Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reflections on the kickoff in Osnabrück

Great weather, no cancellations and no major problems

The kick-off meeting was a great success! Everyone came – not a single cancellation – and the researchers and practitioners had a wonderful experience getting to know their counterparts in other countries and each other. The weather was perfect – mild golden October – and the location ideal for strolling in the Botanical Garden during the breaks.

The meeting was supported by a group of 7 student assistants, most of them volunteers from the master’s program in pedagogy, who met an guided the visitors, made coffee and tea and served lunches, helped with the technology and internet connections, and generally helped to ensure smooth proceedings.

Public event: Botanical Garden, who-is-who and fingerfood

On the first day, 14 researchers from the five partners discussed guidelines for the country context papers as well as theoretical approaches, and shared thoughts about the perspectives of the work. On Monday evening, a public presentation of the project under the theme of “culture-sensitive intervention” was held, with the university vice-president for research and the dean of the faculty as welcoming speakers. Carol Hagemann-White presented the main ideas and aims of the project in German, and then each lead researcher and each representative of the associate partners spoke for five minutes, introducing themselves and their organization. Afterwards there were drinks and snacks, made possible by a contribution from the university society.  A professional photographer recorded the event.

Even more work - second day meeting

On Tuesday the 11 associate partners and the researchers discussed together how the workshops with practitioners might be implemented for each of the three areas of violence covered in the project. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Cornelia Helfferich, Freiburg, a methodologist with research experience in all three areas, who will also be consulting with the project in Germany. A draft memorandum of understanding spelling out the rights of associate partners who contribute to the work was discussed and agreed, including principles of transparency, confidentiality and respect for intellectual property rights, but also inclusion in discussions about concepts and appropriate language. After lunch, the researchers took stock of what had been done , while the visiting practitioners were offered a tour of the town by student guides. All participants whose flights did not leave until the next day met for dinner and wine in a traditional restaurant. 

The Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung was present at the evening event and reported

Bianca Grafe/Carol Hagemann-White

Full team, picture taken by Angela von Brill

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