Rising energy prices, climate change, social inequality, ... Daily, we are faced with major challenges. Fortunately, these challenges are accompanied by new opportunities. More and more researchers are working on the major social issues of today and are contributing to a more sustainable and data-driven society. The researchers of our centre of expertise Public Impact of KdG University of Applied Sciences and Arts, are also working on this complex puzzle. How do we do it? And even more importantly: how can we work together?
In our centre of expertise, we dream of impactful encounters. Socially and economically impactful encounters between people in lively, authentic and smart cities. Always focused on and with respect for our planet. Our core business is applied scientific research. All our research results and insights are always converted into services that are useful to the professional field.
Researchers keep their finger on the pulse
Researchers working at a centre of expertise are so much more than just researchers. Besides setting up and conducting research, many also teach. But above all, they are true trend watchers. They keep an eye on what is going on in society. They closely follow the work of fellow researchers and they constantly learn about the topics on which the centre of expertise is working on.
Through this constant search, close contact with the professional field, and an open mind: they see the gaps in the field. On which topics is in-depth research needed? Which aspects are still underexposed? Some of these questions are converted into research questions. Next, the researchers look for funds to carry out that research. They can acquire these funds by submitting project applications to grant channels. If such a project application is approved, our researchers are ready to party: more pieces of the puzzle can be put in place!
Researchers stand with both feet in reality
Equally, centres of expertise carry out research directly and on behalf of a professional player. Then, too, it is party time. Our centre of expertise is in close contact with organisations and entrepreneurs who (want to) work on topics such as impactful encounters and vibrant cities, safety and crowd management, sustainable businesses and inclusive organisations. Such close cooperation with the professional field is key. Making our work as relevant as possible to them and addressing their questions and needs: that is what we aim for. A special feature of applied scientific research is that it is always conducted for the purpose of producing a concrete end product that will actually benefit the professional field. These end products can take many forms within our centre of expertise:
On a regular basis, we organise trainings and courses for professionals. We are constantly looking for even better ways to translate our insights into workshops, master classes, webinars, inspiration sessions, ... Not only do we share our knowledge and insights, we also often invite experts with a specific specialisation to complement our expertise. In our Event Master Classes, for example, we organise roundtable discussions, where participants can debate with and learn from each other.
We share our expertise not only with (future) professionals in the various meeting sectors, but also with policymakers and the general public. Communication is important to us. On the Explore!-page of our website, we regularly post blogs about our projects, research results and our centre of expertise. This blog is one of them.
Often, we translate our research projects into free online tools. We already developed a tool and website for organisations that want to be more inclusive. We also developed a toolkit for event professionals to help them predict, measure and improve the impact of their events. The tools help organisers and policymakers to organise or commission events with the greatest possible local impact: How do you best count the number of people attending your event? What is the societal and economic impact of the event on the city or municipality where it is organised? Who are the visitors of the different types of public events.
Research on demand
Research on demand and tailored to a player in our field? We do that too. Sometimes a challenge or situation is so specific that it requires customisation. For example: a local authority wants to map out specific activities in its city and optimise them in terms of safety or sustainability. Or an organiser wants to better attune the event to the needs of the visitors and inhabitants of the city.
Thanks to our research work, we meet more and more people and together build vibrant, authentic and smart cities full of events, culture and tourism. We dream of an urban social space where impactful encounters drive societal, economic and environmental progress.
Do you share our dream? Are you interested in working as a researcher at our centre of expertise? We are always looking for enthusiastic and passionate colleagues to strengthen our team. Or would you like to work with us as an expert ora partner in our Academy or in a research project?