Sometimes You Need to Game the System

CHARTER project coordinator and researcher Sirpa Rasmus has been busy lately. She is currently in Inari, northern Finland where she ran a workshop for CHARTER and POVAUS (“Adaptation of reindeer husbandry to unexpected and uncommon conditions” a project run by LUKE that shares many cross cutting themes with CHARTER, but solely with a Finnish focus).

Sirpa took with her a pack of cards, lots of coloured pens and used large sheets of paper and together with students from the Sámi Education Institute (SAKK) she worked with students from both the nature based tourism programme and the reindeer husbandry programme.

How do you create a dialogue with stakeholders, local people, practitioners and students? This is always a challenging topic for researchers, especially those who work on topics that are directly relevant to peoples livelihoods and their cultural and social milieu. One challenge is of course to get people to be interested in the work you are doing and whether it seems relevant to their lives – enough that they would attend a lecture or workshop. Another challenge is facilitating a meaningful discussion, around what are often very difficult topics including climate shifts, governance structures, ethical concerns, knowledge transmission, cultural practices and much much more. How best to get meaningful discussion going and avoid one way traffic approach with a dull powerpoint?

Sirpa and others have been testing out ‘game’ style discussions whereby she and participants use playing cards labelled with themes, pens and big sheets of paper which folks sit around. This is the second of what she hopes will be many more such workshops and discussions as they work on and refine the method. Initial reports are positive!

Below some few photos from yesterdays session

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