At the end of last summer, we promised to share with you the final report prepared by service design agency Snook about the future of Beltane. Here it is!
…sort of. The beauty of what Snook left us with is that it is a toolkit that we (or whoever and whatever Beltane becomes) can use to keep reflecting on and refining how we work. So you’ll see some semi-complete parts of this report, and some suggestions rather than firm proposals.
And so what does this mean for the future of the Beltane Public Engagement Network? Right now, some of Edinburgh’s most senior university officials are figuring this out, based on proposals that were, in turn, based on Snook’s findings. We promise that as soon as we know what the final picture looks like, we will let you know!
For now, it is clear that Edinburgh’s universities are becoming ever more committed to engaging with the wider world, and have derived value from formally working in partnership to do so since 2008. It’s also clear that a lot has changed over the last decade: there is now more local support for public engagement at each of our partner universities (a major culture change win!) and, arguably, a growing interest in a wider spectrum of engagement activity (e.g. engaged teaching, community engagement) that has a lot in common with the Beltane project’s original aims, but which is also clearly about more than engaging members of the public with research alone.
So for now, we have to ask for your patience once again! But we’re confident that this means it’s more likely that the end result will be the best possible fit for what’s needed, both now and in the medium-term.