Insight Science Leadership Collaborative Lab ​Vol. 4

Ahoy, science leaders! Plenty had happened in Science Leadership Collaborative, and the program’s first period (we call them: breath) came to an end with plenty of reflective and learning sessions. Eagerness and enthusiasm were high in the air as we embarked on this journey together. Find out more about it here.

SLC ship has fully launched!

The launch was designed for all of us to open our minds and hearts, laying the foundation for leadership and, most importantly, making sense of what they wanted to achieve.

While the sessions were fascinating, we wish to share a recap of such excitement that we experienced together here:

“I am feeling very grateful for the first breath of the SLC program which touches upon various core elements of being an innovative leader. These insights were also tailored to fit our needs, both as a group and individually, allowing us to use these insights in our own career”.

Fajar Ajie Setiawan, SLC 2022/2023 Cohort

“I am most looking forward to seeing the result of the leadership questionnaire that we filled out before and getting more insights about leadership!”

Venticia Hukom, SLC 2022/2023 Cohort

To conclude the end of the first breath, hearts and minds are open. Let’s get on with this journey!

Preparing for the Leading Self Module

“Don’t let life randomly kick you into becoming a person (adult) you do not want to become.“- Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander Expedition 35 

Hadfield emphasized the importance of knowing and understanding ourselves while simultaneously sculpting who we are into becoming that person, the person we wish to become, instead of mere reactive actions towards our surroundings. Interestingly, this shares the same spirit with the leading self module. 

As one of the modules in the leading self, we explore the wonders of learning to recognize systemic contexts in human behavior, increase our awareness and interplay between the self and the system, expand our perspectives, and practice bringing together different stakeholders.

And now we are in this part of the program:

What does it mean to be part of the SLC community?

Last August, the SLC team had the privilege of attending the Indonesian-American Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium, which signified our organization’s role in making science more inclusive and accessible. We were warmly welcomed by the scientific communities from Indonesia and the United States. 

We noticed the importance of building and maintaining a community through the Kavli symposium. Each of us carries the torch of collaborative work and a strong sense of community, working together for the betterment of science. Just like SLC, we begin with Indonesia. Furthermore, these torchbearers will bring their light all over the world. When we say toward a collaborative future, it is not just a saying; it is the future we create together. It is what we do. 

Meeting our partners, mentors, board members, and cohorts, we had a beautiful time exchanging experiences, learning from each other, and, most importantly, receiving feedback on how to deliver our program better. It was a learning opportunity. 

With that being said, stay tuned for more community gatherings and meet up in your town!  

Why peer learning, and what can we learn from our peers?

One of the methods that are being conducted in Science Leadership Collaborative; is called peer learning. We had a short conversation with the peer learning sessions designer and one of the facilitators of the peer learning sessions in SLC, Rainer von Leoprechting, to share with us the fruits of peer learning.

In short; the peer learning session invited SLC participants to meet in small peer learning groups of 5-6 people, accompanied by an experienced Action Learning coach. In each session, one of the participants presents an important unsolved issue, which all explore with open-ended questions and sharing from their own experiences, insights, and speculative answers. The goal of the inquiry is not to “solve” the problem immediately, but rather to uncover underlying assumptions, deeper connections, the more relevant questions, or insights – “eureka” moments.

From this, ways of dealing with the situations become apparent through the shared inquiry. Each session ends with a moment of reflection and learning, and resolutions from the presenter on how they are going to deal with the situation moving forward.

Furthermore, what and how can we learn from our peers; according to Rainer, through peer learning, peer learning created opportunities to explore the islands of human connection and open, mindful intelligence in a context where people normally felt they could only share what was known and politically acceptable or would avoid any fundamental critique of the status quo. 

Since then, peer learning has become an integral part of Rainer’s professional life, where he has learned to openly address what is important for him and receive help from others, mainly through their questions and connecting to the issue with their own life experiences.

Storytelling and communicating science

The term “science communication” has become more and more popular. One might ask: why is it so important? Toss Gascoigne and Joan Leach share key takeaways from their book Communicating Science: A Global Perspective:

First, science communication equips community with knowledge and possible solutions to their problems. In rural Kenya, for instance, local science communication practices have helped the community address high morality in delivering babies. Second, science communication can enhance the integration of science with other beliefs. Last but not least, science communication has made science more accessible, and public opinions and responses more likely to be sought. Read more about it here.

Now, how do we measure good science communication? 

