Already during the first year 2014, there was a well-functioning group dynamics in the Centre of Excellence. Amongst the researchers, this soon led to discussions of developing some novel forms of research interaction which could utilize and further develop the observable positive drive.
During 26–27 February 2015, the CoE then organized a two-day Recognition Retreat at the course centre Hvittorp in Kirkkonummi. The event was the first of its kind, and its idea was to get together, to get to know each other’s research topics better, and to develop some common strategies for the CoE.
In the first afternoon’s programme, there were six presentations of individual research topics with a coffee break in between. The presentations were given by Joona Salminen, Tim Riggs, Panu-Matti Pöykkö, Hanne Appelqvist, Heikki Haara, and Aku Visala.
After the papers, it was time for dinner. The programme then continued with a discussion of Risto Saarinen’s book manuscript Recognition and Religion: A Historical and Systematic Study. A day before, on Wednesday 25 February, Saarinen had presented both the CoE and his own research topics at a meeting of The Philosophical Society of Finland in Helsinki.
After the official proceedings of the first day, the discussions were continued in a more relaxed manner while enjoying some evening snacks, drinks, and good company.
Upon returning to the big hall from Friday morning’s breakfast gathering, the second day started with a mapping and updating of the CoE’s overall timeline, and a listing of various activities and events during the CoE period, most of which still remains in the future.
The participants then divided into three groups in which various topics were discussed. These included academic research publications, popular writing and other forms of societal impact, and aspects of our research strategy.
After the final brainstorming sessions, the retreat concluded with a lunch, and the participants then started returning to the world.