Monday, 9 March 2015

A new way to knowledge exchange... by Sophie Wood

Claire Shelley on her soapbox (that's an
imaginary box, no risk assessment needed)
The BGS Informatics and BGS Environmental Modelling teams are an eclectic mix of highly skilled staff from our offices in Keyworth, Edinburgh and Cardiff. To share their different talents, skills, ideas and projects they host an annual interactive team Information Workshop. Here Sophie Wood tells us more about the activities and how innovative days like this benefit everyone…


Thursday 5th Feb saw the second Informatics and Environmental Modelling Information Workshop held at Keyworth in both the conference suite and the communal William Smith Building lower ground floor. Half a day was given to finding out and learning about many of the different projects  currently ongoing within the two directorates and the event had 4 main sections.

1: a round-up and vision for the year ahead from the directors Kate Royse and Matt Harrison followed by a quick resumé from each of the team leaders with lots of interesting facts and figures about the projects and the teams themselves. Edinburgh joined us by video-link which was good to see, even though some of the transmission was lost for a few minutes due to technical difficulties. The slides from all of these presentations are available to all BGS staff via our Intranet.
    
2: the Poster Gallery with 14 posters displayed work by both Keyworth and Edinburgh staff adding interest and new focal points in the Keyworth atrium. Topics covered included Mining Hazard in Great Britain, Domesday Project, MyVolcano, G-Base, DECC data and MAREMAP to name but a few.
    
3: Soapbox style presentations including topics ranging from Data Ingestion, Data Scientists to BiG data were delivered from our version of Hyde Park’s Speakers Corner with a sparkling tree and tweeting fluffy bird dive-bombing any speaker who dared to overrun their time slot – which happened a lot but most of the bird strikes missed !
    
4: the Merry-Go-Round session was a most successful part where demo’s of 10 minutes duration were given throughout an hour and half by staff at their desks talking to groups no larger than 10 people.

The final wrap up session by Matt and Kate with questions
from the floor - not to be mistaken for the soapbox!
This year a very diverse range of projects were on show and most of the attendees lunchtime was taken up choosing which to go to out of an impressive 17.

The event was well attended with 80+ individuals and although it was devised for just the 2 directorates to learn who and what are involved in them, the lunchtime Poster Gallery viewing and Soapbox presentations were open to the whole site. Nice to see lots of staff coming to check it out.

With prizes for best Poster, Soapbox and Merry-Go-Round demo’s it was a fun way to bring the informative event to a close. Much was learnt during the day through a friendly and informal environment especially the Merry-Go-Round where in small groups around someone’s desk people felt at ease to ask questions and not be intimidated by a large conference room setting.

by Sophie

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