D3.2 i3 Coordination and Engagement Plan

D3.2 i3 Coordination and Engagement Plan


Project Acronym I3
Grant Agreement Number 688541
Project Full Title I3 Impact Innovate Invest
Document Type Deliverable
Document & WP No. D3.2 WP3
Document Title Coordination and Engagement Plan
Partner iMinds, T6, EK, F6S
Release date 15 July 2016
Review status Action Person Date
Quality Check Shenja van der Graaf 15/07/16
Internal Review Iana Dulskaia (EK), Ilaria Lener (T6) 28/06/16
Distribution Public
Revision history
Version Date Modified by Comments
V0.1 12/05/16 Shenja van der Graaf Initial document structure, Division of Work, first draft
V0.2 25/05/16 Shenja van der Graag, iMinds First version of the Chapter 1, 2
V0.3 27/05/16 Simona De Rosa, T6 Chapter 2
V0.4 10/06/16 Simona De Rosa, T6 & Frosina Ilievska, F6S Chapter 2, 3 & 4
V0.5 17/06/16 Simona De Rosa, T6 & Frosina Ilievska, F6S Chapter 2, 3 & 4
V0.6 20/06/16 Frosina Ilievska, F6S Chapter 4
V0.7 24/06/16 Shenja van der Graaf, iMinds Chapter 1-4
V0.8 26/06/16 Shenja van der Graaf, iMinds Executive summary, conclusion
V0.9 28/06/16 Iana Dulskaia, EK, Ilaria Lener, T6 Final review
V1.0 15/07/16 Shenja van der Graaf, iMinds Final version
Statement of originality:

This deliverable contains original unpublished work except where clearly indicated otherwise. Acknowledgement of previously published material and of the work of others has been made through appropriate citation, quotation or both.

Table of Contents

List of Tables ………. – 5 –

Executive Summary ………. – 6 –

1    Introduction ………. – 8 –

2    i3 Stakeholders ………. – 10 –

2.1    ICT19 Projects and Users ………. – 11 –

2.2    Domain Experts and Academia ………. – 17 –

2.3    Entrepreneurs and Investors ………. – 17 –

2.4    Citizens ………. – 18 –

2.5    European Commission and Policy Makers ………. – 18 –

3    Engagement ………. – 19 –

3.1    Project engagement ………. – 19 –

3.1.1   Drivers and barriers of project engagement ………. – 21 –

3.2    Stakeholder engagement ………. – 24 –

3.2.1   Drivers and barriers of stakeholder engagement ………. – 26 –

4    i3 Project and Stakeholder Engagement ………. – 29 –

4.1    i3 Support Activities ………. – 41 –

4.1.1   Risk and contingency plan ………. – 44 –

4.1.2   Logging of lessons learned ………. – 45 –

Conclusion ………. – 46 –

References ………. – 47 –

Annex 1 ………. – 49 –

List of Tables

Table 1 – Overview ICT19 Projects ………. – 17 –

Table 2 – Levels of stakeholder engagement as developed by Freeman and Miles (2006). – 20 –

Table 3 – Stakeholder engagement components ………. – 26 –

Table 4 – Stakeholder engagement; points to overcome possible barriers ………. – 28 –

Table 5 – Operationalization engagement framework ………. – 30 –

Table 6 – Some i3 KPIs to guide engagement awareness ………. – 31 –

Table 7 – i3 Academy: tentative line-up ………. – 35 –

Table 8 – Communication KPIs vis-à-vis stakeholders ………. – 36 –

Table 9 – Communication channels per target category ………. – 37 –

Table 10 – User support ………. – 42 –

Table 11 – Support tools ………. – 43 –

Table 12 – Risk and contingency ………. – 45 –

Table 13 Lessons learned log ………. – 45 –

Table 14 Overview Stakeholder Engagement via Communication and Timing Plan (D6.2) – 51 –

Executive Summary

This Deliverable presents our approach to project and stakeholder engagement, thereby specifically focusing on ICT19 projects and a wider range of stakeholders in the Social Media and Convergence domain. We describe the key steps and activities that will ensure maximum engagement with the Impact, Innovate, Invest (i3) project, while our overall stakeholder engagement activities will result in a better understanding of the interest, needs and preferences of the different stakeholders that will enable i3 to fine-tune our i3 methodology and tools throughout our project lifetime.

The i3 Coordination and Engagement plan is inspired by insights from a literature review about project and stakeholder engagement underpinned by an identification of key opportunities and challenges to keep in mind. As it is our goal to support ICT19 projects and stakeholders in the Social Media and Convergence domain from making a move from research idea to business opportunities, or market launch, we have identified the following stakeholder categories that we believe can individually and mutually benefit from our supporting services:

  • Projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015. All the projects will be invited to attend i3 events and meetings both for creating a business strategy and to have the opportunity to meet possible investors
  • ICT19 Project users/stakeholders. Users or stakeholders already engaged in the ICT19 projects will be invited to participate in order to extend the audience targeted and to allow for other potential ideas to occur and developing further for the market.
  • Domain experts, academic researchers and other persons that have an expertise in the field of ICT and social media and convergence. Experts will be engaged for all events. Particularly, experts will also be involved as a relevant educators/trainers/coaches of the workshops and masterclasses to educate the audience
  • Entrepreneurs, business angels, investors, ICT professionals. This group is fundamental for the (angel) investors meetings.
  • Citizens. Thanks to a wide dissemination strategy also citizens will be informed through dedicated channels about the opportunity to take part at the events. The scope of this extended strategy is to provide also citizens (e.g, students, non-professional people) with potential business ideas the opportunity to learn how to approach the market.
  • European Commission and selected policy makers. These will be invited to all events with the aim to provide and exchange suggestions and recommendations.

Our engagement approach is combined in the so-called i3 Academy. Through this means, we engage and offer the i3 methodology and tools and our series of thematic workshops/masterclasses and investor meetings, and which together are meant to educate, support entrepreneurial activities, and coach ICT19 projects and other interested stakeholder parties in the Social Media and Convergence domain in Europe.

Against this backdrop, i3 has designed its i3 Academy in such a way that it brings together “2 worlds”. In other words, we organise several events so to address the need to help entrepreneurs and their ideas to ‘go to the market’ by creating a meeting forum where investors meet these ideas or prototypes. In doing so, i3 aims to provide for talented European entrepreneurs and researchers, a new innovative environment of coaching, mentoring and technology validation that will help entrepreneurs in their process of moving from idea to starting up their startups. Our supporting services aim therefore to support a (I) scaling up business viability (2) scaling up technical feasibility (3) scaling up investor attraction (4) an European Acceleration Programme and (6) stimulating community discussion and idea development through a crowd promotion platform (7) launch and coordinate a policy dialogue in line with ICT19 objectives.

Against this backdrop, our engagement plan will draw on meeting our i3 objectives vis-à-vis targeting our key stakeholder groups on systematic basis guided by the (thematic) events that are foreseen. Hence, engagement is strongly supported by our dissemination activities, that works along a division of stakeholders in two dissemination targets: an internal audience of members of i3 consortium, the ICT19 projects and the European Commission and an external audience consisting of EU citizens, ICT19 project users, Social Media and Convergence (innovation) community, policy makers and wider Media (see D6.2). A range of dissemination channels and tools has been identified to reach specific target groups in the internal and external audience or all groups. The specificities of each of these channels and tools are discussed within the project context as well as the dissemination targets and the indicators for dissemination’s success. Finally, we also pay attention to how the various activities towards stakeholder engagement are supported for the duration of the project. It highlights how ‘engagement’ will be monitored, how user support and training will be organised, which mitigation actions are foreseen in case of low participation and, finally, how within the consortium the internal communication related to engagement will be coordinated. In doing so, we believe that the objectives and targets set in this deliverable have greater chance to be successfully met.

1. Introduction

The goal of this Deliverable is to outline the coordination and engagement plan that underpins the i3 project: who do we want to reach and engage, why, how and when. The overall goals of this document are therefore the following:

  • Identifying stakeholders of the i3 project[1]
  • Define specific targets to be reached for the purpose of engagement and associated dissemination activities[2]
  • Specifying channels and messages to reach out to stakeholders, and the mechanisms for effectively communicating with and engaging them
  • Defining and timing of the various engagement activities to be performed

It is our aim to prepare, encourage and invite the various i3 stakeholders to enter a dialogue concerning our project vis-à-vis their projects and their interests more broadly, as well as participate in engagement activities such as workshops, webinars, and networking and matchmaking events. In turn, stakeholder engagement activities will yield a better understanding of their interests, preferences and needs, and which enables us to fine-tune further dissemination opportunities. The engagement plan together with dissemination activities form the cornerstone for mobilising our project findings.

