The Mistra Environmental Communication Research Programme Component at the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism (ICSJ)

Sounding board group

What it is

A “Sounding board” is an open, flexible way of testing ideas and receiving feedback, either from a person or a group. It can be done either face-to-face or in asynchronous modes of communication. For our purposes at WP5, our sounding board activities can take the form of providing feedback, through online communication, on issues formulated by the WP5 researchers. In principle, sounding boards will include the entire WP5 team (=WP5 researchers and WP5 societal partners), to allow for the dynamics of the interaction to evolve. However, if a member prefers to share ideas and thoughts privately, or in a smaller group, this mode is also feasible.

How it will work

Vaia Doudaki will act as the general coordinator of the sounding board groups, facilitating their organization. The WP5 researcher who is interested in receiving feedback is responsible for initiating, monitoring the process and collecting the information, by presenting clear information about start and end dates, and type of feedback that is desired. Respecting the sounding board group’s time will be one of principles when asking for feedback. So, providing feedback should not require significant time investment on the part of the sounding board group. In most cases, platforms and tools of collaborative writing that are widely known will be used for the sounding board group’s purposes, allowing for a collective response (e.g., google docs available through In some cases, though, a set of simple individual responses to the WP5 researcher that started the process would suffice. Sounding board members are free to use the tools and platforms that best facilitate their purposes (which, in all cases need to be made available to all), but are kindly advised to avoid complex or not widely known tools and platforms. Keep it as simple as possible!

When it can be used

There are several activities, output products and moments that the WP5 team’s feedback may be asked by the team’s researchers. These times will be kept to sustainable levels, as it regards the frequency of the sounding board group’s activation. For example, the notes on WP5’s participatory activities (including the one on the sounding board tool itself) will be shared for feedback by the team’s sounding board. Also, in other moments that a decision needs to be made on operational or organizational matters, or on the WP5 team’s activities, the sounding board can be activated. Similarly, it will be activated at research stages when the WP5 team’s output is important to make operational decisions, or validate research results, etc. (e.g., the mapping procedure of the fields of media and the art; the selection of case studies to analyse, from these fields; the draft analysis of the case studies, etc.).

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