Last week Feimatta and I headed to Vienna to attend the general assembly of the GROW Observatory. Around forty people from eighteen GROW partners across Europe attended the two day event, including soil scientists, data scientists, permaculturalists and many others.

GROW is a citizens’ observatory that brings together people passionate about soil and sustainable growing techniques with scientists and policy makers. It will combine soil data contributed by individuals with publicly available scientific data to generate new open knowledge and practices. The project hopes to increase small-scale food production and preserve the soil quality for future generations.

The purpose of the general assembly was to reflect on year one of the project, decide a timeline for year two and hold workshops to answer some specific questions.

FutureEverything is principally involved in two areas of developing the GROW Observatory. Firstly, as part of the service ecosystem team, which involves developing an online collaboration hub for GROW participants to share growing experiences and view data from their soil sensors. Secondly, service innovation, which involves exploring products and services that GROW could potentially provide to different stakeholders, delivering real value.

FutureEverything held a workshop to determine what features growers may like to see in the online collaboration hub. A first version of the hub already exists but another version will be released in February 2018 to coincide with the full roll-out of GROW missions in nine GROW places across Europe.

On the second day, the project partners collaborated to produce a timeline for work over the next six to 9 months.

Where would we be without posit notes?

Planning GROW Observatory activity for 2018.

At the end of the second day we found a couple of spare hours for a quick walk around some of the impressive sights of Vienna. One of the project partners who is based in Vienna kindly acted as our tour guide.

With this being only my second week working for FutureEverything, the general assembly was the perfect introduction to the GROW project. I came away understanding the objectives of the project, as well as the challenges. It was extremely useful to meet all the people involved, to get an idea of who they are beyond a profile picture on a Slack channel. I’m looking forward to starting work on the actions we put in place.

A workshop at the Grow Observatory General Assembly, Vienna 2017

The first workshop of the general assembly.

FutureEverything's Feimatta at the Grow Observatory General Assembly, Vienna 2017

Our Feimatta Conteh