So what’s it really like to be involved in a Sandpit?

October 8, 2007

I was going to try to write some pithy summary of the ‘sandpit experience’ from a facilitator’s perspective, but then I read the comments from previous events, and this one just jumped out at me:

Lots of ideas, new science, critical thinking, no sleep

I couldn’t put it better myself! However, in the interests of sharing many perspectives, here is a list of other participants’ comments.

  • Great opportunity to participate in a novel form of research design.
  • Amazing experience – really good to meet people from other areas, very supportive environment. Phenomenally hectic time – I don’t want to leave!
  • As the emphasis was on creativity we were under great intellectual and personal pressure, but that was the point.
  • Fresh insights into how my existing skills and interests can contribute to the debate.
  • Absolutely amazing!! The ideas generated were fantastic and the interaction was very positive.
  • Great experiment.
  • Fantastic – a positive, interesting and new experience – will definitely take a lot away from it and hope I gave a little input over the course of the sand-pit.
  • Lots of ideas that will be useful in undergraduate project teaching.
  • Many more ideas than I had when I arrived and many additional collaborations formed.
  • Great fun. A good piece of personal development. I met some very useful contacts.
  • New perspectives on problem-solving and interacting with possible collaborators.
  • I learnt a great deal and thoroughly enjoyed it all.
  • Very good all round – a good new way of working to push forward UK science and technology ideas. Should set the standard for future workshops.
  • Despite my initial cynicism I found the Sandpit to be a wonderfully stimulating experience in which I thoroughly enjoyed participating. Thanks for inviting me.
  • Whatever the outcome of the projects we are developing I am sure that something new will emerge from the contacts I have made with other researchers (whom I would be most unlikely to have met otherwise).
  • I discovered new ways of working collaboratively, e.g. developing ideas through writing rather than shouting.
  • I wouldn’t have applied (cynicism over the name of the event and previous “management games” got in the way – I am now cured.)
  • It was a very positive experience overall with numerous beneficial outcomes. I would recommend participation to anyone.
  • I think it’s a great and really innovative idea. It was really enjoyable – great opportunity for networking and being exposed to different thinking!
  • Interactions with a diverse set of people.
  • Great fun all round – fantastic discussions, and the only down-side was the overall resource, but guess this will always be the case and the ideas that emerged will set me thinking for some time.
  • Thanks for organising the innovative and wonderful workshop. I enjoyed it very much!
  • Thanks for the most unusual, stimulating and exhausting few days.
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2 Responses to “So what’s it really like to be involved in a Sandpit?”

  1. Ian Brown Says:

    Were the comments on the sandpit universally ecstatic?

  2. andyburnett Says:

    As far as I know, this is the complete list of comments from the exit surveys. And, as anyone involved in social research can attest, people who didn’t like the event may well not have completed the surveys.


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