Interactive approaches to technology development provide opportunities for the development of innovative technologies which clearly connect with social practices and address the positive and negative effects as perceived by relevant actors. The challenge is to start an interactive approach early in the development of new technologies, when many options are still open for exploration and there are good possibilities for steering. Early involvement of societal actors is, however, challenged by the absence of concrete applications on which they can develop their own visions from the perspective of their own needs, interests, norms and values. Integrating Constructive Technology Assessment (CTA) with vision assessment is proposed as an approach to overcome this dilemma in the field of ecological genomics and bridge the knowledge gap between parties closely involved with ecogenomics research and other relevant actors. We present, evaluate and discuss the process of identifying guiding visions of the technology developers as a first step in this approach and end with some suggestions on how desirable futures for ecogenomics can subsequently be assessed from the perspectives of different actors. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.