Designing Dialogue: meaningful engagement in the context of responsible innovation

Anouk Anna Leonora Maria Heltzel

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis - Research and graduation internal

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Emerging technologies disrupt or render problematic old ways of understanding and ordering the world so that deep-rooted categories have to be rethought. Supporting the promotion of public engagement with science and technology that addresses our imaginative and empathic capacities, this thesis aims to increase our understanding of how to organize meaningful engagement with broad ethical and social impacts of technological innovation by taking a critical and interpretive case-study approach investigating five playful art-based engagement events. We investigated deliberation on synthetic biology, nanotechnology and reproductive technology; using respectively the ‘Frame Reflection Lab’ (a Card-based game in combination with video-narratives), two playful multi-stakeholder dialogues, and ‘Reprodutopia’ (a speculative design fertility clinic). These studies showed the fine balance between ambiguity and clarity; the difficulty to grasp and describe the outcomes of material and embodied deliberation in logical verbal language; the need to prevent the provocation of unquestioned superficial judgment; a tension between organizing events for informing anticipatory action on the one hand and fueling imagination on the other; how dispersed the definitions of responsive innovation are to begin with; and the difficulty to align art-based and playful engagement processes with innovation trajectories.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Broerse, JEW, Supervisor
  • Kupper, JFH, Co-supervisor
Award date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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