The specific objectives of the engagement plan are:

  • Involving ICT19 project partners and other potential stakeholders in the creation and validation of the i3 toolkit, in particular the self-assessment tool, that will be developed within i3 (particularly in WP2)
  • Supporting and engaging ICT19 project partners and their users in to create synergies, support innovative entrepreneurship and commercial exploitation
  • Educate and coach the ICT 19 project partners and other potential stakeholders, or entrepreneurs, by organising workshops, networking and brokerage events to bridge the gap between project results and the access to market

The specific objectives of underpinning dissemination activities in engagement efforts are the following:

  • Informing the stakeholders about the progress of the i3 project and encouraging interactions between the stakeholders
  • Broadening the uptake of social media and convergence innovation actions in various user communities
  • Supporting the i3 projects to engage with citizens, industry and society, to increase the impact of their initiatives and to create synergies between ICT19 (and other) projects
  • Enabling European citizens to learn about the activities developed by ICT19 projects, their impact and opportunities for them arising from the services/products provided

This engagement and dissemination plan is intended as a living document, which means it will continuously be updated and enriched throughout the I3 project development, with the forthcoming contributions and sharing of ideas among partners as well as with other ICT19 projects.

The remainder of this document is structured as follows. In the next chapter (Chapter 2), we describe the i3 stakeholders. This is followed by Chapter 3 that aims to yield insight into dynamics of engagement from a theoretical stance and translated into laying out several practices to take into account. Chapter 4 draws out the specifics of engagement and dissemination in the context of i3, and is followed by a short conclusion.

2. i3 Stakeholders

In order to develop a coordination and engagement strategy specifically for i3, it is necessary to identify the categories of i3 stakeholders. I3 considers Freeman’s definition of stakeholders: “any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives” (1984: 46). I3 considers European projects as so-called ‘temporary organizations’ (Kenis et al., 2009) formed by partners that are aiming to achieve common goals. Within this context, not only the projects but also the stakeholders can generate impacts and modify the results developed by the Social Media and Convergence-related projects. Moreover, as distilled from the literature on typologies of stakeholder’s engagement in social media and convergence different strategies can be detected (Jeffery, 2009).

In this view, among all possible solutions the i3 engagement plan is in particular based on an understanding-driven approach in terms of stakeholder’s needs and problems. At the same time, stakeholders have to be identified also in relation to the purpose of the engagement itself.

The i3 project started reflecting on stakeholder engagement already in the first months of its work in conjunction with D5.1 Policy Dialogue Concept Paper (M5) focusing on the creation and enhancement of a policy dialogue. In line with this, the first action for the engagement has been the identification of i3 stakeholders through a stakeholder analysis.

The overview emerged in this analysis and which is detailed in D5.1 and it has produced a complex picture of actors to engage. Here, we present a summary of the main outcomes. In order to be able to conduct a policy dialogue, the main actors that will be certainly involved are European institutions, national bodies and interest groups that are directly linked to ‘media’. In addition to political-oriented parties, also industry, both multinational companies and SMEs, will be strongly engaged, as well as other relevant subjects such as NGOs, Academia and citizens.

What is more, is that in the context of i3 funding mechanisms and objectives, a selection of projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015, and selected partners, in the field of Social media and Convergence will be integrated as relevant actors.

Following this analytical activity for the policy dialogue and taking inspiration from such analysis, i3 is also set to base its engagement plan on the activities foreseen in the DoW by WP3 and, in line with this, dedicated to the creation of an ecosystem for Social Media and Convergence sector.

In doing so, i3 aims to create a purposeful ecosystem for this domain, for which the engagement is foreseen to strengthen the link between business opportunities and research ideas. As a result, some stakeholder categories clearly overlap with the ones discussed in D5.1 but, here in this deliverable, stakeholders are seen more broadly, thereby highlighting the interest in developing business opportunities in the world of Social Media and Convergence. This is a welcome effort as, arguably, valuable research ideas are often not transformed into business opportunities.

Against this backdrop, i3 is seeking to create a solid bridge between research and market for which this engagement plan is then designed. Therefore, as described in detail in Chapter 4, the engagement plan is based on the organisation of different events, such as workshops, masterclasses and investor meetings. It highlights a matching exercise between particular stakeholder target groups and the organisation of certain events so as to educate and coach about how to turn a research idea into a business venture, supported by matchmaker events with potential investors. Moreover, the (‘living’) list of stakeholders has also been created keeping in mind to also work towards expanding stakeholders that are not already part of the European project world.

For this reason, the list of stakeholders that i3 intends to involve is wide and transversal. The main categories that are foreseen are as follows:

  • Projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015. All the projects will be invited to attend i3 events and meetings both for creating a business strategy and to have the opportunity to meet possible investors
  • ICT19 Project users/stakeholders. Users or stakeholders already engaged in the ICT19 projects will be invited to participate in order to extend the audience targeted and to allow for other potential ideas to occur and developing further for the market.
  • Domain experts, academic researchers and other persons that have an expertise in the field of ICT and social media and convergence. Experts will be engaged for all events. Particularly, experts will also be involved as a relevant educators/trainers/coaches of the workshops and masterclasses to educate the audience
  • Entrepreneurs, business angels, investors, ICT professionals. This group is fundamental for the (angel) investors meetings.
  • Citizens. Thanks to a wide dissemination strategy also citizens will be informed through dedicated channels about the opportunity to take part at the events. The scope of this extended strategy is to provide also citizens (e.g, students, non-professional people) with potential business ideas the opportunity to learn how to approach the market.
  • European Commission and selected policy makers. These will be invited to all events with the aim to provide and exchange suggestions and recommendations.

2.1 ICT19 Projects and Users

This category of stakeholders includes 19 ICT19 projects funded under Objective-ICT 19-2015. I3 will develop the Self-Assessment Tool Kit that will permit the projects to assess their results, built their business model and as following to help projects to reach the market.

The 19 projects as well as their targeted users are briefly summarized in the Table below.[3]

Project Goals ICT Target Audience Services/
Media Scape Connected, socially engaging multi-user, multi-screen services


Hybrid broadcast-internet synchronisation;




Developer & Service Provider

Apis & Applications

Java script libraries & sequencer

UI engine & Adaptation engine

Dynamic pairing resources & Data synchronisation

Cross-platform authentication



Connected & internet-based TV

Trans-media content

Hbbtv platform

NGA network

Dynamic adaptive streaming

Professional users (broadcasters, program makers, app developers)


Application connecting devices

Recommendation engine

Multi-camera video services over



Autdiovisiual rights assessment Data platform for rights assessment Libraries

Educational establishments



Heritage institutions

Public service broadcasting

EU wide automated system to assess rights’ statuses for all types of audiovisual works


Interactive media production and consumption, mediated presence through internet-based distribution, interactivity, integration with virtual, mixed and augmented reality Platform for creating, distributing and consuming interactive media Not defined Cloud platform for multimedia processing, data management

Web-based system and liquid web applications



Crowdsourcing and recommendation for media and social networks Algorithms for crowdsourcing and recommendation

Social smartfeeds

Business users: social networks, recommender systems Context aware, resource-combining, interactive, scalable recommender system


Live event coverage combining spatial video/audio and user generated content, integrating content from professional and consumer capture devices


Platform for context-adapted hybrid broadcast-Internet service

Live content streaming between diverse devices and sensors

Fusing visual and audio information into a Format agnostic data representation

Broadcasters of live events Tools for media production and metadata integration towards end user

Broadcast enhanced by content and novel interaction possibilities for second screen and web consumption



Interactive multimedia communication infrastructure for non-expert users

Creation of customized mass-scale services

Elastic platform as a service through apis European companies, in particular numerous smes Cloud platform for hosting interactive multimedia services

Apis for creating media pipelines



Connected context aware media services

Improved content recommendation and delivery

Rich user context information

User control

Data collection methodologies

Mechanisms to obtain rich user data

Data collectors adding semantics to raw data

Context-aware recommendations

Security and privacy mechanisms

End-user Personal information hub

Personalized digital media delivery and content discovery platform with privacy focus

Content recommendation mechanisms



Links from broadcast programmes to external interactive media elements Hybrid broadcast-Internet architecture

Connected media elements

Media analysis

Visual search

3D scene reconstruction

Customised and context-adapted interactive hybrid services


Social and immersive content

Broadcasters and content providers (news, film)

Media consumers (as authors and consumers)

Professional authoring tool to generate Bridgets and dynamic AR scenes with spatialised audio

Easy-to-use authoring tool for end users

Player to select and consume Bridgets



Real-time analysing and visualising information from primary social media sources

Trustworthiness assessment

Personal data protection

Platform with presentation layer, service layer, business layer, data layer

Semantic data analysis



Visualisation framework for credibility of media sources and content

Toolbox for indexing user-generated content

Toolkit for context analysis



2nd Screen and content syndication for advanced social media delivery

Dynamic, context-centric social interaction

Characterizing, discovering and syndicating media assets interactively

2nd screen

Content syndication

Media content from syndicated sources, using any kind of synchronised device




Business users (broadcasters, content asset providers, software companies, marketing agencies)

Federated social media delivery platform

Social communities based on profiling

Open and standardised formats for the description of media assets

Extraction, data characterisation and social analysis techniques

Social media analysis



Applications for accessibility in the connected TV environment Access services

Accessibility applications


Additional audio track generation and distribution

Enhanced graphical interface creation

Signing for Smart TV

Users with sensorial impairments

Older people

People with mild cognitive impairments

Common subtitle format for video on demand services

Customised subtitles for Smart TV services

Application that translates spoken language into sign language



Interactive TV

Enabling users to take part in TV shows

TV shows as a means of social engagement

User interaction and engagement aware content creation

User model generation and real time rendering in 3D

User interaction capture and analysis

Real-time transmission over media clouds

Content providers

Active Collaborating Users

Passive Collaborating Users

Non-collaborating Users

Advanced digital media access

Delivery platform that enables enhancing audio-visual broadcastings with interactivity elements encouraging natural engagement with content



