SciCafe 2.0


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The Platform:

The SciCafe2.0 Virtual Platform will manage knowledge sharing by enabling people:



SciCafe2.0 Participatory Session at CAPS Workshop

The SciCafe2.0 Consortium contributed to the CAPS2020 Conference through 4 sessions with an overview of the sessions as follows: 

Session 1: SciCafe2.0 Platform Presentation and Q&A Panel

Professor Atta Badii (University of Reading), the Coordinator of SciCafe 2.0, Patrizia Grifoni (CNR), Franco Bagnoli (University of Florence), Fernando Ferri (CNR), and Tommaso Castellani (CNR) presented the first session which facilitated by our Dissemination Manager, Bálint Balázs of ESSRG, The presenters provided an overview of the objectives and achievements of the Consortium to-date and the architecture of the resulting SciCafe2.0 Platform. Franco Bagnoli made a presentation on the Cognitive Basis of Collective Awareness Platforms (CAPS), with particular emphasis on the role of reputation and collaboration in a competitive environment and the expected payoff with respect to the number of participants. This relates to the cognitive principles of the SciCafe 2.0 Platform, considering the different behavioural modalities that depend on the number of participants; this is the subject of a survey already launched to invite the opinions of the Coordinators of the CAPS projects about this topic.

Thereafter all the SciCafe Partners participated in a Q & A Panel Session facilitated by Bálint Balázs.

Atta Badii emphasised the need for the Tool:

“to remain responsive to the evolving social norms and constructs prevailing within the situated problem space and the community engagement culture of the particular stakeholder group. This is so that,

i) the motivation for deployment of the Tool
ii) the co-evolving of methods and models for best exploitation of the Tool
iii) the sharing of insights, co-creativity and consensus seeking for finding a solution to the problem situation

could all be achieved concurrently as a result of the interplay of the above 3 parallel co-innovation experiences the community – the vision of together becoming a better becomer at co-innovation towards more creative, sustainable and resilient community building.
Hence the SciCafe2.0 Consortium has announced the invitation to the interested communities to Champion Participative Engagement & Leadership (PEL) Methodologies Best Practice to suit their own spaces of problem-situation, social engagement constructs and social-cultural norms and thus help enhance our collective insights in mutual contribution to the library of Situated Best Practice PEL Models to add to the knowledge to be disseminated by the European Observatory for Crowd-Sourcing which the Consortium provides in its mission to help real communities find real grass-root solutions to real problems. The Mission of the Observatory is to support the above triple innovation journey.”



Session 2: Demonstration and CAPS Tool Co-Design Engagement

In this session the Consortium followed the participatory protocols successfully implemented through the design of the SciCafe2.0 Platform e.g. in the Brussels and Copenhagen participatory requirements elicitation workshops.

Accordingly the SciCafe2.0 Platform was presented using 3 Scenarios:

  • “Science Cafè Scenario” and Scientific Content Knowledge Repository
  • “Participative Budgeting as Community Finance Planning
  • “Information and Knowledge Sharing in a Scientific Project

We then asked participants to take part in the next step, by imagining scenarios of use of SciCafe2.0 Platform.  During the session, participants could explore and experiment with the platform on their computers in the room, assisted by the SciCafe2.0 Consortium members who continued to engage with the audience through the following phases of our collective participatory innovation journey.

First Phase: Participant-led  Elaboration

We asked participants to contribute their views of i) The Enablers (using green post-its) and ii) The Barriers (with yellow post-its) in the following schema, on the white board; considering the above two perspectives as they relate to the 4 sub-spaces of contexts denoted by the quad schema below as they may occur in the on-line participatory discussions using the SciCafe2.0 Platform; as shown in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1: The Participatory Engagement Brainstorming Input Schema

As an additional support to stimulate co-creativity, the participants were shown a poster illustrating the schema resulting from a similar exercise at the SciCafe2.0 Copenhagen Workshop which set out the Facilitators and Barriers of the Copenhagen session, visible on another poster.

Figure 2 below shows the white board with live inputs from the audience and the poster from the Copenhagen Workshop in the background. Figure 3 shows the open-plan, drop-in setting for this participatory engagement session.

Figure 2: The Participatory Engagement Brainstorming Space

Figure 3: The Open-plan, Drop-in Setting for this Participatory Engagement Session

Second Phase: Co-evolving Ideas

After each participant had contributed at least one idea of each type (as a post-it for each colour), we started a collective discussion on the emerging issues as highlighted by the contributors’ ideas shown on the post-its and their clustering. As this discussion progressed, participants continued to add further post-its as new elements were introduced.

