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Interactive World Café

Research can have significant societal impact, but identifying such societal impact and communicating it to relevant stakeholders takes practice. To develop such skills we therefore invite current PhD students to submit abstracts linked to their ongoing PhD research projects with a particular focus on impact and present these during an interactive World Café session at DevRes 2024 in Lund.

What to include in the Abstract for the Interactive World Café (300-350 words):  

  1. Describe briefly what your PhD research topic is and how it links to Agenda 2030.  
  2. Describe where (e.g. local, regional, national, or international) your research could have societal impact and who (society at large, organizations, groups, or individuals) could be affected by these changes.  
  3. Describe what type of societal impact (e.g. changes in policies, practices, attitudes, behaviors, competence and understanding) your research could contribute to changing.
  4. Describe the activities you have/will undertake(n) as part of your research that you deem important for reaching societal impact (e.g. collaboration with partners from the public, private and civil society sector and/or citizens through workshops, or training sessions).  
  5. Describe what evidence (can be both quantitative indicators and measurements but also qualitative narratives from collaborative partners, practitioners, policy makers etc.) you can use to make the connection between your research and societal impact plausible for communicating about it to relevant stakeholders.
  6. Describe how you could communicate your societal impacts to relevant stakeholders.  


Presenting about your PhD research during the Interactive World Café session at DevRes 2024

If your PhD research project is selected to be part of the World Café the following is what you can expect to take place during the scheduled 60-minute session:  

  • 15-20 round tables with room for 5-8 discussants around it are scattered around the venue. Each table is sign-posted with one of the 17 SDGs, contains a large sheet of paper and markers on top and is accompanied by a volunteering master student who is responsible for taking notes and illustrating key points discussed.  
  • Each presenting PhD student will be pre-assigned one of the 15-20 round tables.  
  • Conference participants individually choose to join one of the available tables for the first ‘discussion round’ out of three once they enter the venue.  
  • A whistle blows and the first ‘discussion round’ commences.  
    Each round consists of three activities totalling 20 minutes:  
     1.  A brief (5 minute) research project synopsis by the presenting PhD student including identification of what societal impact their research could have.  
    2.  A brief (5 minute) feedback session from joined table participants
    3.  A short (10 minute) table discussion about how the identified societal impact can be communicated to relevant stakeholders and written notes and/or illustrations of these suggestions on the supplied table sheet of paper  
  • When the first round is up the whistle blows and café participants move to another table.  
  • The second round commences, and the three activities begin anew for another 20 minutes.  
  • When the second round is up the whistle blows and café participants move to yet another table.  
  • The third round commences, and the three activities begin anew for a final 20 minutes. ​


Freepik, Gstudio

What is an Interactive World Café?

The World Café method is designed to create a safe, welcoming environment in which to intentionally connect multiple ideas and perspectives on a topic by engaging participants in several rounds of small-group conversations.