Immersing audiences in shared and personalised multiscreen experiences in any-device environments

Merging broadcast, broadband content with social media

Object-based broadcasting

Hbbtv2.0 specification for television


Producers and audiences of live performances (theatre) and sport Platform supporting multi-screen experiences

Distributed media apps, synchronised, interactive, customisable

Tools for the production of experiences



Making application development affordable and sustainable

Creating eco-system

Enabling programme-related interactive content, seamless transition between live and on-demand, and multi-screen support

Open-source MPAT core with essential features to create compelling multi-screen experiences for hbbtv and other HTML5-based devices Content creators

Developers of interactive multimedia applications, themes and plug-ins

Multi-Platform Application Toolkit

Easy-to-use authoring tool for the creation of interactive multimedia applications



Immersive and Interactive Real Time 3D Social Media Graphics Environments for the Broadcast Industry

New ways to produce interactive TV programs

Social media engines

3D graphics capabilities

Interaction systems




Integrated solution for content production of interactive TV

Second screen solution for interaction



Broadcast omnidirectional video, content production and delivery

Offering end-users a coherent audiovisual experience displays, second screens and the traditional tv set

Omnidirectional video capture

Immersive content production tools,

Encoding/decoding of omnidirectional video

Content delivery and reception

Visualisation and interaction principles for omnidirectional content

Broadcasters End-to-end toolset covering audiovisual value chain:

Immersive production tools,

Support for omnidirectional cameras,

Including ultra-high definition and high dynamic range images,

Adaptive content coding and delivery



Knowledge verification to detect emerging stories and assess the reliability of newsworthy video files and content spread via social media Video analysis

Shot/scene segmentation

Visual concept detection

Interactive user interface

Enabling novel newsroom applications

Integration of social media content into news


News agencies

Web pure-players



Platform to detect, authenticate and check reliability and accuracy of newsworthy video files and content spread via social media

Verified and rights-cleared video content readily available for integration into news reports



Enriching conventional broadcasting experiences through user-sourced media Video broadcasting, processing and analytics

Innovative ultra-high definition (UHD) broadcasting

Joint media production with professionals and users

Interactive networked social creativity

Content creators

Consumers who are also creating content


Methods to incentivise users to share content

Production of UHD content from varying qualities of source media

User interaction in broadcast event planning

System of quality metrics for measuring user experience

Table 1 – Overview ICT19 Projects

2.2 Domain Experts and Academia

The i3 team will participate in initiatives organised by social media and convergence domain experts and academia. Moreover, i3 will engage experts and researchers in this field in order to develop educational materials as well as to provide comments and share ideas about the i3 Tools and our policy dialogues. To this end, we will also invite these domain experts and academia to participate in the Final Conference of the i3 project, where we will present the results achieved and the challenges for the future of the social media and convergence domain.

2.3 Entrepreneurs and Investors

In addition to domain experts mainly engaged in research, i3 team will work intensively in the enhancement of a business ecosystem that will encourage research solutions to be market oriented. Particularly, the plan is to schedule dedicated investors’ meetings where most innovative solutions, emerged from the impact assessment, will meet entrepreneurs and investors. The aim of these events will be to provide an opportunity to the projects to meet people already engaged in the business world gaining from them advices and inputs for their own sustainability strategies. In addition to the enhancement of a collaborative dialogue from different parties, the aim is to have within the i3 events, investors that can also be potentially interested to invest in presented ideas.

2.4 Citizens

European citizens are likely to benefit from i3 activities. Indeed, what i3 plans to do during the project life time is to enhance debate on the topic of media and convergence at all possible level of discussions. As described also in D5.1, in addition to the engagement plan for ICT19 projects and investors, also interested citizens and civil parties will be invited to take part to policy dialogue with the aim to take into account also citizens’ perspective in influencing current policies promoted by European bodies. Also citizens can be involved in the ICT19 projects as the co-creators of the products developed by the projects. In this case, the events organized together with the living labs can have a fundamental role in order to understand if the projects can create a real value for their customers.

2.5 European Commission and Policy Makers

The European Commission, and European bodies in a wider perspective, will benefit from the i3 project and its tools.

The i3 project will address EU Policy Makers by delivering at the end of the project a list of policy recommendation and a research roadmap, highlighting research questions in the field of Social Media and Convergence.

The strategy envisaged to reach the aim is to engage – as much as possible – several stakeholders to discuss policy guidelines for all the duration of the project.  More specifically, the i3 team will invite policy makers to participate and contribute to the identification of main topic of discussion during the first workshop that will be organized in October 2016. Then, policy makers will be encourage to take part in other meetings but, above all, will be asked to participate at a final workshop with the aim to validate policy recommendation emerged as a result during the project lifetime. The current i3 strategy for policy dialogue is described in D5.1.

3. Engagement

This Chapter presents the different aspects guiding the organisation and objectives to engaging the identified i3 stakeholders as presented in the previous chapter. Before outlining the i3 engagement plan supported by dissemination activities, we will first frame our work by relating it to the literature on stakeholder engagement.

For the purpose of engagement, ICT19 project partners and other key stakeholders such as domain experts and policy makers as well as investors are important. In conceptualising engagement, however, we need to first understand what we mean by: ‘project engagement’ and ‘stakeholder engagement’, which different types of these categories can be discerned, and what the drivers and barriers are related to each of them.

3.1 Project engagement

Project engagement is related to the task of engaging the ICT19 projects and which is a key task for i3; especially, for the development and validation of the i3 tools and the validation of the policy recommendations. To our knowledge, engagement of research projects as specific category of stakeholders is something that has not been much researched or discussed in scientific publications, contrary to, for example, citizen engagement. Nonetheless, given the aim of i3 to be a support action for ICT19 projects that will provide benefits for the latter (they are affected by i3) as well as will learn from them (they are impacted by i3), we think that the stakeholder literature, focusing on the public and private sector, can provide an interesting touchstone to problematize project engagement and teach us some lessons for engaging projects.

In this view, we understand project engagement as follows:

We define ‘project engagement’ as the process of setting up a dialogue with specific research projects as stakeholders in order to understand their needs and concerns in the operations, decision-making process and objectives of a given consortium, in casu here i3 (cfr definition referenced earlier from Freeman, 1984).

Setting up a dialogue with stakeholders to streamline their engagement can be very diverse. The stakeholder literature seems to typically identify a so-called ladder of engagement, ranging from low participation, which merely informs, to high participation that implies the transfer of decisional power. Each of the different dimensions has consequently its own level of stakeholder influence and its own methods to enable the engagement. We present here as representative Table the ladder of stakeholder engagement as developed by Freeman and Miles (Freeman & Miles, 2006, p. 162).

  Nature of response Intention of engagement Level of influence Style of dialogue
Proactive or responsive trusting 12 Stakeholder control Majority representation of stakeholders in decision making process Forming or agreeing to decision Multi-way, e.g. community projects
11 Delegated power Minority representation of stakeholders in decision-making process Multi-way, e.g. board representation
10 Partnership Joint-decision power Multi-way, e.g. joint ventures
9 Collaboration Some decision making power afforded to stakeholders to specific projects Multi-way, e.g. strategic alliance
8 Involvement Stakeholders provide conditional support Having an influence on decisions Multi-way, e.g. constructive dialogue


7 Negotiation Multi-way, e.g. reactive bargaining
6 Consultation Organisation has the right to decide. Stakeholders can decide. Appease the stakeholder Being heard before a decision Two-way, e.g. survey, interviews, focus groups, task forces, advisory panel
5 Placation Stakeholders can hear and be heard but have no assurance of being heeded by the organisation


4 Explaining Educate stakeholders Knowledge about decision Two-way, e.g. workshops
  3 Informing Educate stakeholders One-way, e.g. verified reports
  2 Therapy ‘Cure’ stakeholders of their ignorance and preconceived beliefs One-way: leaflets, magazines, reports, …
  1 Manipulation ‘Misleading’ stakeholders, attempting to change stakeholders expectations

Table 2 – Levels of stakeholder engagement as developed by Freeman and Miles (2006).

The lower levels (rows 1 to 3, from bottom) mean a low involvement and are mainly aimed at informing stakeholders about decisions that have already taken place. The middle levels (rows 4 to 7) involves ‘token gestures’ of participation: stakeholders have the opportunity to raise their concern before the decision is being made, but there is no guarantee that their concern(s) is/are being met. The upper levels (rows 8 to 12) are characterized by active or responsive attempts at empowering or participating stakeholders and letting them have a guaranteed influence on the final outcome. Trust between firm or public entity and its stakeholders, is here a key element. With each of these levels, also different tools of engagement are connected, although we believe that the classification of the methods is too rigid and based on a stereotypical way of describing them (Friedman & Miles, 2006, pp. 162-164).

