Introduction to the POPE observatory and the TRIGGER project

The Permanent Observatory for Public Engagement (POPE) keeps an eye on the evolution of theories and tools for engagement, with a special focus on large-scale engagements, such as in making global decisions. POPE is part of the TRIGGER project, which is aimed at providing EU institutions with the knowledge and tools to enhance their actorness, effectiveness and influence in global governance; and to develop new ways to harness the potential of public engagement and participatory foresight in complex governance decisions (

The purpose of POPE is to ensure that the TRIGGER project leverages the most updated knowledge and applications regarding public engagement. Given the continuous evolution of the field, POPE is designed to signal advancements that are likely  to occur over the course of the TRIGGER project and beyond. The observatory will deliver quarterly maps (the COCTEAU Quarterly Landscape) showing the evolution of the field and focusing  on topical areas. The intention is to progressively build a community of purpose, starting with the core network of members of the TRIGGER project, and then reaching out to include policy makers, scholars and practitioners to debate EU actorness and governance issues..

POPE is not simply a new online ‘place’ from which to observe the world of public engagement practices. It is a mechanism – actually a piece of software – that helps to trigger public engagement at the right place and time, on the right issues and questions, with the right mix of people, in the right way, helping the POPE user to explore the resources and applications existing in the field for better design of the public engagement experience.

This first newsletter is dedicated to the observation of effective public engagement in sustainability issues.