VISIONARY: Cross-country visit

Consolidating and extending the technical capacity of young and early-stage researchers for developing more meaningful stakeholder engagement.

In our previous meetings and interactions with farmers, policymakers, the business sector, and civil society, we observed how important is our role as facilitators within these meetings for translating and adapting the European Research and Innovation projects in which we are partners into common language and to create a safe space where participants feel comfortable to discuss with us. 

As part of the VISIONARY project, we had the opportunity to host a workshop dedicated to developing and strengthening the skills of young and early-stage researchers consolidating and extending the technical capacity of young and early-stage researchers for developing more meaningful stakeholder engagement.

The workshop took place from the 20th to 22nd of May in Brașov and brought together 9 researchers from Europe (Spain, Denmark, Germany, and the UK) and 3 researchers from Romania. 

We started the workshop by getting to know each other and visiting one of the case studies coordinated by us in VISIONARY – Local Gastronomic Points.  Together with the participants, we visited Ioana and Corina from HOF Hărman, who told us about their business, how they implement sustainability principles in their work and who showed us their vegetable garden. At the end of the day, we tasted seasonal dishes inspired by Transylvanian recipes. 

The first day of the workshop was coordinated by our colleagues Mark, Raluca and Alina who, together with the participants, discussed in an interactive way about:

  • The importance of effective communication in European Research and Innovation projects.
  • The need to understand different points of view and to accept each participant’s personal context in discussions.
  • Communication skills and the importance of assertive communication.
  • Challenges in facilitation. 

At the same time, we collaborated with Szillard, facilitator and trainer in visual facilitation, who on the second day of the workshop taught us the techniques and skills needed to communicate using visual elements and tools. 

After two and a half days of getting to know each other, exchanging experiences and ideas, and learning by doing, the participants departed Brașov delighted with the workshop, which allowed them to learn more about the importance of facilitating effective meetings with the local community, as well as learning a new way of communicating through visual elements. At the same time, being in Romania for the first time, they discovered some of the local history, culture, and gastronomy.