It becomes clear from this ladder that the higher ladders within the middle level and the upper level seem to reflect concerns and objectives of the ‘participatory design approach’ (Müller, 2003; Schuler & Namioka, 1993) i3 embraces and allows us to transpose this stakeholder thinking to the narrow focus here of project engagement and define the latter’s type. In fact, believing that participatory design is the best guarantee that the i3 methodology is not a burden for the projects but rather a service tool that is recognised as ultimately beneficial for them, and of which they have a sense of ownership, a type of project engagement that is active and responsive and brings in multi-ways methods is a condition sine qua non. In this view, in order to also keep our independence as researchers in conjunction with executing our role as a supportive action for all ICT19-projects, our project engagement will not strive to reach the highest levels of stakeholder control. We, therefore, will design our engagement in relation to the levels 8-10 (involvement, collaboration and partnership).

3.1.1 Drivers and barriers of project engagement


Following a participatory design stream of thought, i3 supports the rationale that collaboration between public and private players is key in the trajectory from research, to development, to market launch. The main driver then for engagement of social media and convergence projects is the potential of multi-actor collaboration in strengthening and improving all phases in the innovation process, from the prompting to ideas to enabling systematic change (see Murray et al., 2006, p.12).

Engaging with the projects allows us to collaborate and negotiate with the ICT19 projects that in their objectives and targets are wide and diverse (see Table 1 and D2.1). And, thus, promises to make our i3 approach and methodology – in the long run – perhaps beneficial for the entire social media and convergence community.

Quality project engagement guiding the i3 team is then inspired by our wishes to:

  • identify and map the ICT19 projects’ real needs which allows us to better frame the right questions so that the causes and not the symptoms can be tackled
  • inform ICT19-projects to make them aware of the necessity of the i3 methodology and the resulting potential benefits for them
  • stimulate cross-fertilization between ICT19-projects and I3 in order to generate new ideas and sharpen and improve existing or new ideas based upon their knowledge and experience
  • work via a trial-and-error approach (supported by Living Labs) in order to constantly refine the initial proposed i3-methodology and keep it grounded in practice
  • yield insights and opinions from the various groups associated with ICT19 projects
  • foster the identification of ‘gain and risk’ from the start and develop good negotiated solutions for them that do not put a burden upon the uptake of i3
  • identify ways in order to make the i3 methodology sustainable; and, last but not least,
  • give ICT19-projects a sense of ownership over the i3 solution, hence, making them good ambassadors that enhance its diffusion by using it, disseminate information about it and promote it within the social innovation community in Europe


While we might assume that engaging ICT19 projects is a necessity for i3 and a necessary condition to make ICT19 projects identify the potential benefits yielded by i3, it is important to realize that certain barriers might exist or can appear during the project that might undermine the concrete realisation of the cooperation or its quality. Analysing the literature regarding stakeholder theory and change management (Bendell, 2003; AA1000 Stakeholder engagement standard, 2011; Huxham, 2003; Gillies, 1998) has helped us to identifying the following general types of barriers towards qualitative participation in i3 that will either emanate from properties of the ICT19 projects or either from the conception of i3 engagement:

(a) From the side of the ICT19 projects, potential barriers might be:

  • Practical: ICT19 project partners won’t have time or resources to participate, leading to drop out
  • Cultural: it is not part of the culture of the ICT19 project partner to actually share their ideas or there is no established tradition yet to collaborate, hence making collaboration difficult
  • Legal: legal rules are in place that prevent cooperation or full cooperation or allow not all relevant information to be disclosed
  • Unequal power distribution: some ICT19 project partners may be more ‘powerful’ compared to others and tend to monopolize and influence the collaboration between different ICT19 projects for i3purposes or intra the project
  • Self-interest seeking partner: some ICT19 project partners participate out of their own interest and not fully in the spirit of the project, not providing qualitative or complete feedback

(b) From the side of i3, potential barriers relate to:

  • Wrong identification of priority partners: alliances are forged with ICT19 project partners that are not so relevant leading to weak results or feedback
  • Not grasping expectations: i3 lacks to grasp and integrate expectations of ICT19 projects and their partners, leading to disappointment
  • Purpose and scope of engagement unclear: ICT19 project partners do not get a clear picture for what and why they are participating, resulting in a lack of identification with i3
  • Procedure of engagement process is unclear: i3 does not inform ICT19 projects and partners about the process of engagement (timing, tasks required, …), leading to drop out, low participation and inefficient communication with ICT19 project partners
  • Language confusion: communication is done in a language that ICT19 project partners or part of them do not (fully) understand, causing drop out or misunderstandings on the practical or content level
  • Lack of training or capacity: ICT19 projects do not develop the right skills to collaborate with I3 or cannot assign a dedicated person to the engagement task with I3, leading to insufficient or not qualitative feedback
  • Lack of building trust mechanisms: i3 is not transparent enough and does not manage to communicate about progress to ICT19 projects, resulting in weak trust building with ICT19 projects

Addressing barriers

In order to reduce or overcome these different barriers in project engagement, the following action points and their implication for i3 can be distilled from the literature we consulted in this context:

  1. Analysis and mapping of ICT19 project partners: an analysis of the different partners within a certain ICT19 project regarding their interest towards i3 tools as well as their experience or knowledge of it will lead to the identification of ICT19 project partners about their importance. Adaptation of this analysis to the various stages of I3
  2. Develop an understanding of the ICT19-projects and their objectives as well as the role of each ICT19 project partner
  3. Determine ownership: identify a specific person that owns I3 within each ICT19 project partner or one ICT19 project globally
  4. Define scope and purpose of the engagement in consultation with the I3 partners: make sure that the issue is well understood and the purpose and the scope of engagement are well shared among the ICT19 project partners
  5. Be realistic: the scope and purpose as well as the objectives to reach must be grounded in reality in order to avoid the creation of too big expectations that cannot be lived up. Aim for realistic but successful outcomes
  6. Flexible relations: Pinpoint important rules to conduct with each ICT19 project, but allow also for adaptation along the road
  7. Open sharing of information: I3 must ensure that there is a good two-way communication flow with the ICT19 projects
  8. Communicate and evaluate transparent: Inform clearly about why you engage someone, what the objective and target is, which steps you will take and why these steps and not others. Communicate the engagement plan. Provide room on which ICT19 projects can give their feedback on the practical organisation or flow of an engagement task in order to better streamline and perform it in the future
  9. Development of trust: agree on certain procedures regarding confidentiality of information provided, develop boundaries of disclosure of the engagement and communicate them clearly, keep in line with agreed deadlines and timings but also be able to adapt the trust mechanism if necessary
  10. Take care of your feedback loop: keep ICT19 project partners in touch with your project after the conclusion of an engagement activity so that they feel appreciated and attached to I3; Regular briefings must be organised towards all involved ICT19 project partners
  11. Communicate in line with the culture of ICT19 project partners; Adapt if necessary
  12. Develop and choose engaging tools based upon specific requirements of the partner, e.g., use webinars if a partner has no funds for traveling

3.2  Stakeholder engagement

Thought leaders and influencers from government, civil society, and the private sector play an important role in creating and maintaining business value. As their influence evolves, a strategic and structured approach to stakeholder relations must be taken.

There are many definitions for stakeholder engagement. Some of them describe engagement processes; others specify outcomes, and finally, some do both. The context in which stakeholder engagement is most frequently discussed is in terms of ‘(user) participation’, in which individuals – who affect or are affected by a project/company’s products or activities, such as those affiliated with businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labour organizations, trade and industry organizations, governments, and financial institutions – are engaged in the various structures and institutions in a public and private/commercial setting.[4]

Participation means the interaction moves in two/multiple directions, as a dialogue, and it emphasizes the sharing of power, information, and a mutual respect between public/private institutions and various user types (Pattie, Seyd & Whiteley, 2003). Often, participatory practices tend to involve working together towards a common goal; hence, they are often strongly connected to a shared mission, be it social, economical, environmental or governmental.[5] Stakeholder engagement (or, participation) is always voluntary. Though its attractiveness can be increased by different means (incentives), it can never be forced.

Reflecting on this, we propose the following working definition for stakeholder engagement in the i3 project.

Stakeholder engagement is defined here as a process that runs in a minimum of two directions. It involves discovering and may result in implementing ideas that benefit both stakeholders and the project/company. Engagement is used when the project/company wants to seriously consider the views and involvement of someone or some group in making and implementing a business decision. This practice of engagement, therefore, is intended to help the practitioners fully realise the benefits of stakeholder engagement in their organization, to compete in an increasingly complex and ever-changing (business) environment, while at the same time bringing about systemic change towards sustainable development.

Comprehensive stakeholder engagement addresses many collaboration challenges through visible leadership, coordination, and evaluation of stakeholder activities. Alignment of stakeholder activities to prioritized strategic initiatives ensures that stakeholders with the right capabilities to advance the mission are included. Dedicated efforts (staff) ideally manage the entire stakeholder portfolio, providing a seamless experience for stakeholders regardless of the individual project, guided by standardized processes so as to structure stakeholder engagements from the outset.

