Grey skies, an icy lake, and the remnants of a snow covered ground. Welcome to Stockholm, Sweden in February; the location of the final SPACES team meeting, for many, a world away in both distance and temperature. Besides that fact that it was cold and dreary outside, the team made the best of it and had a successful and productive meeting.
The full team meeting lasted three days, while there were two days either side of the team meeting to work on specific publications in regards to fisheries, mangroves, and tourism. There were 27 SPACES team members present representing six different countries across the globe.
The final team meeting had three core objectives. Firstly to facilitate the production of academic outputs by working on existing papers, improving the engagement of team members on planned publications, and identifying priorities for future analysis. Secondly to reflect on what has been learned in SPACES and to generate key insights from SPACES. Lastly to finalize strategies for impact and communication activities.
During the first day of the full team meeting, team members gave “speedtalks”,short 4 minute presentations, to provide an overview of their research, data, key findings, and active papers connected to this research. In between groups of “speedtalks”, group discussions were held on the key messages from each speedtalk.
In the afternoon, the team worked with SPACES findings that were discussed during one-to-one interviews. In a gallery-style exercise, the findings were posted around the room and the team had the opportunity walk around, read the findings, discuss them in smaller groups, and comment on the relevance and evidence of each finding. After this, the whole team discussed findings that were missing from the gallery wall and those were also added to the list of findings. Then the findings were grouped together. These would later be used on Friday in order to plan future impact products.
Thursday was spent working in smaller breakout groups. The groups worked on existing and new publications. The community dialogue teams met to plan their trips back to the communities to present SPACES findings. Sara Elfstrand, from Swedbio, joined the community dialogue planning session as well. During the planning session, the team discussed what to present and how to present this to the communities.
In the evening, the team celebrated Burns night, a celebration of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Tim Daw,a Scotsman and the SPACES PI, was keen on celebrating this evening and bringing some Scottish traditions to the meeting. He recited Burns’ Address to Haggis and introduced most of the team to the delicacy as well. Then we attempted some Scottish country dancing, which brought a lot of laughter to the group.
The following day marked the last and final day of the SPACES full team meeting. In the morning, the team discussed future research questions and future research opportunities. Jane presented the community dialogue plan to the whole team. Then the impact team presented, the strategy, the stakeholder analysis, and the policy analysis. After this, the team was split into five groups to work with the key findings from Wednesday, to develop these, and to make a plan for each finding.
In the afternoon, the team brainstormed lessons learned from the project. SPACES also invited the Stockholm Resilience Center staff to a traditional Swedish “fika,”a coffee and cake mingle. During which, Celia, William, Bernard, Salomao, and Jane presented different aspects of the project from the key findings to lessons learned to future research questions. Then there was a final wrap up discussion and the full team meeting came to a close.
The team worked tirelessly for three full days (many for several more days during the smaller meetings) with few breaks. Publication progress was made, new publication and research ideas surfaced, and impact activities gained momentum for the coming weeks. The end of the meeting was bittersweet as this is the last time the full team will be assembled, but this last chapter of SPACES is also an exciting one where impact plans are being put into action.