Filling gaps with making maps!

Can there be such a thing as a great and motivating workshop or an invigorating and positive meeting? Apparently yes, because that is exactly what we just experienced in the second SEAmBOTH project group meeting in Haparanda, Sweden.

13 people standing at the front stairs of Stabs hotel.
Project group members who took part in the meeting. Presenting our beautiful tube scarfs!

I am a person who deeply despises all kinds of workshops. I am not a person who enjoys brainstorming together with others (or, as the politically correct term goes nowadays, thought showering), and I don’t usually like to write my suggestions on differently colored post-its and put them in differently labeled papers taped to the wall.

6 people in a meeting room, discussing and planning.
Nature values workshop. Photo by Suvi Saarnio, Metsähallitus.

This time, everything was different. We were giving nature a value, using MOSAIC-tool, developed by my Swedish colleagues. This time I was excited, motivated, full of ideas and expert opinions, and it was great to be in a company where you can admit, that something is just a species with a protection status and it doesn’t really do that much more for the whole ecosystem, or that my favorite species are water mosses.

A white board filled with numbers and comments.
Results from nature values workshop. Photo by Suvi Saarnio, Metsähallitus.

The same thing with a project meeting – they can be boring, slow, uninteresting, full of people who couldn’t care less and are just going through their Facebooks. Not this time. The project meeting was full of people with new ideas, with good news and results, with great and ambitious plans for the summer field season and with Excel sheets full of already gathered information that is actually useful for something. A lot had happened during the winter, and we even managed to squeeze in a stakeholder analysis.

Project group in a meeting room, 11 people with their laptops.
Starting the project group meeting. Photo by Suvi Saarnio, Metsähallitus.

Three full days of workshops and meetings and I left with an energized feeling, with full confidence that we are doing a great job creating useful habitat maps across the border between Finland and Sweden, and an itch to get to the field and to underwater inventory work already!

White board filled with different colored post-it-notes. Jaakko Haapamäki adding one.
In a short workshop we were considering who are the stakeholders and what is their impact on the project. Photo by Suvi Saarnio, Metsähallitus.

Go away from the Bothnian Bay, Ice, SEAmBOTH is ready to tackle another field season!

Written by, Essi Keskinen.


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