Mapping my Top 10 Events and Knowledge Co-Creation and Sharing interactions in the period 1999-2023

May 10, 2023 Leave a comment

Attending and organising knowledge co-creation & sharing events (e.g. workshops, focus groups, citizen/expert panels, conferences, seminars, symposia, roundtables, matchmaking & coaching meetings) requires time and energy

In the last 20+ years I’ve been involved in 200+ such events in 3️⃣9️⃣ countries where I had the pleasure to interact with 8000+ people from 7️⃣6️⃣ countries. After such stocktaking I thought of sharing my Top 10 choices in terms of excellence (organisation- & content-wise) and impact (i.e. concrete spillovers & networking power). Given the large variety of events, I focused on those that mobilised over 100 people, including international experts.

Here are my Top 5 takeaways for the future:

  1. Be selective and know why to attend an event.
  2. Be assertive when choosing people to interact with.
  3. Be ready to engage in follow up discussions on opportunities.
  4. Be strategic by preparing yourself with pre-arranged side meetings.
  5. Be patient as some positive spillovers may emerge several years later.

Here are my Top 10 events:

✅ 2002 – Wallonia, Belgium: Symposium on Territorial Foresight as a Tool of Governance. Organised for the Présidence du Government Wallon by the Institut Destrée. This event was extremely well organised (both structure- and content-wise) with several roundtable discussions about the importance of regional foresight by carefully selected experts openly sharing best practices based on ongoing and recently completed foresight projects. I had the pleasure to contribute to the session on experts’ testimonies and regional foresight practices facilitated by Jordi Serra del Pino.  

✅ 2004 – Seville, Spain: EU-US Scientific Seminar on New Technology Foresight, Forecasting & Assessment Methods. Organised and hosted by the European Commission Directorate-General Joint Research Centre IPTS, with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). This event offered a wide range of inspiring insights and approaches to Future-oriented technology Analyses (TFA) from EU vs US, as well as public vs private perspectives, including lively debates on future trajectories. Proceedings of the seminar carefully edited by Fabiana Scapolo can only be described as “old but gold!”, thus worth reviewing if you are entering into the foresight or futures research field.

✅ 2008 – Cali, Colombia: International Forum on Innovation, Science and Technology Foresight. Organised for Colciencias by Javier Medina from the Universidad del Valle (CO), in close collaboration with The University of Manchester Manchester. The event brought an international expert panel to share lessons on how to better align foresight with the STI implementation environment by: (1) promoting key values in society and the STI system; (2) improving the generation of knowledge and R&l; (3) interacting with national and regional STI systems; (4) adapting and reacting to changes in the STI system; (5) promoting STI absorption and competitiveness; (6) consolidating infrastructures and information systems; (7) increasing and strengthening STI capacities; (8) fostering research on strategic sectors; and (9) fostering internationalisation of STI.

✅ 2010 – Vienna, Austria: EFP Conference on Foresight and Forward-Looking Activities – Exploring New European Perspectives. Organised by the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH for the European Commission funded European Foresight Platform (EFP) project. The event gathered over 100 practitioners engaged in ‘World Cafe’ style discussions sessions around several topics concerning the future of foresight, addressing questions such as: (1) How should foresight evolve to better respond to policy making needs?; (2) How could quantitative and qualitative methods be combined to support forward looking decision making?; (3) How to ensure continuity and future value of the EFP to support policy making?; (4) How to use surprising and bewildering events to support foresight, horizon scanning and forward looking policy making?; and (5) How can we bring foresight into media and media into foresight? All very much relevant questions that still deserve plenty of attention today. 

✅ 2011 – Brussels, Belgium: iKnow Conference in Taming the Wild and Listening to the Weak: Towards a Strategic Issue Management System for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Organised by the Manchester Institute Of Innovation Research (MIOIR) of the University of Manchester for the European Commission funded iKnow project. This event presented new methods, frameworks, tools and practical guides to better identify, assess and manage wild cards and related weak signals. The depth and breadth of the discussions, as well as the target audience, including supranational organisations and agencies (e.g. EFSA, ENISA, OSHA, OECD, and UN bodies); as well as national and subnational research, policy and industry players made the event particularly relevant for policy shapers, risk analysis, strategic planners, and the foresight and horizon scanning communities. The event was structured around 5 interconnected building blocks: (1) Informing and shaping futures research and innovation; (2) Knowledge sharing; (3) Networking; (4) Optimising research and collaboration agendas; and (5) Working with Grand Challenges and interdisciplinary agendas.

