CLAW Meeting GÉANT 2020: workshop on crisis management in… times of crisis

CLAW Meeting GÉANT 2020: workshop on crisis management in… times of crisis
After the success of last year’s CLAW (Crisis Management Workshop), organized for the NREN community (National Research and Education Network) at PSNC headquarters, this year’s edition was held online. The coronavirus pandemic did not allow to organize the meeting in the capital of Wielkpolska Region once again, but this exceptional situation did not prevent the development and organization of the next interactive crisis management classes.
Guilder Kingdom, a fictional state in Europe, with a fictional history, flag and coat of arms, and even an anthem and language. For the purposes of last year’s workshop, PSNC created a map of the NREN network (GuilREN), in which = an imaginary history of the crisis related to digitization at the national level was presented. The biggest challenge was the organization of the workshop, held simultaneously in 7 parallel rooms: six teams and a team of coaches were solving the scenario at the same time, along with multimedia prepared especially for this occasion. The similar scenario was planned during this year’s edition.

The COVID-19 epidemic, however forced the organizers and the whole idea to be transferred to the virtual world. How was it heandled? The biggest challenge, as Damian Niemir from the PSNC Social and Business Environment Department admits, was to focus attention in front of the videoconference screen of nearly 80 people who have spent most of their time in this way for many months. The organizers asked themselves: how to construct an attractive scenario, giving the illusion of time pressure, while allowing people who are hundreds of kilometers apart to work together?

The participants of the virtual meeting went to Guilder again. This time, however, the convention of an interactive movie in comic book slides was adopted, with background music, sound effects and a voiceover in the background. During the session, participants had to “stop” five times to discuss the best solution in subgroups. Finally, they all voted together for one of the four alternative solutions to see the effect of their choices.

The fictitious crisis revolved around an intelligent solution for integrated transport and an electronic “ticket” based on NFC was introduced in Guilder. It was unfortunate that a bug crept in somewhere. Or maybe it was not a bug? And he didn’t creep in, but the man behind did? This story was told in such a way that the participants could continue last year’s threads and somehow announce the next edition.

The entire production facility for this year’s CLAW was based on the ZOOM platform, which made it possible to share the screen along with the sound. Powerpoint tool was also used, which was also enriched with animation, video sequences and soundtrack. Depending on the situation, the scenario could be controlled by jumping into appropriate alternative parts. Streaming on YouTube was also used in a quite unusual role, as an additional contextual screen with content that each user launched on a smartphone, as a second multimedia screen, apart from the computer monitor.

This year’s edition has shown that quite unexpectedly, the workshop on solving crisis situations can take place in exceptional, specific crisis circumstances.