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Responsible research and innovation: WikiStage SoScience

(This article is a contribution from Laurent Calmus, doctor in organic chemistry and ESPCI-ParisTech engineer, and is a preview for the WikiStage SoScience event May 16) Responsible research and innovation is an emerging concept in natural sciences. It originated in the US about 10 years ago, and it aims is to find solutions for today's social and environmental challenges. Through responsible and reflective scientific activity, methodologies and agenda, it hopes to establish sustainable and greener societies. The field is emerging, and there is much to be said about it. But since it is so new, there exist no place for participants in the field to express themselves. So we believe a WikiStage event is perfect to start a conversation. The goal of this first conference is to present responsible innovation and foster curiosity about it. After introducing the key topics, there will be different talks centered around the three following points: “The impossible becomes possible" / How to make it happen / The emergence of a new reality. It is crucial to present the different aspects of responsible research and innovation processes. For example, academic and industrial researches, funding, intellectual property and politics are essential parts in the definition and development of responsible research and innovation.  “Evidence can take so many forms” / Examples of different projects. Different exciting projects are ongoing in several research areas. To understand what is happening in responsible research and innovation at this moment, what could be better than to let researchers present their own projects and goals?  “Make it yours” / Access of the crowd. We think that responsible research and innovation can’t truly be effective without a serious relationship between researchers and society. To innovate in the right way, researchers have to be aware about society's main goals. On the other hand, society should be informed about recent researches in order to engage in discussion with the researchers. If you are curious to learn more about responsible research and innovation, feel free to attend the event on Saturday May 16 at 1 PM at ESCP Europe Paris Campus (79 Avenue de la République, 75011 Paris).  

Wikistage - Empow’Her: Share Her Voice

Our April 16 WikiStage conference brought it back to where it all began -- the Paris campus of ESCP Europe! #ShareHerVoice Conference was an inspiring and eye-opening experience aiming to bring awareness to creating future gender equality champions. Amongst the speakers we welcomed on stage, there were quite a few amazing women. Tatiana Moura from Promundo, a Brazilian based, non-governmental organization promoting caring, non-violent and equitable masculinities and gender relations, talked about the importance of engaging men in the process of establishing gender equality.  Shannon Galpin, the founder of Mountain2Mountain, a non-profit organization fighting for women’s rights in conflict zones, spoke about her experience in Afghanistan where she worked on many projects aiming to empower women by engaging them in various activities related to education, art and sports. Galpin, who also happens to be the first person to practice mountain biking in the area, is currently supporting Afghanistan's first Women’s National Cycling team. In her powerful speech, Shannon Galpin said she always wondered why people were indifferent towards sexual violence until she realized she was one of these people. "Having a voice means taking a stand”, she said. Chloé Chambraud and Luisa de Simone, two young and ambitious volunteers, talked about their projects in Thailand. They have created a social enterprise for women affected by violence aiming to help boost these women's creativity, regain confidence and simply empower them by having them create things from recyclable materials. Charlotte Werner, junior associate at McKinsey & Company and contributor the company's the Women Matter studies, spoke about how having more women at the top means better results for companies. Later, when asked about the situation in her working establishment, Werner replied she cannot complain, and it is going in the right direction. Yann Borgsted, founder of the Womanity Foundation and the only male representative on stage that night, shared with us the story of his success. He spoke about how he created the first commercial women’s radio in the Middle East, called “Radio NISSA FM”, and how Womanity is all about pushing the boundaries of women empowerment. All in all, the atmosphere that night was empowering. Even the cocktail hour immediately following helped maintain the positive atmosphere as audience members got the chance to meet the speakers and learn even more about these organizations. If you are curious about how to get involved, check out some of the links to these wonderful organizations and stay tuned for the recordings to be posted on the website. #ShareHerVoice!

Traveling off the beaten path

I'll never forget the day I boarded my first, long distance flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Madrid, Spain. Passport clutched in my hand, my heart was pounding with adrenaline. I couldn't contain my excitement. For as long as I can remember, I've had the travel bug. I have always wanted to go and see and do. Sitting still was never an option. And four years after boarding my first long distance flight, I have been living abroad in Paris for three of those years and have visited over fifteen European countries. In his talk, "Why you should, and how you could, travel off the beaten path?" Jeremy Ximenez of WikiStage Stanford breaks down the "Where?" "How?" and "When?" for traveling off the beaten path.   Ximenez has tons of experience visiting countries that most wouldn't dare out of fear and uncertainty. While I myself haven't traveled to the countries he mentions, I have visited ones that aren't in the top five for most European travelers, and these tend to be some of my favorites. But why? In the "Where?" section, Ximenez answers that question by explaining that there are less tourists in these countries. And since there are fewer, people tend to be more hospitable and eager to meet foreigners. When I took a cab ride from the Sarajevo airport to the center of the city, my cabbie tried to give me a quick, historical tour of his city with his broken English while whizzing in and out of traffic. The man was proud of his country, and despite a language barrier, he was eager to tell a young American traveler everything he possibly could. Traveling is already something important to learn more about yourself and other cultures. But sometimes when you travel somewhere filled with tourists, it can be difficult to fully experience what the country has to offer. I've discovered that when you travel somewhere with few tourists, locals are more likely to offer a helping hand and try their hardest to ensure your visit is memorable. My stories are not as extreme as Ximenez, but they just as important to me and serve as a reminder for why I love traveling to places most people wouldn't think twice about. And this is something I keep in mind as I plan my next adventure. If you itching to travel but aren't sure where, just take a few minutes to listen to Ximenez's talk, and maybe you will have the urge to travel off the beaten path.

WikiStage SoScience: improving the world through responsible research and innovation

WikiStage SoScience welcomed over 50 guests to its first WikiStage event on May 16 to learn about Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The day was divided into three sessions, each dealing with the point of RRI and the form it can take. The first session had the difficult task of introducing the audience to the basics of RRI. Thomas Busuttil introduced the goals of RRI by answering the question, "Is sustainable development a major leverage for a new humanism?" Daphne Carthy followed by showing how responsible research can be profitable by answering the question, "How to combine responsibility and performance during the innovation processes?" Since funding is crucial to complete research, Gilles Bruneaux explained how to select research projects that can be most profitable for society. Finally, Anastasia Mandraveli convinced us about the deep relationship between innovation and law. Following a quick snack break, thanks to our partner Puerto Cacao, audience members were able to discover exceptional RRI projects during the second session. The session started in an unusual way because theatre actors “Mises en Pièces” tried to humorously explain how to cook french fries in a responsible and eco-friendly way. Akpéli Nordor talked about translational research while both Adel Mebarki and Redhouane Abdelloui showed us how social networks can be useful for future health system.    Ladislas De Toldi explained how robotics can improve the lives for some children, and Sandra Rey presented nature as an infinite source of inspiration for innovation After another break, we were ready to learn how to help RRI become viral and inspire everyone in society. This third session kicked off with another humorous skit from “Mises en Pièces” who pretended to perform irresponsible research as a way for audience members to better understand the importance of responsible research. Celya Gruson-Daniel explained the importance of developing open science for both society and for RRI. Lionel Larqué had the audience reflect about the complex relationship between science and society. The event ended with Alexandra Ivanovitch discussing new educative methodologies for the future relationship between science and society. At the end of the day, all of the participants at WikiStage SoScience were aware of RRI's goals and how crucial it is to continue spreading spread this idea over the world!