Whereas stakeholder engagement can take place in diverse contexts and situations, in I3 we are mainly interested in the engagement of stakeholders in the support of ICT19 projects, and the wider social media and convergence domain. Based on a review of existing typologies,[6] a commonly used framework – across disciplines – seems to consist of the following components:

Components Associated Activities
Developing a strategic stakeholder plan ·       Define the role of stakeholders

·       Outline selection criteria

·       Determine engagement strategies

·       Estimate resources required

·       Establish evaluation criteria

Investing in the plan/program ·       Align staff and funding

·       Develop staff training and tools

·       Provide resources to encourage collaboration
Fostering a collaborative culture ·       Establish leadership support

·       Provide program visibility

·       Establish a common language

·       Promote ongoing communication

Marketing the program to (other) stakeholders ·       Define value propositions

·       Align propositions with stakeholders

·       Develop marketing materials

·       Engage targeted stakeholders

·       Establish a process for developing and sharing stakeholder successes

Measuring progress, not participation ·       Develop outcome related measures ·       Reassess plan/program overtime

Table 3 – Stakeholder engagement components

Keywords supporting this process of stakeholder management are interactive, encourage, inclusive and prepared to change (align), thereby highlighting stakeholders’ wants and needs, trust building, transparency, credibility, consultation, responding and implementation, and monitor/evaluate (Jeffrey, 2009).

3.2.1 Drivers and barriers of stakeholder engagement


Various theoretical models can be detected that each provides a specific perspective on what drives (stakeholder) engagement in the widest sense, in particular, a rational choice model, and voluntarism. According to the rational choice model, people are more likely to participate if there are selective benefits for them to be received either by participation in the process itself, from the results of participation or by being part of the group that participated, relative to possible costs. From this perspective, they may also be inclined to participate because they consider it their duty or the right thing to do within their (business) community.

The voluntarism model bases itself on the socio-economic model of participation according to which the resource rich – the better educated, more affluent and more middle class people – are more likely to participate (Verba et al., 1995; Brady et al., 1995; Parry et al., 1992, in Pattie, Seyd & Whiteley, 2003). In addition, the more people feel they can make a difference on the outcome of the decision, the more likely they are to engage in action of different kinds. Also, being competent and credible and identifying with a certain party or group should encourage engagement. Finally, Verba et al. (1995, in Pattie, Seyd & Whiteley, 2003), stress the importance of mobilization. This means that above all, people prefer to be asked to engage. For example, even those politically interested and overall motivated individuals may still not participate if they have not been asked to cooperate and/or they have not been made aware of the legitimacy and importance of their involvement and, hence, mobilized.

In sum, we can distil that perceived benefits of involvement, being competent, motivated, involved in associations and (in)formal networks, having access to resources, and being the subject of mobilization can positively determine stakeholder engagement.


Challenges can be detected in the literature on stakeholder engagement (especially, concerning science and technology development) (cf. Greenwood, 2007; Manetti, 2011; Noland & Phillips, 2010). First, goals are rarely clearly articulated and the communication processes vary considerably. In addition, strategies often poorly match the goals of engagement. Furthermore, most engagement projects fail to include processes that link stakeholders’ recommendations, concerns and questions to actual innovations, market launch, policy processes or decision makers. The reason for this is related to the short duration of many of these initiatives and that often the sole focus is on disseminating the outcome of the engagement process.

There can be additional barriers to engagement that go beyond the organizer’s side. These refer to factors that actually precede the engagement activity and prevent people from participating in the first place. Certain methods and activities can be too cumbersome for the envisioned participants or other barriers related to physical access, transportation or poor communication (cf. Sheedy, 2008).

In those engagement activities where people from multiple backgrounds and professions come together, all parties need to be willing to engage. Some scientists are not particularly enthusiastic about interacting with, for example, regular citizens or venture capitalists, as they have no experience or training in engaging with them. In fact, the variety of questions in open discussions might intimidate scientists who as the “specialists” are not accustomed to discussing issues outside of their field, let alone stating that they do not know the answer to some of these questions. Facilitating effective stakeholder engagement is a skill and carries within it tacit knowledge that can only be gained through experience (cf. Powell, & Collin, 2008).

Addressing barriers

Because of the variety of reasons why stakeholder engagement is sought and ways to engage, it is difficult to draw up an all encompassing plan that will work as a recipe for all engagement activities. However, some general guidelines have been proposed (Jeffrey, 2009; Kennis et al. 2009; Mueller, 2003). A summary of these guidelines is given in the table below according to what stage they are relevant: before the engagement activities, during, following or in general.

Planning and recruitment ·       Benefits: People need to be persuaded of the existence of benefits emerging from involvement

·       Perceived impact: People need to be able to see that their actions are likely to have an effect, at least some of the time.

·       Mobilisation: People need to be asked to participate (especially effective when done by those close to them)

·       Engaging existing communities: Working with existing initiatives and groups, engagement can take less effort. When people are already engaged in a product/service/user community, they are more likely to do so in their areas of interest and bring some of their networks with them.

·       Dialogue: Communication should be as reflexive, two-way, and transparent as possible. Those involved should have a say in the projects’ goals, their purposes, who will be involved, and what kinds of processes will be used.

·       Clear goals: The goals should be clarified, both for the organizers as well as for the citizens.

·       Training: Engagement projects should include training, incentives, capacity building and“hands-on” training in stakeholder engagement and community organizing for a.o. scientists, academic and government engagement organizers.

Actual engagement phase ·       Flexibility: Engagement projects must be as open-ended as possible and organizers and institutions must be willing to accept and be responsive to outcomes of the engagement projects, not just the outcomes they or their funders want.

·       Match: The activities and methods chosen must match the target user group engaged and the targets set for the engagement activity.

Follow-up ·       Knowledge mobilisation: Ensuring the input gained from stakeholders is registered and put into action. This needs to be planned.
Overall/institutional ·       Systematic, regular engagement: Existing shorter-term mechanisms to initiate stakeholder engagement (e.g., consultations and roundtables) should be incorporated as regular events within institutions. This will require on-going, systemic institutional support and incentives for organizers, scientists, and citizens.

·       Support and methods for long-term, profound engagement: Institutions need to develop and incorporate new mechanisms that go beyond short-term exercises and involve stakeholders longer-term in decision-making processes.

·       Funding: Government and other funders should provide substantially more funding to support stakeholder engagement projects, to provide support and incentives for all parties from sponsors to citizens to engage in the types of projects described above.

·       Integration in democratic process: On a broader societal level, multiple stakeholder dialogue and input into decisions about scientific and technological developments must be ingrained into all of our democratic processes.

Table 4 – Stakeholder engagement; points to overcome possible barriers

4. i3 Project and Stakeholder Engagement

In this Chapter, we present i3’s approach to project and stakeholder engagement within the confines of our 30-month project. As with any other research and business-driven process, our engagement approach and practice should be systematic, logical and practical. We provide a process here that will take you from the starting point of planning and identifying objectives through to post monitoring and evaluation. This process is circular as it is dynamic yet constant, where lessons from past experience will then shape future (elements of) planning and engagement. Thus, the process is not linear; rather it is an iterative process in we gain insight and improve our capacity to execute on meaningful stakeholder engagement process while developing relationships of mutual respect rather than a ‘one-off consultation’ approach.

Based on the outline presented in the previous Chapter, we come to the following operationization guiding our engagement plan:

Opportunities Challenges

·       Well-defined target groups: Easier to choose appropriate recruitment channels and engagement methods; face-to-face meetings possible that promote sustained engagement

·       Differentiated participation: People who are already interested in the topic at hand, are likely to contribute more in-depth than others; they also may have previous expertise that can be put to use

·       Multi-channel recruitment strategy: Combining social media, flyers, posters, etc. ensures stakeholders are reached

·       Optimal cost/benefit trade-off: Keeping required effort minimal, and in line with benefits for involvement (e.g., feedback)

·       Trusted intermediaries: Working with trusted industry/community/etc  representatives and intermediary organisations facilitates reaching target group

·       Existing industry/communities and resources: Working with existing initiatives where engaged communities already exist can cut the engagement efforts.  It is also beneficial to connect with the existing solutions and see where there is room to collaborate

·       Hot topics: Working with ‘burning’ topics can raise interest in the initiative

·       High profile partners: Partnering with persons or instances known in their field can bring more credibility to the initiative and increase the willingness of organizations and domain experts to engage

Engagement methods and tools

·       Continuous engagement: On-going activities, from start to finish, lead to a stronger commitment to a project

·       Face-to-face contact: Physical meetings create a familiar atmosphere and minimize misunderstanding among participants

·       Incentives: Benefits such as targeted feedback and rewards for desired behaviours can promote engagement

·       Trained organizers: Engagement activities benefit from facilitators and coordinators who are familiar with the domain, have experience in bringing together different stakeholders

·       User-centred design: Engagement tools should be easy to use and fit participants’ context, otherwise tools are abandoned

·       Validation of approach: Piloting, testing recruitment channels and methods allows improving and tailoring the approach

·       Debriefing: Debriefing meetings where target audience can meet with project and government officials illustrate the relevance of their involvement

Engagement context

·       Clear goals and overall framework: Ensuring that stakeholders understand the engagement goals and how gathered info will be used also provides focus to the task

·       Open attitude: It benefits everyone to have an open and collaborative state of mind, instead of sticking to one’s own territory, withholding information and competing against each other


·       Fair representation: of all stakeholders, not just the easy ones

·       Building trust: Different stakeholders will come with different levels of trust and willingness to trust. We will need to adapt to the level of trust present and needed

·      Be responsive: by providing information and proposals that respond directly to their expectations and interest previously identified, not just information responding to your internal objectives and activities.


