By Nayiri Mullinix
“We really enjoyed how the Focus Week brings people with extensive industry experience to work with folks in academia -- it’s incredibly helpful to exchange perspectives and discuss creative ways to achieve goals.”
SGCI hosted the sixth Gateway Focus Week September 9-13, 2019. Participants came together in Chicago, IL, to work on a sustainability plan for their gateway projects. The intensive, five-day workshop is offered twice yearly and allows attendees to look at their gateways through a variety of new lenses. Attendees learn about topics ranging from budgeting and marketing to cybersecurity and usability. Throughout the week, participants learn and practice new skills, such as how to write a value proposition, identify and understand audiences, and much more.
As has been the case with all the Focus Weeks, participants of this session felt that they walked away with a fresh perspective of their gateways and a new set of goals to aspire to as they work to achieve sustainability.
"We had a great experience at our Focus Week. We left the week feeling inspired about the potential for our gateway and much more knowledgeable about what is necessary to successfully implement our ideas, engage users, and build a community around the project. Our favorite activity was the Brain Trust, where participants helped each other brainstorm and look for creative solutions for complicated issues. Also, knowing that we will have check-ups after three and six months gives us additional motivation to achieve the goals we established during Focus Week. We also really enjoyed how the Focus Week brings people with extensive industry experience to work with folks in academia -- it’s incredibly helpful to exchange perspectives and discuss creative ways to achieve goals."
Research Data Scientist
Smithsonian Institution Data Science Lab
Smithsonian Women's Committee Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow
"Our science gateway has been evolving since 2007 and like many other gateways, we have been walking the tightrope between funded grant proposals and in-kind institutional support to keep the lights on. The Gateway Focus Week was an intense but incredibly valuable process that provided an experienced and fresh perspective with clear guidance on how to better engage our community and identify pathways to sustainability."
Global Biosocial Complexity Initiative, Arizona State University
Assistant Research Professor
Center for Social Dynamics & Complexity, Arizona State University