Perspectives from around the world

Principles for effective public engagement and knowledge sharing

I'll be chairing a panel on public engagement at the Institute's Members’ Meeting in Melbourne, 4-5 October. We'll have some great insights from colleagues in Europe, Australia and Asia.

While each CCS project and community is unique and requires a tailored engagement process, we have seen consistent themes emerging on areas of importance:

  • establish effective levels of trust with local communities;
  • communicate the case for CCS with balanced information in an ongoing dialogue with local stakeholders;
  • ensure that outreach activities reflect a partnership approach involving joint decision making; and
  • understand the local context and identify the social value proposition.

At the Institute, we’ve tried to adopt some of these same principles into our knowledge sharing approach, shown below:

Effective knowledge sharing and public engagement require many of the same things: connecting people, establishing trust, providing evidence and helping people make effective decisions. We've based on our approach not just on ‘knowledge products’, but on connecting people. Much of the knowledge that is shared is not packaged into a formal report but comes in a much more transactional fashion such as answering questions. Just as engaging with the public means helping people engage, knowledge sharing does too.

As Angus Henderson highlights in this post, we see the face-to-face and digital worlds continuing to come together over the years and this will have a major impact on both areas. What do you think? 

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Sean McClowry

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Sean is the General Manager for Knowledge Management and ICT Services with the Global CCS Institute