What do you get when 40 (young) people from all over Europe get behind a project as ambassadors? A strong network. From this network, which grew out of the Horizon 2020-funded COCOREADO project, a follow-up project is currently growing, with a group of 12 ambassadors looking together at how to carry on the outcomes of the COCOREADO project.
The mission of this group is to create a vibrant and diverse network of young, passionate food ambassadors across Europe and develop a dynamic, knowledge-driven ecosystem to reduce the gap between producers and consumers. To accelerate the collaboration and help the different ambassadors discover their role in the network, the ambassadors came together for an I2Connect workshop guided by Lisa Van den Bossche and Rani Van Gompel from ILVO.
During the workshop, they used two tools called “Triangle of Co-Creation” and “Network Analysis”, where especially the first one was an eye-opener. Animated discussion created an intense dynamic in the group where each ambassador found his or her role within the network. Because the different roles were clearly defined within the tool, an openness was created in which several ambassadors also dared to admit their own lesser sides.
In the network analysis, moving from vague descriptions to concrete names helped. If each ambassador forms an island on his or her own, including people and competences, the network forms the bridges connecting all the islands. Common acquaintances or contacts were thus given a place within the network as connecting factors.
Although the tools sometimes seemed like a game, they strengthened the bond between the ambassadors. Repeating such a workshop regularly (1-2 times a year) is certainly not nonsensical.
Article made by Antoon Vanderstraeten, COCOREADO Ambassador