Engagement methods and tools

·       Cross-cultural use: An engagement method that works well in one domain/community/country, may do poorly in others, but there is a lack of knowledge in this regard

·       Sustained participation in assessment: There is a lack of validated engagement schemes for keeping people involved in systematic data gathering

·       Lack of data gathering tools: Projects may lack tools for assessment in their area of interest

Engagement context

·       Complexity of social media and convergence issues: Multiple stakeholders are involved

·       Balance top-down and bottom-up: Selecting the right mix of stakeholders is required so that engagement occurs both top-down and bottom-up

·       Scepticism on engagement: Project partners may question the relevance and contribution of stakeholder engagement in specific project areas and phases

·       Accurate data gathering: Where others are involved in data gathering, mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure data accuracy (e.g., reputation mechanisms)

·       Project collaboration: On a project level, project partners may be hesitant to include external assessment methods or collaborate in developing or implementing assessment

·       Monitor, evaluate and document: Knowledge management is critical for capturing information and sharing what is learned. Transparency of the process is greatly aided by accurate documentation


Table 5 – Operationalization engagement framework

Furthermore, as stated earlier, i3 will follow a participatory design approach to encourage and sustain the engagement of projects and other stakeholders. A participatory design approach allows the project to, on the one hand, better understand i3 objectives and methodology and, on the other hand, influences the finalisation of the methodology itself. Hence, the approach will develop a sense of ownership over the methodology. The engagement of the projects is reflected across the entire project in order to ensure that people understand the clear advantages of involvement in i3 coordination activities. The benefits and added value for individual projects will be clearly outlined on a personalised basis and explained in detail in the supporting dissemination texts for i3, including the following topics:

–           Self-evaluate the economic impact of project outputs and support for improving it

–           Networking opportunities for shared activities with related projects and identifying points of mutually advantageous convergence

–           Detailed feedback on an iterative basis from the i3 team

–           Active support for exploitation activities and strategies

–           Face to face and/or online meetings for supporting projects in the development of their own innovative Business Model

–           Engagement of innovation communities, networks, hubs, citizens and presentation of project outputs to them and collection of their reactions and opinions about the project outputs.

Key in the i3 engagement trajectory is what we have named the “i3 Academy”, and which aims to: Organize workshops/masterclasses, webinars and coaching sessions about innovative and relevant topics and, this strongly supported by an intensive outreach campaign for awareness rising to be engaged with the Social Media and Convergence domain and community (why to engage, hot topics, etc). The reasons for this is also guided by some of our set-key performance indicators, where we aim to engage the following:

Goals Targets
Number of projects/startup incubated 30
Number of coaching and mentoring session 4 p.y.
Living Labs testing session 4
Number of incubators/accelerator participating in I3 3
Online platform users, number of followers, etc.. 100
Engagement of project participants and external actor 100
  Number of investors /business angels involved 20
Project/idea pitched 50
Participation in policy dialogue 30

Table 6 – Some i3 KPIs to guide engagement awareness

In this line of thought, not all first year engagement practices can result in its first year, for example, in a pitch as some projects will move slower (or, faster) and, hence, engagement means steering between different project needs and preferences and is mostly an aggregated process. Having said that, we do have our own set of i3 objectives and milestones and we will work to address them in a timely manner vis-à-vis the internal and external stakeholders so as to deliver the desired results.

It is within this framework of our objectives of support in Impact, Innovation, and Invest that our milestones and their timings are closely linked to our objectives associated with the engagement operations in the i3 Academy. Thereby highlighting the i3 Methodology and Tools (Development MS 2.1-2.4; Validation MS3.1) and our series of workshops/masterclasses (MS3.2, MS4.1-4.3 and M5.1-M5.2). These are meant to educate, support entrepreneurial activities, and coach ICT19 projects and other interested stakeholder parties in the Social Media and Convergence domain in Europe. As stated earlier, our stakeholders can be grouped into the following meaningful categories:[7]

  1. Projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015.
  2. ICT19 Project users/stakeholders.
  3. Domain experts, academic researchers and other persons that have an expertise in the field of ICT and social media and convergence.
  4. Entrepreneurs, business angels, investors, ICT professionals.
  5. Citizens.
  6. European Commission and selected policy makers.

Against this backdrop, i3 has designed its i3 Academy in such a way that it brings together “2 worlds”. In other words, we organise several events so to address the need to help entrepreneurs and their ideas to ‘go to the market’ by creating a meeting forum where investors meet these ideas or prototypes. In doing so, i3 aims to provide for talented European entrepreneurs and researchers, a new innovative environment of coaching, mentoring and technology validation that will help entrepreneurs in their process of moving from idea to starting up their startups. Our supporting services aim therefore to support a (I) scaling up business viability (2) scaling up technical feasibility (3) scaling up investor attraction (4) an European Acceleration Programme and (6) stimulating community discussion and idea development through a crowd promotion platform (7) launch and coordinate a policy dialogue in line with ICT19 objectives.

Against this backdrop, several workshops and masterclasses will be organised according to thematic sessions.[8] They will be planned and communicated well in advance; and, through the deployment of inviting experts, the use of specific tools or instruments, and so on i3 aims to educate its participants. Particularly, the idea is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn from scratch how to transform an idea in a concrete and tangible result to show to investors. The combination of worrkshops and masterclasses serve to provide research-backed yet practical insights on specific tools and methodologies organising a more interactive and effective way to learn. It is important to stress that all the events will be organised involving academics and experts that will ensure the high quality of the events.

In addition, investor meetings are planned in order to allow the stakeholders to meet investors and business angels and share directly with them projects and ideas. The major output that i3 intends to achieve is the creation of an i3 incubator programme recognised at European level. Through the discussion of the ideas, attendees will have the opportunity to put in practice what they learn during the “Academy” and investors will be in touch with innovative and inspiring ideas ready, or almost ready, for the market. To make this idea more appealing, i3 plans to link also here investor meetings to top level events related to Media sector spread across Europe by several actors. This will give the opportunity to widely disseminate the events creating a relapse on participants’ numbers.

The following Table presents a tentative overview of the i3 Academy’s offerings. The reason for this is that based on our interest to line up with other events, it is harder to plan more than 6 months ahead. Another important remark is that also its thematic content may somewhat shift, depending on input from especially ICT19 projects and their particular needs, such as challenges they may face that are not specially covered now. In addition, due to differences in how far along a project/solution may be, we may decide that some themes may be ‘reshuffled’ or appear, for example, twice to serve a larger group of entrepreneurial needs better.

Theme When/Event Target

MC – Designing for Social Media Convergence: Living Labs


WS – i3: Tools & Self-Assessment Methodology


i3 event

7 July 2016



1, 4


MC – Creative Thinking, How to Successfully Develop your Idea


WS – Business plan: models and market analysis



(2 days)





1, 2, 4, 5


WS – Self-Assessment Tools



February 2017



1, 2, 4


MC – Business models and feedback


WS – Funding opportunities beyond EC: financial markets, venture capital, seed finance, IPO etc



(2 days)

Concertation meeting

March 2017



1, 2, 3, 4, 5


MC – Accelerate!


WS – How to present ideas to investors: how to write a pitch and a investor memorandum


IM- Investors and projects: discussing pitch and most appealing ideas presented



June 2017











MC – Invest: governance models, licensing, etc


WS – Deal models and law contacts: how investors enter on the market and legal constrains



September 2017*


1, 2, 4


IM – Are research ideas financed by EC meeting market needs?



October 2017*




MC/WS – Learn from expert entrepreneurs; peer2peer meetings, review from coaches


December 2017




IM – Innovation meets and investors: discussions and networking  sessions


February 2018




MC/WS – Elevator pitch of start-ups / sales call



March 2018




IM – Best innovative solutions and business opportunities: final round of networking chances



June 2018



MC=Masterclass; WS=Workshop; IM= Investor meeting; 1=Projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015; 2=ICT19 Project users/stakeholders; 3=Domain experts, academic researchers and other persons that have an expertise in the field of ICT and social media and convergence; 4= Entrepreneurs, business angels, investors, ICT professionals; 5=Citizens; and 6=European Commission and selected policy makers. *= September / October event may be grouped.

Table 7 – i3 Academy: tentative line-up

In order to achieve a successful i3 Academy outcome, the dissemination and communication strategy and plan of i3 is key (see D6.2, where it defines the target groups that will be engaged, explains why they are engaged and maps out the activities). A number of KPIs have been captured for in order to monitor the impact of the i3 Academy and i3 project more generally, and the and enable effective management towards the goals. The indicators and metrics proposed will serve to monitor and improve future project planning and activities vis-à-vis our various stakeholder groups.

