Message to participants

Dear participants of the Science for Development Workshop 30-31 January 2020

This message contains information for all participants in preparation for the workshop. Please read this carefully and contact us if you have any questions:
1. Programme: Please view the latest programme here, still subject to minor changes. For many of you this programme will be in a peculiar and perhaps uncomfortable format. Since this is very much an exploratory workshop, our appeal to you is to embrace this somewhat unconventional format and be driven by the spirit of the event – a spirit of stimulating interdisciplinary collaboration in order to use science as a whole to impact positively on society. Therefore the structure of one day for “Talk” and one day for “Work”.
2. Participant list: Please view the latest participant list here, still subject to minor changes. Please go through this list prior to the meeting and identify those individuals you would really like to meet – it will be a busy two days so we recommend planning in advance to optimise your networking.
3. Speakers: All speakers are requested to email your slides to us by Wednesday the 29th January 2020. Apart from a few of the longer talks, each speaker will have only 4 minutes to speak, with an on-screen countdown timer. We therefore urge you to rehearse your talk well and to time yourself in order to keep your talk under the strict 4 minute mark, while still conveying the key messages that you wish the audience to take away.
4. Participants preparation before the workshop: In order to maximise the limited time we will have together in person, we urge all participants to engage with the programme and participant list and prepare beforehand. There will be specific parts of the programme when all participants will be able to contribute:
4.1. Introductions/tour de table: each person will have 10 seconds to introduce themselves/their work. Make your 10 seconds memorable and make it count!
4.2. Unconference: There will be a slot at the end of the first day and again towards the end of the second day – this is an open space where anyone can lead a parallel session on just about anything (it could be a presentation, a workshop, a discussion, a demonstration, something you heard in earlier talks on the day, etc). Participants will propose a session by writing on a whiteboard during the earlier breaks, and others will vote by placing a mark next to their favourite proposed session. The most popular ones will be given a parallel venue for an hour long session. Think in advance about what you could propose for such a session.
4.3. Show and tell: There will be a space for “show and tell” where participants can promote/demonstrate resources that could be used/shared across disciplines e.g. cloud computing, large research infrastructure, small technological innovations, etc. If you have something you would like to demonstrate please write to us with a brief description, the minimum amount of time you need, and any special requirements (table, power, etc).
4.4. Pitches: All participants will have the opportunity on Day 2 to present a less-than-5-minute “pitch” (may be shorter depending on the number of pitches) to invite other participants to collaborate on a specific project. This could be something you are currently working on that you require assistance with, or a new idea that you would like to test on other participants in order to potentially develop it further. You may even come up with an idea for a pitch while you are at the workshop. The pitches you make will be followed by an extended working lunch session where people interested in your project/idea can start collaborating with you. Based on the working lunch there will be further opportunity to expand your “pitch” to invite other specific skills you may need, and then another “hack” session to work on and formulate a project/collaboration around the pitch. Interesting projects/collaborations emerging from these working sessions will be presented towards the end of the day, with at least one outstanding project being awarded some seed funding to carry it forward.
5. Impact on Climate Change: We note that in-person events such as these have a significant carbon footprint due to the many flights involved. We therefore urge each and every participant to ensure that both your contributions to and benefit derived from this workshop will offset such a carbon footprint by using this unique gathering of minds to ultimately have a net positive influence on global development.
With your help in preparing for your contributions to this event, we really look forward to an exciting workshop.
Kevin and Vanessa, on behalf of the SOC