Successfully working together
In LIAISON we are working at various levels to explore how best to unlock the potential of working in partnership for innovation. This includes the very practical issue of improving the way that we work together ourselves!
Working in partnership brings many challenges, but it also has huge advantages. Coming together for joint problem solving and the co-creation of innovative new ideas is much more successful and faster than individuals or organisations working alone.
Successful partnerships are based on trust. Without good levels of trust it is difficult to motivate groups of rural actors (farmers, foresters, advisors, researchers and others) to come together to cooperate and innovate. Fortunately, there are many participatory methods and tools that can be used to help build trust and optimise the way that groups work together.
OPTIMISING INTERACTIVE PROCESSES
In LIAISON we are studying ways of making collaborative working practices more effective. This includes consolidating and building upon the consortium partners’ own considerable experience of using participatory tools for co-creation and co-learning.
We regularly review the various tools and methods available and select the best tools for our specific needs. Each LIAISON project meeting – whether face-to-face or online – is a new opportunity to discover new participatory methods and tools.
Various ‘icebreakers’ help us to set a good atmosphere and to get to know each other better. We have used the ‘fishbowl’ technique to encourage active listening and helps us to facilitate the effective exchanges on various topics. We are also regularly using a method called ‘learning histories’ to stimulate discussion, reflection and collective sense-making among the consortium partners.
LIAISON is a multi-actor project with a diverse group of partners working together. This provides us with the unique opportunity to adopt, study and refine our own state-of-the-art participatory working techniques as part of our project activities.
We are harvesting our collective experiences of working through regular self-reflection workshops and based upon this ongoing collective learning process we will deliver methods and tools that can help support collaborative learning processes in the broader EIP-AGRI context.