Long gone are the days where social media was considered merely as “just fun for the kids”. Social media is now an essential part in our communications toolkit. It largely expands our outreach while many organisations and institutes also use social media to stimulate more intense and interactive dialogue with their constituency.
In our environment, many researchers have embraced social media to link into “communities of practice” working in their scientific field, to build their own communities, and to involve others into their ongoing research. In a recent poll by the Pew Research Centre, nearly half of American scientists – 47% – use social media to talk about science or read about scientific developments. Nearly a quarter of them actively blog about science and research.
Still, for many professionals, the threshold to engage into social media is quite high. The diversity of tools and the intrinsics of how to use them effectively seem overwhelming. And here is how we would like to help lower that threshold:
Sharpen your social media skills. Join our hands-on training!
GFAR is organizing a social media training, linked to the High Level Policy Dialogue on Investment in Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific Region – the Asia-Pacific contribution to #GCARD3. The Dialogue will be held on 7-9 December 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand
Combining theory and practice
Our training consists of two parts:
- Classroom training of one day which gives an overview of all social media tools, as used in a professional environment. We will drill in-depth into two key tools: Twitter and blogging.
- Practical training: The trainees will use their social media skill to report live from the High Level Policy Dialogue. During this social reporting exercise, our social media trainer will intensively mentor the trainees.
Our training program has proven very successful in the past: The “theoretical” part shows the participants a full spectrum of all social media tools at our disposal. It is speckled with examples how professionals, specifically in an agriculture or research environment, use each tool. For two tools, Twitter and blogging, we go into the hands-on details, readying the participants for the practical part.
During the “practical” part the trainees will use their skill set as “social reporters” from the conference. This is an intense bootcamp-type induction, specifically in the use of Twitter and blogging, as reporting tools. Our social media trainer will monitor the trainees’ output and give interactive feedback, so they “learn as they do”.
Dates, venue and program for our training in Bangkok:
Venue: Rama Gardens Hotel, Bangkok
09:00-12:00: Social Media Plethora: Overview of all tools, and their use for nonprofit causes
13:00-15:30: The art of blogging: How to write good blogposts. What makes a good blog?
15:30-17:00: The art of tweeting: How to use Twitter
17:00-18:00: Preparation of the social reporting
Practical exercise on social reporting, as part of the High Level Policy Dialogue on Investment in Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific Region
Who can participate in our training?
Our training is open to participants of the regional conferences, YPARD members, other GFAR stakeholders (including CGIAR centers and Research Programs, and their partners), as well as any agricultural researcher, student or practitioner.
Our training is free, though participants will have to fund their travel and accommodation.
GFAR will sponsor five YPARD members, as part of our ongoing youth support program. Contact YPARD for more details, check this post.
How can you register for the training?
If you are a member of YPARD, contact YPARD
All other applicants: email the GFAR Social Media Coordinator, Peter Casier via p.casier(at)cgiar.org, outlining:
- Your name and age
- Your profession and affiliation (institute, organization, university…)
- How you would like to use social media within your professional environment.
Our social media trainer:
Peter Casier originally studied graphical engineering and psychology. He has 30 years of professional experience as a trainer, software developer, IT and communications manager, scientific researcher and senior project manager. For 15 years, he managed the UN’s technical intervention team, supporting humanitarian crises across the globe.
Since 2010, Peter works as an online media consultant for many nonprofit organisations. He focuses on website development, online event management, media trainings and workshops, content generation, and online media strategy/policy development. He has been the social media project manager for several large international conferences. Peter also works as the GFAR Social Media Coordinator.
Testimonies from past trainings:
Peter brought incredible energy and drive to all the social media workshops he did with CIFOR. His enthusiasm is addictive, not only for us, the organizers, but also the participants. His fast-paced, fun, hands-on style was instrumental in creating a buzz in the social media teams – and that collective motivation was critical in reaching ever bigger audiences on social media. Peter has also brought many insights to CIFOR’s own digital strategy, especially on the social media front. He has been a great resource and guide.
Dan Cooney (Senior Manager of Communications, Center for International Forestry Research – CIFOR)
I thought I knew social media until I did one of Peter’s bootcamps! The workshops are extremely informative, hands-on, current, and so much fun!
Daisy Ouya (Communications Specialist/Science Writer, World Agroforestry Centre – ICRAF)
About the GCARD3 Regional Consultations
For planning and implementing activities to support agri-food research and innovation it is important for CGIAR and GFAR to engage with regional level actors, priorities and activities.These consultations provide an opportunity to learn about, discuss and better plan coordination with existing regional priorities and alignment processes.
In the spirit of working with partners and existing frameworks, GCARD regional consultations make use of events already being planned on a regional level.
A High Level Policy Dialogue on Investment in Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific Region is being organized by the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), in partnership with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Department of Agriculture Thailand (DOA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations-Regional Office for Asia-Pacific (FAO-RAP), Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and with the major sponsorship from the Syngenta Foundation. The Dialogue will be held at Rama Gardens Hotel, in Bangkok, Thailand on 8-9 December, 2015.
The purpose of the Dialogue is to create awareness to promote long-term investment in agricultural research and innovations for sustainable development through appropriate policies and strategies, and to catalyze policy/decision makers, re-sensitize AR4D organizations, and create an environment for increased/ improved resource allocation and policy support for agricultural research and innovations for development (ARI4D) in the Asia-Pacific region. The relevance and importance of this Dialogue is most appropriate as a GCARD3 Regional Consultation.
Pictures courtesy Sibabalwe Qongqo (social media bootcamp at #Forests2015) and Davide Piga (social media training at #AddisSFair)