✅ 2013 – London, UK: CfWI Annual Conference on Working together to deliver the workforce of the future. Organised for the Department of Health and Social Care by the Centre for Workforce and Intelligence (#CfWI). The event mobilised 250+ stakeholders representing most key players in the UK healthcare, social care and public health systems, including: National Health Service (NHS), Health Education England (HEE), Care Quality Commission (CQQ), Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), Skills for Care, Skills for Health, Learn to Care, Allied Health Enterprise Development Centre and dozens of workforce planners and health practitioners working together to discover new horizons and explore workforce challenges facing health and social care. During the event the CfWI Horizon Scanning Hub and sdiPad App were launched in order to promote bottom-up mapping and discussions about workforce and future planning topics, articles and ideas considering plausible scenarios and assessing their workforce implications.

✅ 2014 – Brussels, Belgium: #VERA Final Conference: Forward Visions on the European Research Area. Organised for the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI (Fraunhofer ISI) for the EC Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. The event offered insights relevant for all science, technology and innovation (STI) policy makers, and provided an excellent platform supporting structured debates about the future of the European Research Area (ERA) and the political and societal priorities underpinning its evolution. The event helped to better position 9 ERA dimensions that have not been captured in the ERA discourse so far, but which deserve more policy attention and integration into the evolving dimensions of the European R&I landscape, namely: (1) Boosting research and innovation synergies; (2) Strengthening the global influence of ERA; (3) Promoting smart R&I evaluation; (4) Improving the governance of the EU R&I system; (5) Fostering relevant science-society engagement; (6) Developing attractive and impactful research careers; (7) Supporting knowledge co-creation and sharing; (8) Achieving gender equality and social inclusion in R&I; and (9) Reinforcing ERA regional and local outreach.

✅ 2018 – Santiago, Chile: ECLAC International Seminar on Planning for Development with a Vision of the Future. Organised by the Economic and Social Planning Institute of Latin America and the Caribbean (ILPES) for ECLAC. The event mobilised 180 delegates from 15 countries, including researchers, scholars, experts, civil servants and public administration authorities to present and discuss research studies, cases and experiences related to the following thematic areas: (1) Foresight for development; (2) Territorial development; (3) Planning: Management of planning systems for development, experiences of synergies between planning and budgeting, participatory planning and/or with a focus on gender issues; and (4) Building public leadership competences for development.

✅ 2018 – Turin, Italy: ETF Conference on Skills for the Future: Managing transition. Organised by the European Training Foundation (ETF) and attended by over 350 professionals from 50 countries. The event helped to promote a more structured policy debate on future prospects of the impacts of eight global trends in ETF Regions (Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership, Mediterranean and Central Asia), namely: (1) Globalisation; (2) Demographics changes and ageing; (3) Migration, mobility and brain-drain; (4) Digitalisation, artificial intelligence and automation; (5) Climate change and diminishing natural resources; (6) FDIs and offshoring threatened by automation; (7) Youth and women unemployment; and (8) Growing inequality and political instability.

✅ 2022 – Brussels, Belgium: INESC High Level Conference on Science-based Innovation for the Green and Digital Transitions organised by INESC Brussels HUB to promote multi-stakeholder discussions on the role of the wide diversity of research and technology infrastructures in supporting fully functional, competitive, state-of-the-art and disruptive R&I ecosystems; as well as the funding of the full R&I cycle and its impact on cohesion and competitiveness. The event mobilised over 100 high-level experts to share insights and forward-looking views about: (1) Science-based innovation; (2) Research and Innovation Support Infrastructures: An Ecosystem Approach; (3) Skills and capacity building for technology development and innovation; and (4) the Funding science-based innovation: Bridging knowledge production and market uptake. In addition to key representatives from all 5 INESC institutes, the conference included keynote speakers from the EC DG RTD; United Nations Regional Information Centre; UAS4Europe; the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation; the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport; EURASHE; the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal; the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the EU, among others.

Rafael Popper’s Knowledge Co-Creation and Sharing interactions in the period 1999-2023

Stocktaking on my international outreach since year 2000

April 28, 2023 Leave a comment

As my birthday month is approaching I always like to do some kind of stocktaking and reflecting on my past performance, achievements, and failures too (these always carry the most important lessons).  

This time I tracked and codified “all” my working trips, courses, workshops, conferences, and the people I have interacted with along the way. Not an easy task. Took a full week and I don’t think I have captured everything and everyone, but at least all major events should be covered. Keeping track of my activities on Social Media made this daunting task a lot easier. I just wish I would have started doing so a bit earlier. 

