Communication and Impact Strategies

The fourth PACITA practitioners workshop was the last of a four workshops’ series  exploring the guiding questions of a TA project (what, why, when, how and who). It was  dedicated to communication activities related to TA projects (from the start to the end of the projects).

Technology Assessment is in its very essence a communicative approach: first because its results are meant to contribute to policy-making in science and technology related issues and need thus to be made available, and second because it stands at the intersection of science, policy-making and society and tries to build communication channels between those spheres.

Communication activities in the Technology Assessment field comprise many activities that are used to transmit the corporate image of a TA (or TA-like) institution, the TA approach, and the TA processes and products to the outside world in order to increase the impact of TA. Communication can also be used to keep track with reality. Communication is thus very wide and has many facets.

The fourth practitioners meeting, however, mainly focused on activities that are used to communicate about TA projects in order to raise the awareness of its addressees on its outcomes and results, and eventually have an impact on policy-making. TA projects can have different kind of impacts, as this has been reflected and discussed at the Sofia practitioners meeting on “Methods” (see Decker and Ladikas 20041).

DSC_0213The other dimensions of communication (for instance corporate communication, communication about the TA approach) were also considered, as communicating about TA projects is also communicating about the institution and the TA approach.

During the workshop, the participants discussed how to set up efficient communication strategies for TA project. This will included thinking about the message that has to be conveyed (what?), its addressees (to whom?), the milestones of communication (when?) and the tools and channels to be used (how?).

The results of the participants’ group work can be watched below:

The workshop was based on concrete examples of TA projects where communication plays an important role and, in a certain way, is paradigmatic of TA communication models. Participants had also the opportunity to make practical exercises, so as to implement what has been explored and discussed. Finally, the participants explored new communication channels provided by social networks and their prospects for the TA community.DSC_0001

Presentations  delivered:

Photos: Tomas Michalek (TC ASCR, Czech Republic).

1 M. Decker and M. Ladikas (Eds.), 2004. Bridges between Science, Society and Policy. Technology Assessment– Methods and Impacts, Berlin und Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.