QUEST, a project funded by the European Union, gathered a multidisciplinary team of researchers and experts from six countries to define, measure, and support quality in science communication Let’s take a look at the 12 Quality Indicators for Science Communication that they recently launched! 

A fascinating conversation with Prof. Adi Utarini and David Irianto, a colleague from TEDxJakarta, also led us to conclude that storytelling is an important part of science communication. In communicating research findings and scientific concepts and ideas, we wanted to be able to ensure that we got our message delivered without reducing the quality of our research. Storytelling has been a way to create meaningful interactions and engagement, exchange and tell stories, and nurture that engagement that scientists and society must have. In a world where, more than ever, science-based policies are needed, people must be able to connect with our scientists. Why not begin with exchanging stories through storytelling? 
Stay tuned as we will explore more about this in our upcoming social media training! In the meantime, share your most memorable experience related to science communication here. We will include some of the stories in the next newsletter.

Messages for the young scientists

On a balmy Friday morning, the SLC team sat in an office overlooking Universitas Indonesia’s old library. It was Prof. Jatna Supriatna’s office at the Multidisciplinary Research Laboratorium where we talked about thinking beyond our disciplines, building networks, and many more.

We have crafted some important messages that the eminent conservation biologist has for Indonesian young scientists!

Expand our thinking and think beyond your disciplines
The world is filled with complex problems that will require complex solutions, and complex solutions require complex deliberations! Prof. Jatna underlined this by saying, “Climate change, for example, cannot be tackled by natural scientists only. There must be social scientists, economists, engineers, and more joining hands together.” He urges young scientists to think beyond their disciplines and start multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary initiatives. 

Involve the community
Involving the community will not only make your initiative more inclusive and impactful but also more sustainable. It is even better if we involve them from the beginning. Start by posing these questions: What are their problems? How do they wish to solve it? How can we, as a scientist, help? Prof. Jatna reminds us again, “Without involving the community, we will build another ivory tower”.

Don’t burn the bridges
“The most important thing to keep in mind is never to burn the bridges,” Prof. Jatna said. He explained to us how keeping in touch with old friends and making new ones has impacted his journey. “It is easier (to achieve something together) than to walk alone.” He also reminds the young scientists to appreciate being part of the scientific community and to be patient in building networks. “It takes time, but it’s worth it.” 

Take your time and find your competitive advantages
Look into yourself. What strength/uniqueness do you have? What is your competitive advantage? More than often, we misjudge ourselves and miss out on our great qualities, “it is easier for other people to notice that,” Prof. Jatna invites young scientists to start looking into themselves, find their competitive advantage and make the best of it. When you know who you are, you can thrive.

Keep on going, keep doing it
“Don’t get discouraged because of one problem. Just keep going, keep doing it,” he said. Prof. Jatna practices consistency, with 40 years of dedication to conservation that have led him to where he is now. “Failure is normal,” he continued, “… it will make you learn and understand the meaning of success better.”

Prof. Jatna has been here, serving on the SLC advisory board. We hope you find his messages inspiring as much as we do!

What’s next in SLC?

Sprinting towards the Innovation Sprint
According to Jaroslav, what we can expect from this 4-week Innovation Sprint, commencing next January 2023, is that this module will provide a guided innovation process to help you take an idea, project, or initiative rapidly forward using selected cutting-edge innovation tools and frameworks. 

The SLC cohort, with Jaroslav’s guidance, will work on a regular weekly rhythm, meeting several times each week. Everyone will be assisted through the exploration, ideation, prototyping, stakeholder engagement, and presentation of your final idea.

It will be fast-paced, fun, and an exciting way to accelerate the cohort’s work as an innovator and leaders of change in their environment.

Media Highlights: Spreading the SLC Collaborative Spirit – 29 Ilmuwan Internasional Ini Menjadi Mentor Peneliti Muda Indonesia – 29 Ilmuwan Internasional Jadi Mentor Peneliti Muda, Ada Guru Besar UGM – Keren! Guru Besar UNS Masuk Dalam 29 Ilmuwan Internasional yang Jadi Mentor Peneliti Muda Indonesia

Science Leaders’ Contribution to Science

We believe in celebrating the contribution our cohort’s making to science. We wanted to highlight our cohort’s work in science and share it with our network!

Once again thank you for being a treasured part of the SLC network, the work here has been exciting and we can’t wait to share more of it with you in our next newsletter!

Insight SLC is brought to you by BeebaDewiFryda, and Nana. Our newsletter laboratory runs bi-monthly and is open for ideas; feel free to contact us.

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