No. Key performance indicator (KPI) Objectives estimated
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
1 Number of workshops and masterclasses organized 2 4 1
2 Number of followers on Twitter Facebook and Linkedin Metrics can’t be estimated the first year Estimated 50% increase of the likes and followers. Estimated 100% increase of the likes and followers.
3 Number of participants per workshop/masterclass 40 50 50
4 Number of investors engaged in the project 10 20 30
5 Website visits Metrics can’t be estimated the first year 30 visits per month 50 visits per month
6 Publications and journal articles 1 2 2
7 Final conference participants 100

Table 8 – Communication KPIs vis-à-vis stakeholders

In terms of specific targets, it is important to stress again, that i3 will link its activities to all the running and future projects in the ICT19 (and also communicate with the finished ones) to enrol the most promising one in the acceleration program to be run by i3. In order to maximize the reach of the project activities, dissemination tools need to be used to reach certain categories of audiences. Moreover, i3 will link its activities to the Startup Europe Initiative. F6S platform, used by i3, is connected Startup Europe EU initiatives publishing the different actions launched within Startup Europe and stimulating the ecosystem members participation. F6S as the biggest social platform for startups with over 500,000 users will also aim to engage the startups in Europe that work in the media sector. Currently, the platform has 5180 startups that work in the media sector. During, the implementation, the project activities will aim include, inform and work with the interested startups. From a dissemination stance in this context, the following Table provides an overview of what tools will be used per each target group.

Channels Innovation oriented stakeholders Startups Society Business partners Private investors Media
Videos x x x x x x
Press releases I3 x x
Publications x x x
I3 Website x x x x x x
Workshops / masterclasses x x x x
Summit and Conference x x x x x x
Social media (Twitter, Linkedin & Fb) x x x x x x
Tutorials x x x x x
Events x x x x x x
 F6S platform x x x x x

Table 9 – Communication channels per target category

Against this backdrop, we have started compiling a list of specific i3 stakeholder targets per category. Throughout the i3 lifetime this list will be expanded and revised.

Projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015 and their users/stakeholders

All the consortium partners of each ICT19 project (past, current, and in due course, future) are invited to our events. They will always be prioritized in case an event gets fully booked. In addition, they can invite their own stakeholders as well.[9]

Domain experts, academic researchers and other organizations/persons that have an expertise in the field of ICT and social media and convergence

Name of Initiave Type channel Domain/field Target user base
European Network of Living Labs Non-profit research organization Innovation, Technology research


The European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) is the international federation of benchmarked Living Labs in Europe and worldwide. The ENoLL international non-profit association, as the legal representative entity of the network, is headquartered in Brussels, at the heart of Europe.




Prof.dr. J. van Dijck Universtity of Amsterdam Social Media research PhD Students

KNAW: https://www.knaw.nl/en

Prof.dr. J. Pierson Vrije Universiteit Brussel Domestication, privacy research PhD students

SCOM: http://www.vub.ac.be/SCOM/

Prof Robin Mansell LSE Media Policy
EBU Media industry network Media Industry Ebu,ch

Innnovate UK

Media, Innovation agency https://connect.innovateuk.org/sector/digital-services
Prof. Fabrizio D’Ascenzo Sapienza University of Rome Technologies of productive cycles Full professor
Prof. Marco de Marco Universita’ telematica internazionale Uninettuno Business organization Full professor
Dr. Antonio Fernández Anta Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Madrid. Spain Social computing; Social networks analysis; Communications and networks IMDEA
Prof. Richard Seyler Ling NSU/Copenhagen Uni social consequences of mobile communication.
Dr. Martin Moore Reuters Institute Data journalism, social media King’s College


Entrepreneurs, business angels, investors, ICT professionals

Name of Initiave Type channel Domain/field Target user base
Living Lab Academy


Digital research & entrepreneurship hub Innovation, Technology research




Digital research & entrepreneurship hub Tech, business models, market Incubator program


StartUps Belgie Platform Tech entrepreneurship http://www.startups.be/
EBN European Business Network Business and hub Innovation, Technology

Market deployment

EBAN, The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players\ Media, VC http://www.eban.org/
Media Deals Media, VC VC, Media http://www.media-deals.org/
EDiMA, is the European trade association representing online platforms


Domain Media http://www.europeandigitalmediaassociation.org/
BICLazio Business innovation centre Startup labs

Startup incubation

Talent working

Thomas Dübendorfer


Investor  Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC)


Martjin Blom Investor Hivos Impact Investments
Steven van Houwelingen


Investor Van Houwelingen Holding BV


Javest Investment fund Investment fund http://www.javestinvestment.com/
K – Invest Beteiligungsgesellschaft GmbH Investment fund http://www.k-newmedia.de/k-invest/
Patrick Attallah Digital transformation strategist
Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship


Startup Support, Business Services, Education http://ece.nl/


Name of Initiave Type channel Domain/field Target user base
BEUC  Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs


ACE Creative


  ICT/Creative http://www.acecreative.eu/
Stratify7   Digital Health/cyber security http://www.startify7.eu/
FIWARE: Ceed-tech    https://www.f6s.com/ceedtech
FIWATE:Impact   SMEs/Web entrepreneurs https://www.f6s.com/fiware-impact
FIWARE: European pioneers   Digital SMEs https://www.f6s.com/fiware-europeanpioneers
FIWARE: CreatiFI   ICT developers https://www.f6s.com/fiware-europeanpioneers
FIWARE: FI-C3   SMEs/Web entrepreneurs https://www.f6s.com/fiware-fi-c3
Mobile city   Digital media http://themobilecity.nl/
Get in the ring   Investment/NGO Startups www.getinthering.co
European cloud initiative   Data, digital market
European initiative for social media    Social media, initiatives http://www.socialmediacentre.eu/

European Commission and selected policy makers

Name of Initiave Type channel Domain/field Target user base
EU Data Protection Supervisor Independent supervisor authority at EU level Innovation, Technology, privacy


– monitoring the processing of personal data by the EU institutions and bodies

– advising on policies and legislation that affect privacy

– cooperating with similar authorities to ensure consistent data protection




EU Innovation radar supervisor Authority at EU level Innovation, technology, performance indicators Measuring impact of EU funded initiative in DG CNECT


ITRE Committee European Parliament Innovation Industry Policy advising


4.1 i3 Support Activities

In order to facilitate and sustain i3’s objectives and, particularly, the engagement of various projects and other stakeholders, i3 has put some support activities in place.


The monitoring of the results that ICT19 projects will achieve during their lifetime is one of the main goals of the i3 project in order to help them to build their business model, evaluate their technology readiness level and bring them to the market. For this reason, i3 has created a tool that permits project to conduct self-assessment of their impacts such as social, economic and innovation. The self-assessment methodology consists of two main pillars: 1. Innovation Radar that assesses the maturity of innovations developed by projects and identifies high potential innovators and innovations then in its turn supports innovators by suggesting a range of targeted actions to assist them in fulfilling their potential in the market. 2. Business Model Canvas that looks inside the structure of the building blocks (customers, value proposition, resources, processes, business plan etc.) of a sustainable business model.

In order to provide the monitoring of the project’s results they will be asked to answer the questioners regarding projects’ input, output and three impacts mentioned above entering the asked data in the SAT (Self-Assessment Tool) after what they can obtain the graphical report of their results.

In order to monitor participation in policy dialogue two methods are envisaged according to the strategy and to the Description of the Work. To trace stakeholders’ engagement, an online platform dedicated to policy dialogue will be launched allowing mapping stakeholders’ participation. Secondly, policy makers’ participation in the activities envisaged, particularly to the first workshop and to the final workshop, will me mapped through registration that will be described and detailed in dedicated reports.

Training and Support

In order to make sure that all stakeholders involved are able to participate and, for example; perform the assignments during the different engagement activities as well as are able to get an answer on every kind of practical or more content oriented question they have, the following user training and support mechanisms will be set up.


Despite the fact that SAT will be developed, in order to be very intuitive and user-friendly, i3 team is planning to provide a Deliverable 2.2 “Self-Awareness Toolkit adaptation and How-To-Guide” on M5 and moreover, demonstrations of the SAT will be organised (workshop dedicated to usability of the tool) so that ICT19-projects as well as other participants can already get an insight view on these tool. Online webinars will be organised in order to support ICT19 projects in filling-in their data and podcasting or a video tutorial will be developed with the same aim.


The support for participants in the i3 Academy events will be two-fold: practical assistance and operational assistance.

Assistance type Content of assistance Responsible partner
Practical Any information regarding venue, hours, stay, how to get there, general programme of workshop iMinds coordinates with support from F6S
Operational Any detailed information about the execution of the workshop (requirements, methods used, etc…) iMinds coordinates with help from consortium partners, depending on topic; F6S always supports

Table 10 – User support


In order to provide a support to the SAT users a Help Desk will be implemented in the toolkit. A user can obtain an interested information simply sending a question to the e-mail indicated in the Help Desk section, afterwards an expert will provide a user with necessary information.

