Two days of intensive kick-off meetings completed! The overall objective of the meetings was to get the project team on the same page and establish common goals.
First things first – money issues. Agnieszka Galon and Dominika Dankiewicz, both representing International Relations Office and Dominka Dankiewicz holding the position of the Institutional Erasmus + Coordinator, presented financial matters and cost analyses related to the project.
In the next step, the attendees got familiar with the functionalities and operation of the project platform. The platform was created by Michał Niewiadomski, PhD from the Department of Economics and Food Economy, who is now responsible for its day-to-day management. The platform provides space for internal communication between partners but also enables partners to share project deliverables, knowledge and news in the area of bioeconomy together with modern teaching methods. The content published on the website is meant to give access to the knowledge created by research teams from the University of La Laguna (Spain), The Polytechnic Institute of Beja (Portugal), Mendel University in Brno (Czech Republic), M-Powered Projects Limited (Ireland) and the University of Agriculture (Krakow).
The scope of the project is to develop teaching methodology based on design thinking and co-creation principles adapted to the needs of university education and subsequently create and implement a test version of an international course in bioeconomy. For that purpose, two key workers from M-Powered Limited specializing in design thinking, Katarzyna Piecuch and Marzena Wieczorek, laid out a chronological timeline that would act as a roadmap for the project including milestones, tasks and due dates.
The second day of the meetings comprised lively discussions with lots of constructive criticism. The discussions concerned the selection of stakeholders and creation of methodological manual sketch. Other topics included AHP methodology which is to be implemented for the interpretation of survey results. On top of that, a questionnaire addressed to three groups of respondents: students, academics and business partners was shown. One of the project tasks is to develop a methodological manual sketch. The manual will be entitled Agile teaching methodology manual and, as established, it will consist of five chapters: Agile teaching tools and methods, Motivation, Assessment and evaluation of students’ work, Work organization, Case studies review. The project team divided the work on the textbook among themselves and assigned tasks to the attendees.
During the meeting, M-Powered Limited carried out a risk analysis study. Each of the attendees pointed out risks that could occur in the process of project implementation. Among risk factors mentioned were: not being able to meet deadlines on the project timeline, going over the budget, resignation by one member or entire team from the project, war, pandemic, internal conflicts among members of the project or administrative issues. The risk factors were grouped and risk mitigation strategy combined with steps needed to be taken were discussed.
The kick-off meetings abounded in conversations, discussions, moderated games and concluded with establishing a good rapport and working relations between partners. It set the right tone for future cooperation and left the partners highly motivated to work on the next steps and complete assigned tasks. We are looking forward to meeting again in a couple of months in Brno.