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Thinking with the public

The involvement of stakeholders, including the public is one of the key elements of Future Earth. On August 1, RIHN held its annual Open House, during which the institute is opened to the public. As a part of the Open House program, the Future Earth Unit organized an activity called “Gathering Everyone’s Thoughts on Environmental Problems”, where we used twitter to gather the audience’s thoughts on ongoing environmental problems. We asked: “What is the environmental problem that you are most concerned about and why?” As we gathered everyone’s thoughts, we used an online application to visualize the tweets: The word clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the tweets so that we will be able to recognize the most concerned environmental problem visually. Over 40 people including middle school children to elderly people participated in this event and shared their thoughts.