In case of any questions that might arise, EK will set-up a three–stage support system that deals each with specific questions that might come from the recruited partners and users:

  1. Remote support: support provided on the tool itself that can assist a user

For better functioning and facilitating of Help Desk that will be created the potential questions were divided in two categories or in different support actions:

  1. Primary support: questions that a user has on the content level and for which he did not find an answer on the tool itself3. Secondary support: questions regarding technical issues of users, for example in case of an unexpected downtime of the platform

The following table provides an overview based on the source of the question, the information and support level provided and the tools used to communicate to the user:

Type of support Information Support tools
Remote support


User help

general questions regarding tool functionalities


User directed to Help Desk sections of the SAT, and how-to-guide

Primary support


User query

Specific questions regarding aim delivered to us by email

Question addressed by relevant partner


Secondary support


Technical support

Ticketing system

Question answered by relevant partner


Table 11 – Support tools

Remote support

I3 will aim to answer the majority of user queries at the remote level through strategically placed information on the interface of the Self Assessment Toolkit. FAQ’s, instructional videos etc., will take users through simple steps that will explain how to navigate through the tools, perform a self-assessment or a vote, and how to contact the i3-partners.

For example, the FAQ section will cover the following issues:

– What is i3?

– Who works on i3?

– What happens to my data?

– Where to find updates of testing and progress about i3?

– What is the aim of the tool?

– How to work with the SAT?

Primary support

If a user still has an outstanding issue regarding the use of one of the SAT, then he can still contact i3 team by email providing their name and contact number. This e-mail address is managed by F6S/iMinds. As this is a project there is no set SLA for response and resolution time, although in the interests of customer service, Partners are encouraged to contact the user as soon as possible to reassure them that their issue is being addressed and their participation is not in danger. All issues will be recorded in a log so any emerging patterns can be seen, and therefore the remote support can be updated accordingly throughout the project.

Secondary support

If the user has a question of a technical nature, he or she will use a ticketing system to report his question and the partner to whom the question relates will respond.

Both the i3 website and the project page on F6S will have an established support system should any difficulties arise. F6S is responsible for the overall management of both platforms and has a support team available if problems arise. The team monitors the work of the website and page and acts immediately if a problem is noticed or reported.

4.1.1 Risk and contingency plan

Risk Contingency


Low participation of ICT19-projects ·       Trust building measures in order to motivate projects to participate will be evaluated after each workshop and improved if necessary;

·       Webinars and variety of online tools are used in order to reduce the burden of physical participation; The use of these tools will be evaluated in order to identify more fruitful ways

·       Physical meetings will be organised in correspondence with EC or other seminal event (such as NEM) if possible. Selection of meetings for workshops can be re-evaluated and adapted

·       Support of travel costs to workshops will be partly provided

·       Consultation about content of i3 Academy

·       The duration of the project is 30 months. Any possible delay in kind of engagement can thus be recovered if necessary by rescheduling a workshop or by organizing extra webinars.

·       Incentives will be foreseen in order to stimulate project participation but also a dynamic within the wider social media and convergence community to participate.  If needed, this strategy will be evaluated and a new incentive envisioned

·       Consultation of institutes, national innovation projects or research centres of the countries represented in i3 in order to uplift feedback

Low participation of other stakeholders leading to low engagement of feedback ·       Engagement strategy to be updated every year in light of results (WP6). Newly identified channels incorporated if necessary

·       Incentive system evaluated and updated

·       Analysis of feedback from ICT19-projects in order to identify barriers from stakeholder side

·       Analysis of feedback from stakeholders in order to identify barriers from their side

·       Improve engagement efforts, channels and tools

·       Evaluate information about ICT19-project provided on platform and update if necessary

·       Consultation about content of i3 Academy

·       Physical meeting in accordance with EC events if possible

·       Possibility to provide incentives

·       Online Interview or webinars

Table 12 – Risk and contingency

4.1.2 Logging of lessons learned

In a project like ours, it will be very important to log the success or not have the different actions (and our mitigation strategies) regarding engagement and dissemination. This can lead to a basis of interesting lessons for future actions based on previous experiences and thus improve our operations during the entire project. A form will be used for this and shared via MyMinds-platform and will be completed by the concerned Partner. The Table below will be used by the i3-partners to log lessons learned about engagement, on the basis of which, if necessary, their engagement activities can be improved.

Date Partner involved Description of problem Action taken to mitigate Lesson learned

Table 13 Lessons learned log


In this Deliverable Impact, Innovate, Invest (i3) project has drawn out its vision and approach to project and stakeholder engagement. Our main targets are ICT19 projects and a wider range of stakeholders in the Social Media and Convergence domain. We have described the key steps and activities that are likely to ensure maximum engagement with the project, while our overall stakeholder engagement activities will result in a better understanding of the interest, needs and preferences of the different stakeholders that will enable i3 to fine-tune our i3 methodology and tools throughout our project lifetime, benefitting the various stakeholders.

Key in our engagement offer is the so-called i3 Academy. Through this means, we engage and offer the i3 methodology and tools and our series of thematic workshops/masterclasses and investor meetings, and which together are meant to educate, support entrepreneurial activities, and coach ICT19 projects and other interested stakeholder parties in the Social Media and Convergence domain in Europe.


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Annex 1

Following our Dissemination approach outlined in D6.2 we come to the more general framework of i3 stakeholders:

  • Internal stakeholders– which refers to the members of the consortium that are directly involved in the project management and planning.
  • External stakeholders– which refers to the end recipients of the project outcomes, but will also act as opinion makers.
  • Other – this category refers to the other projects with which the I3 project will have collaboration and foster interconnectedness.

In the following Table each dissemination target within every sphere of stakeholders, is defined in terms of target goals and explain how they will be approached and engaged.

Target group Target goal Means of communication Role of partners Timing
·       I3 Consortium ·       Exchange information, collaborate ·       Project website, Project area in MyMinds platform ·       Each project partner is assigned to several WP he is in charge with. Partners should update information and exchange documents ·       From Month 1 to Month 30
·       ICT19 projects ·       Work with ICT19 projects to collect data for the methodology; and self-assessment toolkit, dissemination of results, exchange of information and knowledge. ·       Project website, project workshops, Social Networks, Poster, Banners, Flyers, Scientific Publications EK- development of a Self Awareness Toolkit deployment and How-to-Guide.

iMinds-tools and methodology validation. Master class series for coaching and mentoring. Developing of a coordination and engagement plan

F6S- Dissemination of ICT19 projects results.

·       From Month 3 to Month 30
·       European Commission ·       Input from the EC in policy recommendations. ·       I3 website, workshops, review meetings, scientific publications ·       iMinds will update the PO regularly on the development of the project and participate in meetings such as coordination meetings and workshops. All the partners will provide the required documentation and support the coordination management for the successful development of the project ·       From Month 1 to Month 30
Research market oriented institutions/ SMEs/ Science parks/ Innovation agencies/ Innovation agents and intermediaries/ Living lab host organisations/ Hubs/ Labs/ Research institutions/ Business partners/ Private investors


Foster discussion and implement their recommendations regarding social media convergence. Promote their active participation during workshops and events ·       I3 website, social media channels. EK- development of a Self Awareness Toolkit deployment and How-to-Guide.

iMinds-tools and methodology validation. Master class series for coaching and mentoring. Developing of a coordination and engagement plan

F6S- engage stakeholders through social media channels, promote project results.

·       From Month 8 to Month 30
·       Policy Makers ·       Collaborate with them to the development and validation of the policy recommendations ·       I3 website, Scientific Publications, Social Networks, workshops ·       Policy makers will be invited to attend workshops to provide their input. ·       From Month 7 to Month 28
·       Media ·       Disseminate the project achievements through media outlets ·       I3 website, social networks, banners, posters, press releases ·       F6S – will ensure that the project activities and results are disseminated through relevant media channels. Additionally, F6s will build an audience on the social network profiles. ·       From Month 1 to Month 30

Table 14 Overview Stakeholder Engagement via Communication and Timing Plan (D6.2)

[1] See also D5.1 Policy Dialogue Concept Paper for policy-oriented stakeholder objectives.

[2] See D6.2 Dissemination and Communication Strategy and Plan for a detailed overview.

[3] See D3.1 Current Situational Analysis and Conceptual Framework for overview and clustering of the 19 projects engaged. See also http://www.i3project.eu/social-media-convergence-community/ for URLS and short description.

[4] There is also increasingly used in the context of ‘social innovation’ domain and refers to ‘civil’ or ‘social’ participation where the engagement happens as part of activities related to the community and other informal associations (Davies, Simon, Patrick, & Norman, 2012).

[5] See http://www.bsr.org/

[6] See e.g. Jeffery, Neil (2009). “Stakeholder Engagement: A Road Map to Meaningful Engagement”. The Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management: https://www.networkedcranfield.com/doughty/Document%20Library/How%20To%20Guides/Stakeholder%20engagement%20A%20road%20map%20to%20meaningful%20engagement.pdf ; also, www.cdc.gov/phpr/partnerships/…/a_structured_approach_to_effective_partnering.pdf

[7] See Annex for Table summarizing Internal/External Stakeholder categories for communication and dissemination purposes as discussed in D6.2

[8] To promote the organisation and increase participation, these events are grouped when possible (based on themes), as well as organized when possible around/near another (crucial) event such as NEM and concertation meetings. While we can plan for the current thematic sessions, we cannot foresee exact dates or events further than 6 months ahead, therefore, as stated before, this Section should be seen as a living Document and which will be updates and validated via its various tool, masterclass and policy-related reports (see DoW)..

[9] We are currently in the process to learn from each project who their main stakeholders are.