Here is a little visual summary of the very long and boring excel file. In the next weeks I am planning to look at the data from different perspectives in order to:

✅ Identify my next goals & opportunities 
✅ Recognise my international outreach 
✅ See areas where I could do better 
✅ Ask myself what I have learned
✅ Rate my well-being 😅

In a nutshell, these are the overall figures behind this map…

1️⃣1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣➕Visits to this blog!
1️⃣2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣➕Professionals inspired via events
3️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣➕Citations 👉 See Google Scholar
2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣➕People trained via executive education
3️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ ➕Events organised since year 1999
2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣➕ Publications (incl. reports/briefs) 
1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣➕ Countries influenced 
5️⃣0️⃣➕Countries visited for work
7️⃣0️⃣➕Research & innovation projects led
7️⃣ Knowledge platforms developed
5️⃣ Start-up companies created (3 failed)
1️⃣ Award-winning research centre founded

Most common types of activities:

Most common types of activities:
7️⃣0️⃣➕ Executive education and trainings
7️⃣0️⃣➕ Conferences and policy events
6️⃣0️⃣➕ Outreach and IT developments
6️⃣0️⃣➕ Foresight and co-creation events  
5️⃣0️⃣➕ Matchmaking and coaching events
7️⃣ Postgraduate courses taught
4️⃣ Children co-created and raised 👦👦👦👧
1️⃣ Marriage sustained and nurtured ❤️
➕ Countless colleagues and friends 🤝

Here are the Top 5 countries I’ve worked with in the last 25 years:

🇬🇧 United Kingdom 
🇧🇪 Belgium (ie. European Commission 🇪🇺) 
🇫🇮 Finland 
🇵🇱 Poland 
🇩🇪 Germany 

To get the big picture, check out the map 🗺️ #FuturesThinkingApplied

Ps. Numbers in the map reflect individual experts I have interacted with in f2f or virtual settings. Figures do not make justice as many conferences and online events included hundreds of participants, which are not captured in my records.

Towards a Single Knowledge Transfer (KT) Strategy for the Łukasiewicz Research Network

September 26, 2022 Leave a comment

Interested in Knowledge Transfer best practices? If so, on Friday September 2nd, a hybrid conference with more than 200 hundred participants from variety of public and private institutions took place at #Łukasiewicz in Warsaw. Conference was a final event of a European Commission funded project titled ‘Single Knowledge Transfer Strategy for Łukasiewicz Research Network’. 

The project made an in-depth analysis of best practices, standard operating procedures and tools in the area of knowledge transfer in leading European research and technology organisations (RTOs), to ultimately develop a strategy based on 3 pillars: 

1) #KnowledgeValorisation (commercialisation of IP & spin-off creation);
2) #KnowledgeCoCreation (collaborative research & contract research); 
3) #KnowledgeSharing (networking / events & professional development).  

It was a perfect moment to launch a report ‘Towards a Single Knowledge Transfer (KT) Strategy for the Łukasiewicz Research Network’. The report is a result of a two-year co-creation process led by VTTFraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISIAARC Ltd and EPRD Ltd., in close collaboration with all institutes of Łukasiewicz, including representatives from the Commercialization Department and several experts from the Łukasiewicz – Centre for Foresight and Internationalization #CFI at Łukasiewicz – ORGMASZ.

The strategy, as well as the accompanying Implementation Plan, were discussed in detail during the conference. The panels included international experts, as well as Polish representatives from the Polish Ministry of Edutacion and Science (Ministerstwo Edukacji i Nauki), FNP Foundation for Polish Science, National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR – Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju), Polish Association of Centers for Technology Transfer (PACTT – Porozumienie Akademickich Centrów Transferu Technologii) and the Polish Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecom. / Krajowa Izba Elektroniki I Telekomunikacji (KIGEIT).


September 17, 2022 Leave a comment

At the Centre for Foresight and Internationalisation #CFI of the Łukasiewicz Research Network we are strengthening and expanding our team!

Join the CFI Team

We would like to encourage you and your network of colleagues to consider joining us in any of the following roles:

✅ Area Leader in Responsible Research and Innovation Futures

✅ Chief Specialist / Research Professor in Health Futures

✅ Chief Specialist / Research Professor in Clean and Smart Mobility Futures

The Centre for #Foresight and #Internationalisation #CFI aims to empower all the Łukasiewicz Research Network institutes by boosting collaborative research, contract research, and commercialisation of science, thus accelerating the internationalisation of Polish science and acting as a catalyser for research grant applications.🇵🇱

We help to better connect people in science, business and society to explore and exploit research and innovation opportunities and provide sustainable responses to grand challenges.

#CFI activities focus on #foresight and #internationalisation with a broad scope including knowledge valorisation, knowledge co-creation and knowledge sharing in the fields of #science#technology#innovation#management#sustainability and futures research.


Let’s meet at the Łukasiewicz Innovatorium

May 27, 2022 Leave a comment

📣📣📣 On June 9th the second edition of the Łukasiewicz Innovatorium kicks off.

Join us in Poznań at the biggest event dedicated to research and development (R&D) sector in Poland. 🇵🇱

Build partnerships for your R&D projects, meet the best engineers and find out how to get funding for innovative technologies.

Register at

See you in Poznań!

