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Significant transformations promise to reshape our lives in today’s rapidly evolving society. However, for these changes to be meaningful and sustainable, they must be driven by diverse stakeholders aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the targets of the Green Deal.

The IMPETUS project is experimenting with innovative funding, training, and mentoring strategies for European citizen science initiatives (CSIs) to maximize their scientific, social, and political impact.

At the heart of the IMPETUS project lies the IMPETUS Accelerator, a platform designed to support selected CSIs as they tackle pressing issues in areas such as biodiversity, health, and accessibility. As part of the ECSA 2024 conference in April 2024, IMPETUS is set to revolutionise the traditional Demo Day format, typically reserved for startups, to showcase their products to potential investors. Instead, IMPETUS will harness this concept to spotlight the achievements of citizen science projects.

The IMPETUS Demo Day will feature representatives from the 2023 CSI cohort of the IMPETUS accelerator. Through engaging presentations, these CSIs will share their projects’ impact and outline strategies for sustaining momentum beyond the program’s duration. They will also demonstrate how their initiatives address critical challenges and contribute to broader societal goals.

At the IMPETUS Demo Day, the CSIs will pitch their project to the audience, who will be invited to role-play as various stakeholders (scientists, policy-makers, science journalists…).

Following the pitches, the “stakeholders” will be encouraged to ask follow-up questions to learn how the CSIs can benefit their needs and offer constructive criticism. This interactive approach will allow CSIs to receive valuable feedback and hone their communication skills, which is essential for effectively engaging with diverse audiences.

After the stakeholders have asked all their questions, they will be asked to invest in the CSIs which best fit their needs and who presented their project the best. Each group of stakeholders will then vote for the projects they liked the most; audience members will also have an opportunity to leave messages to the CSI representatives they would like to learn more from and potentially collaborate with in the future!

By bringing together stakeholders from across sectors, IMPETUS aims to inspire collaboration and foster a culture of citizen-driven innovation. The event provides an opportunity for the citizen science community to witness the achievements of CSIs from the first cohort of IMPETUS Accelerator and serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to support grassroots solutions to global challenges.

So, if you are lucky enough to join the citizen science community at ECSA, why not join us on Friday, the 5th, and participate in our IMPETUS demo day?