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BoF: How to use the “In The Field” platform to engage with users, funders and key influencers Save to my Google calendar

Jane Gifford, Helga Spitaler, Arne Vollertsen
30/05/2017 09:00-10:30
Split Meeting Room 11

The 'In The Field' blog provides a digital platform for the global NREN community to showcase the impact of R&E connectivity around the world.

Developed by AARNet as initiative of the Global PR Network, the blog trials a new way for NRENs and RRENs around the globe to share and access stories of how users – usual and unusual suspects - benefit from the connectivity and services we offer. Rather than focusing on the underlying infrastructure itself, the stories intend to highlight the societal impact of our networks, thus offering a glimpse at the human side of what R&E networking enables.

Since its launch in October 2015, the blog platform has seen an impressive collection of over 140 stories submitted, representing 65 networks across 6 continents, covering a wide range of topics including food security, health, education, arts, archaeology, Earth observation, connecting remote places and much more.

“In the Field” has been welcomed by the global R&E community and is highly visible, however there is still scope for maximizing its potential – both in terms of content and usage. The BoF will therefore explore how additional story submissions can be encouraged and supported, particularly from NRENs in emerging regions and how the platform can be effectively used as powerful impact marketing and lobbying tool in interactions with current and prospective end-users, funding bodies and other influencers, such as the media.

We are trying to address the following questions:
- What works?
  • - What can we do better?
  • - What are the challenges in contributing new stories?
  • - How can this blog support user engagement activities?
  • - How can we ensure its impact as lobbying tool towards funders?
  • - Can other NREN colleagues (including technical staff) benefit from accessing material about user communities’ usage of R&E networks and services?
  • - How can we get the word out beyond the confines of our community?

In answering these questions, we will be able to draw on the experiences and suggestions of the following panellists:

  • - Bonny Khunga (CEO, ZAMREN): using the blog to argue the case for ZAMREN towards funders
  • - Arne Vollertsen (PR Manager, NORDUnet): experiences (and challenges) of identifying and ultimately producing stories
  • - Jakob Tendel (International Projects, DFN-Verein): using the blog as user engagement tool
  • - Mary Fleming (Director, Business Development and International, AARNet): using the blog for business development and engagement purposes

  • We would like to also hear your views and suggestions – so please join us!




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