DUBLIN – A new concept for online interaction was introduced to the participants of the European Students’ Convention in Dublin from 7 to 11 March. Defined as rapporteur 2.0, it encouraged people to participate in lively debates on Twitter on the topics highlighted each day during the conference. People were also asked to share their experiences off-venue in a creative way.
The participants were able to follow or contribute to the debate by including #ESC25 in their tweets. All of those tweets were collected into one thread and saved by using the social media application Storify. This proved to be a very useful approach to the meeting, as people were able to contribute directly to the discussions with all the other participants from the beginning till the end and then review all the comments afterwards making it easy to analyse people’s opinions or wishes. But the discussions were also a venue of great fun for everyone involved, that were able to follow pictures, videos and remarks about the event.
Creating awareness through social media
Twitter and other forms of social media were used to raise awareness about the purpose and main goals of the convention having the overarching theme “Equality for diversity”. A number of issues concerned with higher education were discussed during the three days in Dublin, including the social dimension of the system and rights of disabled students and those coming from minority groups. The participants’ main concern was how authorities could protect access to and the diversity of education in times of budget cuts. But the guests also got a detailed insight into the current situation in Ireland and the measures that are being taken in reforming the higher education system, like improving support for disabled students and embracing the changing social structure of the student population. The participants were also introduced to specific cases, like for example concerning the access of the Irish travellers community to the education system.
The European Students’ Union (ESU) plans to use and improve open online communication in its future events in order to bring together different opinions in an accessible and creative manner. These discussions can also be used for any kind of reporting when drawing conclusions from the events or taking up interesting comments. This has also enabled student representatives and other interested parties to follow the outcomes of the events or even contribute to them even though they are unable to attend them. Many people also contributed to the discussions in their own national languages or used social media to bring their national experiences into the debate both online and in face to face presentations or talks during the event.
“After #ESC25: Education is the biggest driver for social change. @esutwt can be in the forefront of building a more social and equal Europe,“ said Juha Töyrylä, from the Finnish student union SYL, on Twitter following the event.
If you are interested in seeing the storyline from the ESC25 from one day to the next, please click here.
If you are interested in following our channel on Storify, please click here.
Also have a look at our photo gallery from the event on Facebok here where you can find pictures from the event.