How do we make sure that our research is relevant to different stakeholders?
The gathering of project members in Grenoble at the end of May for the ESM2025 General Assembly presented the perfect opportunity to engage with local stakeholders through our World Café event. This annual event enables us to understand different climate science needs and discuss new findings from the project and how these may be able to help support decision making at different levels in society.
This year we were delighted to welcome local representatives from Atmo Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, MeteoSwiss, Grenoble Alpes Metropole, an Independent Project Manager, Auki, Piman Consultants, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Energie Environment Agency, and the National Forestry Office Isère.
World Café-style workshop
The World Café method involves bringing together local stakeholders with project researchers in small groups around tables for discussion. To prepare for this event the project had defined three areas of discussion relevant to the project and stakeholders were invited to identify specific questions for their particular group.
Three areas for discussion, and in each area there was one French speaking table and one English speaking table:
Topic 1 – Understanding climate change mitigation pathways and their implications to mitigation strategy design.
Topic 2 – Improving assessment of and response to climate risks.
Topic 3 – Scientific knowledge to inform policy-makers, planners, businesses and the general public: needs and challenges
Importantly, it was the lead stakeholder who was in charge of leading and moderating discussion on each table. The World Café then had three rounds of 30 minutes discussion, where researchers and other stakeholders moved to the next table after each round. Our Early Career researchers provided excellent support through recording the highlights of the conversations and reporting back after the 3 rounds.
“The question is how to incorporate scientific issues into businesses, so that they can change and adapt.”
Founder & director of Auki
“Is it up to the scientist to ‘propose’? Shouldn’t it rather be the companies’ role to state their needs?”
John Gerhard Krinner
Researcher at CNRS – IGE
Finally, after receiving the summaries of the lively discussions, participants were able to partake of delicious, locally-prepared vegan cuisine and regional refreshments to round off the evening!
Next, the project team want to consider the detailed discussions and how the project can respond to the issues raised. Initial feedback about the World Café has been really positive and indicated that stakeholders (and researchers) would value continued engagement. Hence, we will soon publish a short briefing for both stakeholders and ESM2025 researchers with a summary of this World Café discussions.