Although the pandemic was undoubtedly a challenge, WEGO-ITN has managed to create a dynamic community of learning coming together regularly online. It has certainly not been an easy year for the consortia adapting to all that COVID-19 meant. Several ESRs expressed how they at times felt lost and overwhelmed but always with appreciation for the solidarity and support given via Zoom and other digital platforms. Most ESRs have managed the crisis relocating and adapting their PhD projects while balancing work and family life amongst the global fears and uncertainties.
WEGO-ITN has progressed as planned even with the challenges of COVID-19. Enthusiasm from ESRs and institutions continues. The suspension of the mid-term review allowed the network to rally together to change the outcome. Learning from that suspension, the consortia has understood that network planning, social media and outreach are important features of the ITN process, along with the success of ESR individual projects. A newly hired communication manager is working hard on producing podcasts and other online resources with the ESRs.
WEGO-ITN is now engaging on a number of collective projects in 2021 such as organising the 8th International Degrowth conference, multiple group trainings for the ESRs for communications and dissemination, planning and organising FPE dialogues in five countries, planning and organising the 3rd training lab in The Hague, planning and organising the policy roundtable at Erasmus University Rotterdam, participation in management activities all meeting the EC requirements while seeing through the ESR individual research projects.