Natural food: Organizing ‘responsiveness’ in responsible innovation of food technology

Dirk Haen, Petra Sneijder, Hedwig Te Molder, Tsjalling Swierstra

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Responsible innovation requires mutual responsiveness between various stakeholders around technological innovation. But in public engagement exercises, concerns about ethical, cultural and political impacts are too easily set aside, so that no one is actually encouraged to discuss responsibilities for these impacts. A typical example in the field of food innovation is the consumer’s recurring concern for natural food. In discussions, both consumers and engineers tend to consider the meaning of naturalness as subjective and private. In this chapter, we present an interdisciplinary design tool for public engagement that is more hospitable to such concerns, based on the Discursive Action Method and Techno-Ethical Imagination. We describe the advancements we made and the obstacles we faced when applying this tool in two dialogue workshops on novel foods and naturalness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResponsible Innovation 2
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts, Approaches, and Applications
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783319173085
ISBN (Print)9783319173078
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Conversation analysis
  • Food technology
  • Naturalness
  • Responsiveness
  • Soft concerns
  • Stakeholder dialogue
  • Techno-ethical imagination


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