C1: Mind the map: visualising our collaborations at work in hierarchical research institutions

Monique Horstmann, Taru Auranne, Sami Ojanen, Mila Hyytinen, Sara Miyabe & Pauliina Hyttinen, University of Helsinki
Aiheet: 3. Tulevaisuus, Yleinen

Ever since the global pandemic, our methods of collaboration have changed significantly. Remote work demanded new ways of organising units, research projects, funding applications and our personal workflows. As changes are already ongoing, why not take the opportunity to actively reconsider the social realities of our work?  As research managers and administrators, we collaborate daily with people on different roles within and outside our institutions. Often, we find ourselves in particular roles in an existing hierarchy, which regulates the forms of collaboration. These hierarchies – be they institutional in nature or stemming from individuals’ differing expertise – and our roles in them are not always beneficial for collaboration or well-being. Ideally, collaborators have or are aware of the same large-scale goals and understand as well as respect each other’s values even when pursuing different mid-term targets. This facilitates research and knowledge production. As reality is not always ideal, we propose to make challenges visible in this workshop by 1) defining our roles in relation to our existing collaborations (and distinguish them from co-operations) and 2) opening the discussion on how we could establish new non-hierarchical forms of organisation that are egalitarian, inclusive, and participatory.   In this 90-minute workshop, we aim to identify the hierarchical structures of the institutions we work in and how our collaborations are situated within these structures. We invite the participants to think of, share, and visualise their position as research managers and administrators in their working environment and its hierarchies. By mapping the different kinds of collaborations that we have individually, we can make ourselves aware of our roles within the system, our possibilities to challenge structures, and our ability to cause transformation.