PILOT STORY: The Romanian National Agenda of Research is being enriched by listening to the citizens
In May, PRO-Ethics' RFO partner UEFISCDI hosted two world café events with 60 citizens to discuss two main topics based on the National Agenda of Research in Romania. The aim is to enrich the Research Strategic Agenda with the input gathered.
The participants were selected by an external recruitment company, with the criteria provided by the RFO: age and gender balanced, as well as a fair distribution between the rural and urban areas, and level of education.
The discussion topics were Culture, creativity and inclusive society and Civil security for citizens. These two general topics include several impact areas formulated as societal challenges that the research activity should try to tackle.
The participants were spread throughout five working groups and, starting from the proposed topics, they correlated them with their own personal endeavors. After several rounds of discussions, debates and voting sessions, they came up with ten major issues that affect their lives and have a potential for being addressed through research and innovation activities. These issues were thoroughly described, potential solutions and future developments were identified, as well as ideas about how the research process might contribute to solving the problem.
The feedback collected was to some extent similar. For example, everyone is affected by the problems regarding the quality of education.
All citizens were active, cooperative, and shared their opinions and feedback in a civilized and friendly manner. They have enjoyed the process and provided valuable contributions to our strategic documents. The National Research Agenda was validated and even enriched, to some extent, by the participating citizens.
In the pilot stories, PRO-Ethics' RFO partners tell tales from behind the scenes during the planning and implementation of their pilot projects, offering a peek into how the pilots develop practically and over time. The goal is to better represent and learn from insights and tacit knowledge, some of which might be seen as smaller issues and hence downplayed or forgotten in official reporting, despite the learnings they may bring to others. The stories are fully available to all the project partners and support cross-learning activities and ultimately the ethics framework. Some of the stories will also be shared online with the wider public.