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An ‘ecsitement’. The main event, and the 108 parallel sessions, took place at Alfândega do Porto Congress Center and the Hall of Diversity, Porto Botanical Garden. In addition to the conference, exhibition space, and parallel sessions, there was also an award ceremony: Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards.

The 28th edition of the Ecsite Conference, the world's largest on communication and engagement in science, brought to Porto over a thousand attendees (1,058) from 52 countries.

The event was hosted by the Natural History and Science Museum of University of Porto (MHNC-UP) and Ciência Viva and had strong institutional support.


© Filipa Brito

Event agenda

Topics such as learning ecosystems, gender equality, post-truth, design for all, science capital, migrants, guerilla marketing, equity and inclusion, among others, were on the agenda and were the subject of a serious reflection by the participants and guest speakers.

To explore these themes, the approach was to promote various formats, moments of interaction and sharing, giving delegates ample opportunities to choose. Work and fun blended to facilitate learning and networking.

© Filipa Brito

Event Format

There was the ‘keynote format’, where all attendees got together to listen to the speaker 45 for minutes, followed by questions; ‘session format’, very informal, where the delegates can come and go at any time; ‘panel format’, with a moderator introducing the speakers, who shared their perspectives; ‘PechaKucha’, 20 slides, 20 seconds each, making the presentation really dynamic; ‘poster showcase’, rapid-fire presentations that allow the use of objects; ‘reverse’, where attendees can engage with speakers, regarding a specific topic, moderated by someone; and ‘workshop’, hands on, practical and interactive session. It can be a demonstration, a game, a training course.


Other features of the event were the Business Bistro, a mixture between bar and trade show, a social and commercial hub; a Pop-Up Office, for anyone who needed to do urgent work; and lounges to catch up with friends.

The connection to the destination was always present in the event, in the most diverse details and notes, from entertainment, to gastronomy, from wines to the different spaces and scenarios we use. In the closing party, we reproduced the famous São João, the main popular festival of the city. After all, it was June, the popular saints’ month.

Testimonial: “A warm thank you to our brilliant hosts: Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto (MHNC-UP) and Ciência Viva - and of course to all the participants who make this conference so special!”