Join us at the Łukasiewicz Innovatorium 2022

May 25, 2022 Leave a comment

📣 Join the #Łukasiewicz #Innovatorium – The largest R&D event in #Poland 🇵🇱 on June 9th at the Poznań Congress Centre. 

To register please go to the following webpage:

✅ You will acquire business and institutional partners for R&D projects.

✅ You will find financing for technologies at an early stage of development.

✅ You will meet the best Polish scientists and engineers.

At Łukasiewicz we combine #science with #business. At the Innovatorium we are organising several thematic #matchmaking sessions which provide an excellent opportunity to build project consortia aimed to promote the highest quality #research and #technology development projects.

Best wishes for 2022

January 2, 2022 Leave a comment

The Łukasiewicz – Centre for Foresight and Internationalisation (CFI) in Poland 🇵🇱 would like to send best wishes to everyone in 2022! 👍

100K+ visitors from 169 countries and territories

October 4, 2021 Leave a comment

(1) United Kingdom, United States, Finland, Germany, Peru, Colombia, Canada, Russia, Spain, Brazil, (11) Poland, South Korea, Australia, France, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, (21) Portugal, India, Malaysia, Switzerland, Thailand, Chile, Greece, United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Singapore, (31) South Africa, Uruguay, Taiwan, Sweden, Turkey, New Zealand, Malta, Argentina, Philippines, Denmark, (41) Ukraine, Venezuela, Romania, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Hong Kong SAR China, Israel, Indonesia, Georgia, (51) Norway, European Union, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Latvia, Costa Rica, Croatia, China, (61) Tunisia, Ecuador, Slovenia, Nigeria, Jordan, Slovakia, Vietnam, Kenya, Trinidad & Tobago, Serbia, (71) Panama, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Luxembourg, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Suriname, Morocco, Brunei, Belarus, (81) Oman, Palestinian Territories, Cyprus, Iran, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Nepal, Bolivia, Cuba, Bangladesh, Namibia, (91) Ghana, Sudan, Tanzania, Lebanon, Honduras, Qatar, Guatemala, Iraq, Kuwait, Mauritius, (101) Macedonia, Botswana, Libya, Iceland, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Paraguay, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Syria, (111) El Salvador, Barbados, Jamaica, Malawi, Nicaragua, Azerbaijan, Puerto Rico, Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar (Burma), Moldova, (121) Bahrain, Madagascar, Isle of Man, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Congo – Kinshasa, Uzbekistan, Antigua & Barbuda, Montenegro, Senegal, (131) Armenia, Zambia, Curaçao, Benin, Uganda, Macau SAR China, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, Fiji, Réunion, (141) Tokelau, Mongolia, American Samoa, Burkina Faso, Maldives, Guadeloupe, Lesotho, Angola, Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, (151) New Caledonia, Kyrgyzstan, Belize, Monaco, Albania, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Cayman Islands, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, (161) Gambia, Faroe Islands, Niger, Laos, Gibraltar, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Gabon, Guyana.

MIOIR and Futures Diamond launch new executive education course on Foresight Methods

August 18, 2021 Leave a comment

Online Course on Foresight Methods

Course overview
  • Next date: 02 – 04 November 2021, 12.00pm-4.00pm (GMT)
  • Delivered by: Dr Rafael Popper and Dr Guillermo Velasco
  • Teaching: Lectures, interactive group exercises, case studies.
  • Location: Virtual Course, Zoom.
  • View our 2021 course brochure.

We are taking a new methodology and methods-based approach to short executive courses to provide agile and rapid training on common methodologies and methods used in foresight and futures studies.

Our method-based approach will be beneficial for anyone interested in designing, implementing, coordinating, managing or evaluating (both ex-ante and ex-post) processes related to foresight projects or the application of specific foresight methods. 

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research and Futures Diamond are launching a new set of online courses focused on foresight ‘methods’.

The course is structured around six lectures and three interactive sessions delivered in a 3-half day programme (including optional individual and group practical exercises).

Reserve Your Place

To book your place, please contact the MIOIR manager Deborah Cox.

Course Programme

Half-day 1

Tuesday, 02 November

  • Session 1: Foresight Methodology and the Foresight Diamond
  • Session 2: How are foresight methods selected?
  • Practical: Interactive group session for Q&A and practical discussions
Half-day 2

Wednesday, 03 November

  • Session 3: Cross-Impact and Critical Issues Analysis
  • Session 4: Exploratory and Normative Delphi Surveys
  • Practical: Interactive group session for Q&A and practical discussions
Half-day 3

Thursday, 04 November

  • Session 5: Scenarios, Wild Cards and Weak Signals Analysis
  • Session 6: Robust Advice Framing and Action Roadmapping
  • Practical: Interactive group session for Q&A and practical discussion

About me in 5 slides

June 3, 2021 Leave a comment