Writeshop and citizen consultation support the Preliminary Structuring of the Gender Equality Plan for R&I in Central Macedonia

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Writeshop and citizen consultation support the Preliminary Structuring of the Gender Equality Plan for R&I in Central Macedonia

On the 19th of October, a writeshop was held as part of the Region of Central Macedonia’s (RCM) co-creation activities for the TeRRItoria Transformative Experiment in their region, managed together with the South-East European Research Centre (SEERC). The writeshop had to be moved online at short notice due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the region. In the end, the event included approximately 30 participants from various Quadruple Helix categories, most of which had previously attended the other TeRRItoria co-creation events in the region. All attendees engaged in a fruitful discussion and in an interactive collection/write-up of their ideas (through the application of “Slido” and a “Miro” board), in order to sort out the potential and concrete measures to be included in the RCM Gender Equality Plan (GEP). These measures were classified under eight different areas of intervention (e.g. work-life balance, confrontation of social and cultural stereotypes/confrontation of horizontal segregation), which emerged based on the project mapping activities and mainly based on previous discussions and meetings held with the regional Quadruple Helix stakeholders. The writeshop activities resulted in acquiring a wide range of innovative gender equality measures for the regional R&I field; these measures have strong potential for inclusion in the RCM GEP as such, or to be further employed as a source of inspiration for setting additional measures and activities. While the previous bilateral meetings held over the summer of 2020 and the aforementioned writeshop had primarily focused on the traditional three helixes of the Triple Helix model, the citizen consultation event brought in more members of civil society and the broader public. Since Public Engagement is one of the keys of the RRI which TeRRItoria works to promote, involving the broader public is especially important and for that reason, the citizen consultation event focused solely on civil society and the public.

The public event was held on the 21st of October. Around 30 citizens with various backgrounds gathered online for a creative and interactive discussion of project themes and for the project partners to be able to gain an outside perspective on the design of their experiment. This was achieved firstly by presenting to the attendees the previous co-design activities and particularly the results of the writeshop (i.e. the potential measures embedded in the GEP areas of intervention). Citizens expressed their opinion both orally through the discussions taking place, as well as through question polls presented to them through online apps. The event activities helped in gaining a more in-depth view regarding gender equality and the upcoming regional GEP, since citizens described true ‘gaps’ and challenges that extend beyond the R&Ι field and are present in various social levels and environments. The description of such challenges was finally accompanied by some innovative suggestions and indications.

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