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The GÉANT Community Programme Part 1: added value and impact

The GEANT Community Programme: Added Value and Impact

“I have learned, and continue to learn, so much from my international colleagues, and these insights inform and enrich the work I do.”

A member of the GÉANT Community Programme (GCP) summarises in just one sentence what it means to be part of the Community, join the programme’s activities and network with like-minded peers all around the world.

2021 was once again a difficult year, dominated – like the previous one – by the COVID19 pandemic. This meant that all Community’s meetings, workshops and infoshares were moved online. Despite the challenges of different time zones and the overall uncertainty of working from home, the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Task Forces (TFs) of the GCP did not lose the sense of community and support that drive their mission and daily activities.

The GCP is a voluntary initiative in which experts from various public and private sectors get together and share information and best practices and discuss and develop innovative ideas that serve research and education. So, you might be asking: what motivates people to join on a voluntary basis and invest their personal time out of their busy schedules into these meetings and projects?

In preparation for a virtual infoshare, which was hosted on 7 December 2021, a series of testimonials was collected to hear from the members themselves what they value the most from joining the programme and what impact it has on their professional life.

The collected quotes highlight that the feeling of community is most appreciated and valued by the programme’s members. National Research and Education networks (NRENs), user organisations, research institutions, commercial and industrial sectors from all around the world come together to discover common issues and join forces to find innovative solutions. The GCP, in fact, has a collaboration-oriented mission and vision, whereby it aims at providing optimal conditions and dynamics for the R&E networking communities to enable participation and inclusion. Participants also highlighted that the specialised groups are open environments where business ideas can be bounced around and constructive feedback is sought and welcomed.

“Group meetings are where problems and solutions meet. Where questions are asked and answered. And where both best and worst practices are exchanged.”

“It is so enlightening to see how other people are tackling their challenges. Sharing the experiences we have within our NRENs and discussing – it is a real treasure trove of knowledge and ideas!”

The sense of community and support and all the international networking opportunities are paired with the possibility of continuous learning via peer-review. a better understanding of technology trends, and practical tips from fruitful discussions and different points of view that members then apply locally to their own work on both a strategic and practical level. Participants value hearing about different strategic approaches to a problem they might have in common. It is not rare, in fact, that by raising to the attention of the group a certain NREN-specific challenge, participants find out they share similar circumstances and therefore join forces to find a suitable solution to the problem.

For more information about the Community Programme, its activities and current thematic areas, visit the new website: https://community.geant.org/

To learn more about the activities of the SIGs and TFs and t subscribe to their mailing lists, visit the dedicated webpage: https://community.geant.org/community-programme-portfolio/thematic-areas/

This post is part of a series aiming to explain and give examples of what it means to be part of the Community Programme. Stay tuned to read the upcoming blogs.

We would like to thank all the GCP members who shared their thoughts about the added value and impact of their participation.