Figure 4 shows a snapshot of the white board as contributions were being added.

Figure 4: A snapshot of the whiteboard showing some of the ideas contributed by the audience during the demonstration and participatory co-design engagement session.

Third Phase: Harvesting Collective Insights and Lessons Learnt from the Participatory Engagement

Thereafter each Consortium member interacted with a particular sub-group or individual from the audience and explored issues at further depth.  The SciCafe2.0 Dissemination Manager Bálint Balázs acted as session facilitator and discussed the deployment of the platform with several potential adopters and other user group representatives.

Lessons learnt and insights arising emerging from the participatory engagement session:

  • The group viewed the human resources limitations as the main issue in organising moderator support for the participatory engagement sessions. It was concluded that the availability of some kind of automatic moderation facility should be explored as an added value.
  • The inclusion of various instruments within the SciCafe2.0 platform, such as Google Hangouts, requires a particular attention to the third parties policies (e.g. access, data storage, privacy, etc.)
  • Non-verbal communication (i.e. emotion) was considered as an essential aspect both in written and oral discussions. Therefore, the implementation of some kind of emotional feedback within the SciCafe2.0 platform would be an added value.
  • For the hangout discussion sessions, some capability for regulating the turn taking in speaking was considered as desirable
  • Enhanced support for the users maintaining an overview of the discussion themes and threads, e.g. by way of some graphic tool was also considered as a helpful feature.


Session 3: Parallel Networking Sessions focused on specific CAPS Programme Sub-themes 

These were a set of Special Sessions arranged by the CAPS Conference Organisers to support networking and brainstorming around specific sub-themes relevant to the forthcoming CAPS Call. The SciCafe 2.0 Consortium Partners participated in all the sub-themes and continued to exchange ideas to motivate the wider exploitation of CAPS platforms as well as co-evolving best practice models for situated participatory engagement.


Session 4: BeerBarCamp Engagement

Similarly the Consortium participated in the BeerBarCamp and Franco Bagnoli contributing a short talk about cooperation in a competitive world.


Session 5: The CAPS Information Day, CAPS Project Summary & Panel Session

In this session, which allowed a 5-minute presentation of each of the new CAPS projects followed by a Panel session and Q&A, Atta Badii made a presentation focused on the achievements to-date of the SciCafe2.0 project including a list of co-design engagement workshops held so far to elicit the stakeholders’ requirements, the forthcoming events and the potential adopters. This presentation can be viewed below:

Atta Badii’s invitational message to the audience encouraged potential adopters of the SciCafe tool to participate in the SciCafe2.0 Tool trialling as well as in co-evolving models of Best Practice for Situated Participative Engagement  - a triple innovation journey of situated engagement models that would best resonate with the engagement constructs, cultures and modalities best suited to each community for each particular class of problem situations.

In the Q&A session Atta Badii contributed from the Panel in response to a question from the audience regarding the integration of CAPS tools. Atta observed that the technical integration enablers by way of standardisation and middleware platforms were already emerging through the innovation efforts on the Future Internet Architecture and Middleware Frameworks and these would also support all Web2.0 and such future application integration.

Atta noted however that:

"the real prize in all this is widening and deepening the adoption of CAPS platforms through enhanced social acceptance and empowerment of communities to use such participatory tools as needed on the basis of lowest-entry-barriers and this would be facilitated by the vision of the CAPS as a spectral solutions space rather than one of a monolithic take-it-whole or leave-it offering.

In this sense the SciCafe2.0 view of integration is rather the spectrum solution space i.e. a family of integrate-able solutions which offered a framework for customisable lightest footprint, lowest-entry solutions selection.
This would enable the match-making of particular sub-spaces of the innovation spectrum to particular real needs of communities, each according to their own situated needs for specific models of and tools for most effective and efficient support for participative engagement responsive to their particular problem situation.

The vision of CAPS integration would thus find its best translation in a gallery of customisable participative engagement enablers as use-context-specific capability sets i.e. a family of mutually supportive modules and models to facilitate incremental adoption, open-innovation, and open evaluation of CAPS tools seen as mainstreamed and routinised means of co-creative community engagement and resilience building – empowering communities to embark on the triple co-innovation journey."

In the concertation meeting that followed the next day Atta Badii (UoR), and, Patrizia Grifoni and Fernando Ferri (CNR) represented other Consortium Partners Bálint Balázs (ESSRG), Adriana Valente and Tommaso Castellani (CNR) and Franco Bagnoli (UNIFI) in supporting collaboration arrangements within and beyond the CAPS Community on the above themes and on the validation of emerging CAPS enabler capability sets.