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EU-Canada Session 3. Enhancing Platform Impact: The Power of In-Person Connection and Diversification

This session explored at how ‘in-person’ components play a central (but often under recognized) role in complementing digital efforts by climate adaptation knowledge platforms.
Multiple Authors
KE4CAP logo


18 May, 2021

In the era of fast-paced digital engagement, in-person connections still have great power. They can play a central role in complementing digital efforts and contribute to efforts to meaningfully include and benefit under-represented and other ‘non-traditional’ communities in platforms and their networks. This session explored:
  1. The In-Person Connection: Participants discussed how ‘in-person’ components complement the virtual activities of Climate Adaptation Platforms and help enhance overall platform impact. This included highlighting Canadian examples of this in action and discussing the challenges faced.
  2. Platform Diversification – Moving out of the Echo Chamber and into the Mainstream: Participants explored how platforms (with both digital and in-person components) can play a role in deeper mainstreaming: expanding involvement outside of traditional and existing partners, to include non-traditional actors.

This event was part of the wider series of knowledge exchange events hosted by Canadian colleagues on Enhancing Connections Across Platforms.

The Final Report from this event is available to download (also on the main event page). The final report is also available in French.

The agenda, key messages and presentations from this event can be found below.


  • 10:00 – 10:10 Welcome
  • 10:10 – 10:20 In-Person Connections and Adaptation Platforms – Introduction
    • Chris Jennings, Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Platform
  • 10:20 – 10:40 In-Person Connections and Adaptation Platforms – Presentations:
    • Sanna Luhtala,, Finland: in-person, local engagement through Finland’s and Citizen Panel, and the context of multilingualism in Adaptation Platforms.
    • Prakash Bista, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP: the role of in-person components to address barriers such as community trust or access to digital participation.
  • 10:40 – 11:00 Group Discussion #1
  • 11:00 – 11:10 Diversification of Adaptation Platforms – Introduction
    • Chris Jennings, Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Platform
  • 11:10 – 11:30 Diversification of Adaptation Platforms – Presentations:
    • Dr. Robin Cox, Royal Roads University / ResiliencebyDesign Lab: deeper mainstreaming within adaptation platforms, referencing capacity-building and guidance functions as key to ‘expanding the tent’ for both non-traditional and underrepresented actors.
    • Geoff Gooley, The CSIRO Climate Science Centre, Australia: experiences around mainstreaming and the in-person connection, including relevant experiences with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • 11:30 – 11:50 Group Discussion #2
  • 11:50 Session Close

Key messages

Although digital platforms offer numerous benefits and advantages, especially in a COVID-19 reality, in person connections are still imperative for building trust, long-term connections, and engaging underrepresented and non-traditional users. The following bullets distill the best practices and advantages of in person connections shared throughout the session.

  • Co-design. Adaptation Platforms are effective tools to accelerate adaptation action, given the condition that they are inclusive, well organized, and easily accessible. This is best accomplished by co-designing and co-creating platforms.
  • Trust building. In-person meetings have a key role to play in building trust, and supporting engagement and participation from non-traditional users and underrepresented actors, in part by providing anonymous and safe discussion spaces.
  • Hybrid approach. By combining the effectivity of in-person meetings with the convenience of digital platforms, participants can engage in the way they feel most comfortable, while ensuring opportunities to support participants in engaging with the Platform.
  • Democratization of climate knowledge. Both virtual platforms and in-person meetings play a vital role in sharing more information with a broader range of users for a wider range of purposes. Platforms must decrease the technicality of climate science during communication, and structured governance must be flexible, inclusive and culturally sensitive.
  • Equity. Barriers arising from inequity and injustice must be addressed if adaptation is to be mainstreamed, which includes considerations for the ways we design and deliver our Adaptation Platforms.

Presentation: Enhancing platform impact – The in-person connection and diversifying our platforms

This presentation by the NRCAN team and delivered by Chris Jennings, highlights why in-person connections are needed and sets the stage for discussion.

View on SlideShare: KE4CAP Session 3 – Main presentation

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