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Microbial Biocontrol Workshop (2023)

    I worked with Helen Rees (SRUC) and Matt Elliot (Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh) to plan and facilitate a full day, in-person stakeholder engagement workshop.

    Helen and Matt had funding from the Plant Health Centre to explore how microbial biocontrol is currently being used in Scotland and what the future might hold. Participants at the Edinburgh workshop included representatives of biocontrol companies, growers and government agencies. The workshop was about gathering information and opinions which would be used to create a report and recommendations.

    I worked with Helen and Matt to plan the day so that it included a good balance of information, discussion and other activities. We also thought through how to manage group dynamics to ensure everyone could contribute and made sure that insights would be captured for future use. I also helped Helen with practical issues like advertising the workshop and providing joining instructions for participants.

    On the day I facilitated the overall session, introducing and running the activities, and making sure things ran to time. Helen and Matt delivered the scientific content of the session. To collect individual insights we used online voting software Slido. Group contributions and discussions were captured via flip charts.

    Organiser Matt Elliot (RGBE) said “This was the second time I’d worked with Sarah to organise a stakeholder workshop. When holding workshops of this nature, it is crucial that stakeholders feel comfortable to share their experiences and that we can record everyone’s views to ensure that the resulting scientific reports are balanced and evidence based. Sarah’s meticulous planning and expert delivery ensured that everyone involved got the most out of the day.”

    I also worked with Matt to organise this online stakeholder workshop.