management team around reporting

Recruitment and budget

Further to the call in October with the other team leaders on recruitment I invite you to review its documentation here.

As I understand it you’ll be recruiting someone to work with you on administration and coordination, and the project coordinator from my team will work closely with them to try to keep the silly stuff out of the picture. In addition, the engagement task has budget for 3000 EUR per onboarding workshop to engage a partner or practitioner in each target community. As discussed above and elsewhere, we’ll convene in a collective call on how to work with the impact summits and community journalism programme.

In terms of allocated budget to your tasks, while we discussed the scope in our meeting please keep in mind that these continue to be moving. I’m hoping to prepare the Magic Budget spreadsheets for both projects this week and will be running all team leaders by them accordingly.
I suspect more questions will arise and of course feel free to share them here or we can have another meeting to discuss. In our last we talked about you drafting a plan up based on this for our review, so let me know if there’s anything else I can do to support that.

This is an epic engagement scope for sure. I have no doubt that you will rock rolling it out and there will be magic in the process. Thanks for taking it on @nadia!

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One key factor to add that while is implicit is important to explicate:


Both POPREBEL and NGI Forward are engaging communities across Europe towards multilingual fora on edgeryders.eu. Your engagement strategy will need to align with these very closely.

POPREBEL languages = English, Polish, Czech, Serbian-Croation-Bosnian-Montenegran

NGI Forward languages = English, German, Italian, French and Polish

In addition to what I’ve shared above, the DOAs detail further how the research, partner activities and case studies call for these languages. Let me know if not clear.