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Echoes from the 2020 Directors Forum

 Stephane Berghmans and Steven Van Belleghem at the 2020 Ecsite Directors Forum, 29-30 October - It's ONline

A glimpse of the Ecsite Directors Forum - 2020 online edition

Each autumn, Directors and Senior Managers of Full Ecsite members gather for the Ecsite Directors Forum, a mix of strategic talks, peer learning and networking. With the pandemic preventing Directors from meeting face-to-face, Technopolis, the Flemish Science Centre stepped forward to host this high profile event online. 79 participants logged onto Technopolis’ high quality online platform for the two-day event on 29 and 30 October. The theme was: "It’s ONline" and the event focused on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition.

The event was opened on Thursday afternoon with a rousing keynote address from Steven van Belleghem, motivational speaker and founder of Nexxworks. His speech focused on what the customer experience will and should be like due to the digital transition. Steven told participants that for “customers, life should be easier than ever before. What's scarce right now in the world? Time, money and energy. How can you give time, money and energy to your audiences?”

This was followed by the presentation of the 2020 Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards (which you can watch online). This year, Maya Halevy (Director of Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem, Israel) won the Beacon of the Year Award for personal embodiment of our network’s values and for her impact within the science engagement field.

There were two winners for this year's Sustainable Success Award: Copernicus Science Centre (Warsaw, Poland) for their Young Explorers Clubs - a self-sustaining project which aims to enable children and young adults to develop collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving skills by getting to know the world better through hands-on scientific experiments, and IMAGINARY (Berlin, Germany), a non-profit organisation who promote and focus on celebrating mathematics and on engaging the general public to experience mathematics with their project IMAGINARY exhibition.

Then it was time for six parallel breakout sessions relating to digital transition that focused on topics ranging from motivating and training staff to balancing physical and digital offers.

Despite being an online event, it was still possible to end the day with an apero- as Technopolis CEO Stephane Berghmans showed us how to make some refreshments.

The following day began with a Q&A session with yesterday’s keynote speaker, Steven Van Belleghem which saw keen interest from our members.

Our President Herbert Muender, Executive Director Catherine Franche and strategist Anatal Perlin then outlined steps towards a new strategy for Ecsite over the coming years before taking some questions with our members.

The event then concluded with a panel discussion on digital impact and all that we had learned over the two days followed by a chance for participants to continue the discussions in parallel discussions.

Want to know more? Check out the programme, browse some pictures and get a glimpse of social media activity on Twitter.

Save the date: the next edition will be taking place in Manchester (United Kingdom) on 3-5 November 2021. Stay tuned for details.

Director's forum