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Bootcamp Five Inspires a Shift—This Collaborative Workshop Is Now Called Gateway Focus Week

By Nayiri Mullinix

First things first: Science Gateways Bootcamp has a new name! Our week-long intensive workshop is now called Gateway Focus Week. Why the name change? We’re in the third year of offering these popular workshops, which have grown and evolved thanks to the enthusiastic feedback and input we’ve received from participants over the years. Many participants have shared how much they appreciate the opportunity to focus on their gateways in a way that they can’t when they’re back in their offices. We feel that our new name reflects participant feedback, our evolution, and the increasingly collaborative nature of the workshop.

Our fifth Bootcamp—er...Gateway Focus Week—took place May 13-17, 2019, in Indianapolis, IN, and was, indeed, a collaborative experience. Eight teams came to take a deep dive into their projects by learning about sustainability, value propositions, identifying and understanding audiences, budgeting, funding models, usability, cybersecurity, and much more. At the end of the week, teams had devised and were ready to present a Pitch Deck, which is the culminating activity that draws everything together and outlines personalized goals to be tackled in the coming months.

New to this session was an activity called “Brain Trust,” which was woven in at various points throughout the week. Deeply collaborative in nature, the activity allows breakout groups to help solve specific problems. Throughout the week, each team had a turn to state a problem and then watch the magic unfold as the group rallied together to learn more about the problem and to share ideas that could help solve the problem. This seven-step activity was a huge hit and proved incredibly eye-opening and productive, with participants eager to find solutions whether they were the problem holders or the problem solvers.

We’ll let the participant testimonials do the rest of the talking!

The next session of Focus Week will be September 9-13, 2019, in Chicago, IL. Learn more and apply now!

"When you have a lot of irons in the fire, it is difficult to commit a whole week to an intensive retreat like the SGCI Bootcamp [Focus Week]. But the impact of working closely with a team of experts and a room full of peers struggling with similar issues in their own science gateway projects far exceeded my expectations. If you need help reaching your gateway’s potential or are worried about its sustainability, run, don’t walk, to the next offering, and take your whole team with you. My only regret is not having involved more of my staff."
Kris Acheson-Clair
Director, Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research
Purdue University

"As a small and part-time team, having a week of focus and planning together was so powerful. The instructors are terrific guides and mentors and the Bootcamp [Focus Week] process let us really work out a plan for sustainability. We greatly benefited from the collaborative environment, working with people from other diverse projects and realizing we were all trying to solve a lot of very similar problems. Since we came back we have continued to digest everything we learned and talked about and are working on our plans, promises, and goals."
Mark Tourtellott
Technology Director

"Hitting pause on our day-to-day work to fully participate in the SGCI Bootcamp gave us the time to reassess our project and identify areas for change going forward. The business strategy skills that we learned gave us the toolkit needed to ask questions and provide the foundation to plan for the future."
Sarah O'Connor
University of Maryland
Coral Reef Information System