The last meetup for foreign researchers living and working in the Czech Republic in 2020 – Christmas Welcome Office Researchers Meetup – took place on 15 December via online due to the epidemiological situation. This event closed the series of 4 meetups which SIC Welcome Office organised during the last year of 2020. This meetup also proved that the recently created Welcome Office community prefers to meet face-to-face.
The Welcome Office program was based on the researchers’ preferences and feedback provided through the questionnaire after the last in-person meetup in September 2020. The session started with a presentation of projects that are implemented or prepared by Central Bohemian Innovation Center and included the cooperation or support activities for researchers, such as the Mobility Programme of Excellence in Research, Innovation and Technology, Social Entrepreneurship, Innovation vouchers etc. The next part of the agenda was dedicated to the Christmas traditions in the Czech Republic, accompanied by pictures and animations, which gave rise to an interesting discussion about Christmas habits in different parts of the world among participating researchers.
The interactive part of the event included a common reflection about the ideal future metrics to measure progress in the world after the pandemic. The researchers used a shared board from the MIRO application to write down their thoughts. Some of the ideas on how the future metrics should look concerned the protection of the environment, recycling rate or education and literacy in the most vulnerable parts of the world. The following activities included a quiz, brainstorming and also gave the participants the possibility to provide their feedback and rating of the meetups with the help of Slido platform. The whole event was moderated and guided by Martina Vycudilíková, Project Manager responsible for the Welcome Office, and Athziri Moreno Romo, International Relations Manager.
“According to the testimony of participants, some of the researchers have made new friendships in this community and meet each other also outside of these events that we organise, which means that the Welcome Office community serves its purpose and it is great. This time the participation was lower than usual which means that researchers definitely prefer to meet face-to-face. We hope that we will be allowed to organise the next in-person meeting soon in 2021”, says Martina Vycudilíková.
Welcome Office 2020 in figures: