Science Shop project Participand- Meetings for people involved in international development cooperation

In December we announced the kick-off meeting of the Participand project. Participand is for people who live in the Wageningen area and are involved or interested in international development cooperation. Together with these people (You?) we would like to build a network platform where you can exchange knowledge and experiences, get involved, find partners to work together with and whatever else you can imagine.
The first meeting took place on a rainy evening shortly before Christmas, a busy time of the year. Yet, an overwhelming number of 42 people joined! This was excelling our wildest dreams. So what did we actually do?

We started with a dinner, we networked and we shared ideas on the worthwhileness of such a network and what we would like to accomplish in there. Our aim was on the one hand if there was support for a network and on the other hand to uncover shared themes and interests we could work on in groups to equip the network and work towards its shape. We did not want to predetermine anything, we wanted to build this house together. The answer concerning the first answer was undoubtedly yes, I am now sure that having such a network here in Wageningen would be appreciated. Already that so many people came before Christmas without knowing us is a sign I think.
Concerning the content and the shape we felt that it was too early to decide. A lot of inspiring and diverse ideas were voiced which we could not do justice in the short amount of time one meeting offers. At the end of the meetings, some participants indicated that they would like to be actively involved in the organisation of the network.

What is going to happen

We came to the conclusion that network meetings should take place on every first Thursday of the month until June. After June, the network will not end, and suggestions how to proceed from then are more than welcome! On Thursday, the 1st of March the next meeting for everyone concerned with international cooperation will take place. If this sounds like something to you, you are warmly invited to come, to tell your friends and to put the next 1st Thursdays of the months into your agenda!

Venue: Lawickse Allee 13, Wageningen

Time: 19.30h doors open

During the presentation of the evening programme we will follow up on a suggestion we got last meeting: We will visualize what everyone of the people present is doing, because then you can find each other more easily. Subsequently you will have the opportunity to work on a topic which interests you. After the workgroup phase we will make arrangements for the next time. Maybe you already have an idea on what you would like to work on the next time or you have a best practise to share.
All Participand meetings can be visited separate from each other. Every time you can work on the topic you are most interested in. I’m looking forward to having a very stimulating network meeting! It would be great, if you sign up beforehand, because then we will know what to expect and how many cakes to bake, but it is much more important that you will be there and that you know what you would like to talk about. If you want more information on the program, please contact me, Franziska Nath, franziska.nath@gmail.com.

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