Ghent Conference - March 2014


SiS Catalyst Policy Practice Interface Conference
Hogeschool Ghent, Belgium 2nd -5th March 2014

At the heart of Horizon 2020 is the need to build public engagement with and for science.  Underpinned by responsible research and innovation, it recognises that both the process and its outcomes have to be better aligned with the needs and expectations of European society. This will require the full engagement of all societal actors in order to collectively construct innovative solutions.

SIS Catalyst: Children as Change Agents for Science and Society is one of the first Mobilisation and Mutual Learning action plans and is funded by the European Commission to look at how scientific communities engage with children. Based on the very simple idea that children are the future, we support the concept that they must be included as societal actors in the decisions we make today.

The first part of this conference aims to discuss the policy implications of involving young people in the decisions that will ultimately affect them. Within SiS Catalyst we believe that children's voices should be systematically included in their current reality as well as the planning for the future. The ethics of genuinely listening to children requires empowering their autonomy in order that they can make the most informed choices about their present and their future.

The programme includes a series of roundtable discussions with several European Commission funded projects which will share experiences and ideas about engagement and impact on European and national policy. We will also explore attitude changing and tools for change, followed by workshop discussions on how the policy implications of SIS Catalyst can be developed with key players including European policy makers, senior academics and journalists etc.

The second day will take a more practical approach and will explore the concept of inclusive excellence through case studies and interactive workshops. Following the theme of making science education more inclusive, we will explore the institutionalisation of SiS catalyst activities and how the concept can be used to raise greater awareness and social inclusion.

We are inviting  policy makers, representatives from Higher Education, media, practitioners and any other interested people to participate in the whole event, or to attend the sessions relevant to their own interests.

Registration is now open, please follow the links on the left for more information.