RISE_SMA Kick-Off Meeting

From April 15th to April 16th, the University of Essen-Duisburg invited all beneficiaries, partners, and advisors for the official kick-off meeting of the RISE_SMA project.

We were delighted to welcome everybody from the consortium, including

  • University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany)
  • Leiden University (Netherlands)
  • University of Agder (Norway)
  • University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
  • UNISINOS (Brazil)
  • University of Padjadjaran (Indonesia)
  • Virtimo AG (Germany)
  • Municipality of Kristiansand (Norway)

Representatives from the RISE_SMA advisory board Accenture, Deutsche Welle and Arvato Bertelsmann were also involved.

The agenda of the meeting was separated into two days.

Day 1

In a 10-minute presentation, each institution briefly introduced itself and explained its personal expertise and areas of importance. In addition, a brief description was given of what the respective institution hoped for from the project and what it could contribute to the project.

A joint lunch in the canteen of the University of Duisburg-Essen could not be missing on such a day.

Around 2 o’clock all participants met in groups of 4 people to discuss and record possible commonalities, differences, aggregations and areas of importance. It was important that the groups were made up of people from different institutions in order to increase productivity.

The workshop took place in 2 phases.

First Session:

Discussing societal issues of Social Media Analytics (roles & actors, topics & dynamics, information extraction/dissemination)

Second Session:

Crisis communication – form new groups of 4 people (Roles & Actors, topics & dynamics, information extraction/dissemination)

Each group then (creatively) presented their results.

To keep the concentration and mood strong and positive, coffee, tea, fruit and cake were served afterwards.

Meanwhile the first exchanges between the institutions took place and first contacts were established, which are invaluable for the future cooperation.

Before the first day came to an end, the participants arranged a round of “Speed Dating” where PHD candidates could exchange ideas with the beneficiaries/partners in order to be able to work or publish together in the future.

The grand finale was a dinner together in the Finkenkrug Duisburg to break the last centimetre of ice.

With beer, soft drinks and a proper dinner we chatted, laughed and exchanged.

Day 2

The second day began with a Gender & Diversity workshop lead by Deborah Bunker and Stefan Stieglitz.

Subsequently Professor Stieglitz, Julian Marx and Tobias Kroll explained the administration of the RISE_SMA project to the consortium and provided an extensive Q&A session.

Essentially, it was about which tools the project had at its disposal, how the exchange between the participants would work and how the travels would take place in the future.

Last but not least we heard a talk on Research Ethics & Data Protection by the RISE_SMA independent ethics advisor Salla M. Laaksonen (Helsinki University).

The kick-off meeting was concluded by Professor Stieglitz with a short closing lecture.

The bottom line of the kick-off was that all beneficiaries got to know each other, focus groups were build and everybody now is equipped with knowledge and curiosity to achieve the best results in the RISE_SMA project. We can’t wait to tackle the first challenges inside the focus groups and prepare our next meeting.