New ways to connect
Finding a new normal
Resilience isn’t on display when times are good, its what we rely on when things go haywire; when uncertainty in our lives is is high and control over our circumstances is low. In a time when everything seems like its been upended, its important to remember that connecting with others isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity. Social connection is an important part of how we learn to adapt.
Through social connections our research community can share new found best practices, reduce stress, and share reflections that can lead to innovative solutions to society’s greatest challenges. With this in mind, ERI is launching a few new resources and social opportunities. Together we will not just sustain our individual and collective well-being but build resilience to future disruptions to lives.
ERI maintains relationships with faculty, students, and partners through our e-newsletter and social media streams (@ResilienceUVA). These tools are great for getting the word out about upcoming events, funding, and achievements. They aren’t so great for socializing however. We would like to make it easier for people to find new contacts, find resources and guidance, get feedback, share interesting news clippings or publications, and generally work together. Therefore, we’re introducing a persistent group chat channel for all faculty and students, and UVa staff engaged in ERI-centric work.
The Zoom platform now includes persistent chat that works outside of video meetings for 1:1 or group chat. We’ve created a public ERI Network channel for anyone interested in joining (faculty, students, and staff). People from across the UVa research community are already using Zoom for class and research meetings, so it makes sense to use Zoom instead of reaching for another tool. Since Zoom also integrates with Outlook and GSuite, you can use it to share files, seamlessly schedule meetings, and move between text and video chat. Being part of the network doesn’t have to mean you’re always available of course, just that you don’t want to be left out. New to chat, no problem.
We invite you to open your Zoom desktop client or mobile app, click ‘Contacts’ and then click ‘channels’. You can search for the ERI Network to find us and join our digital village.
Weekly (virtual) Happy Hour
Sometimes you just need to let your hair down and unwind. Virtual happy hours are a good chance to do just that! We invite you to join us for an hour of relaxed conversation every Wednesday from 5-6pm with faculty and students from ERI’s Network. It’s always good to see a familiar face or make a new friend. All are welcome.
Each Happy Hour starts with a short time for any announcements attendees might have, then we’ll break into small groups a few times to “mingle” before we come back together as a group for a quick goodbye.
Bring a story to share. Drinks are optional. Let’s keep it informal but classy.
Idea Development Platform
Thinking of innovative solutions to complex issues with people is what we’re all about at ERI. That’s best done face-to-face. In a time of social distancing and a distributed network of hundreds of researchers, that can be a real challenge (here are some tips for virtual collaboration). Existing communication tools aren’t set up to manage development of great ideas. Therefore, ERI is investing in an idea-development platform to help surface interesting research concepts, leverage our network to develop feedback, and identify new team members for inter and transdisiplinary opportunities.
We’re piloting the platform now. After signing up, members of the community can launch a ‘mission’ (a collection of ideas), or respond to an existing one. We’ve included a few example missions to get you started. If you start a mission, you can share your question, ask others to join the discussion, rate previously submitted responses, and take action. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Useful, or no?
In the end, these opportunities and tools are what we make of them. There are best practices and then there’s practicing what’s best. Sure, every technology has limitations, and online communication isn’t as effective as face-to-face. However, we are sure to thrive in this uncertain time if we accept the challenge of developing new ways of connecting.
Please let us know by email or via Zoom what you think about ERInteractive. We always appreciate your feedback and look forward to a time when we can visit with you in person.