UTDesignLabResponsible Futuring

Responsible Futuring approach

Celebrate co-speculation! By you and the crew


Today’s challenges are more complex than ever because they are part of complex societal, technological and environmental systems. Challenges are interrelated: tackling one today might raie issues tomorrow. Solutions that work in a context, might break into another. How to deal with our complex world, then? DesignLab University of Twente has developed the Responsible Futuring approach.

Let's join forces!

Responsible Futuring

At DesignLab, we have developed Responsible Futuring, our approach to addressing societal challenges. Rooted in the designerly tradition of design thinking, our approach departs from society and its challenges rather than solutions and technology. We employ trans-disciplinary practices, responsible design, and social involvement to drive societal impact. Like our approach to citizen science, we aim to engage citizens on relevant societal topics such as health innovation, digital society, and climate change.

Responsible Futuring promotes creative collaboration and knowledge exchange among engineers, social scientists, businesses, policymakers, and citizens. We value the expertise and lived experiences of all stakeholders, but also encourage them to break disciplinary boundaries and become agents of societal change. While shaping desirable futures, Responsible Futuring prompts us to recognise our role, contemplate the short- and long-term effects of societal challenges, ideas, and technologies, and generate potential solutions using moral imagination.

Foundation of Responsible Futuring
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Open access toolbox

To foster connections between science and society, DesignLab serves as an experimental and innovative ecosystem where stakeholders meet, brainstorm and aim to find solutions for societal challenges. Therefore, DesignLab offers open access information, tools and templates in the Responsible Futuring toolbox.

Start co-shaping responsible change
Explore toolbox 1.0

News & must-reads


Photo: Melvin Tas | Frisse Focus
Transdisciplinary Master Insert 'Shaping Responsible Futures', hosted by DesignLab
Students from different programmes increase their knowledge and skills in the field of transdisciplinary work. In the space of six months, various themes are explored, i.e. transdisciplinary ways of working, high-level critical & conceptual thinking, participatory & creative problem solving and future scenario build. In 2022, the team received a prestigious award for educational innovation.
More information
Photo: Christine Ayo
DesignLab Research Fellows
The DesignLab Research Fellowship consists of over 70 researchers based at various faculties of the University of Twente, that value creativity and transdisciplinarity. They share DesignLab’s vision and want to use it as a platform for research. Projects encompass all kind of ideas and initiatives that have a link with the Responsible Futuring approach and its areas of expertise; Citizen Science and Transdisciplinary innovation, to create societal impact.
More information
Photo: Christine Ayo
Academic and non-academic partnerships
Are you seeking to:

✓ Involve multi-stakeholder perspectives in your project and collaborate with them?
✓ Include ethical perspectives in a concrete and tangible way, taking into account the various societal values at stake?
✓ Develop future scenarios and speculative artifacts that can help you further in your work?

✓ Do you work specifically in the context of health innovation, climate change and digital society?
Read more below!

We actively seek collaborations with academic and non-academic partners to tackle societal challenges.  

  • Academic partnerships

    We collaborate with academic partners, such as researchers, educators, and students through:  

    • Knowledge sharing activities
      Collaborating in publications, organising symposia or conferences  
    • Learning trajectories
      Organising lectures and educational activities together, and
    • Joint research projects
      • If you are planning to apply for a project and you think Responsible Futuring would be a suitable approach to use.
      • If you are currently participating in a project and you think Responsible Futuring could add value to your project.

    Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

  • Non-academic partnerships

    We strive to collaborate with non-academic partners, such as government agencies, businesses, civil society organisations and citizens, to apply Responsible Futuring in practice. A few possibilities:

    • Societal engagement
      We can work together to identify emerging issues, develop scenarios and explore futures, to co-define guiding principles to inform responsible practices. 
    • Learning spaces
      We can provide spaces for knowledge exchange to learn from each other. We provide our expertise and tools for Responsible Futuring, and you deliver your expertise and hands on experience in relevant societal issues.  
    • Project collaborations
      Apply Responsible Futuring in practical contexts through collaborative projects focused on climate change, health innovation, and digital society. 

Through our collaborations we can advance our understanding of Responsible Futuring and its potential to address societal challenges. Let's co-shape the futures we want to live in. Contact the Responsible Futuring crew!

Citizen Science

Societal engagement lies at the heart of DesignLab. In addition to fostering responsible futuring and transdisciplinary innovation with societal stakeholders, we actively engage citizens in research through our Citizen Science Hub Twente. If you're interested in learning more about citizen science at DesignLab, we invite you to explore the website of Citizen Science Hub Twente.

Society, you and the crew

At DesignLab, the expertise and developments lie within the Responsible Futuring crew. The team consists of researchers, (senior and student) moderators, a community builder and project leaders. Together with various stakeholders within the quintuple helix, we put the approach into practice and enable meaningful collaborations. As a result, we make it possible to conduct (new) research, valorise, execute innovative projects and offer you the latest developments within the approach. 

Collaborating with DesignLab means getting the know-how of Responsible Futuring and insights into the perspectives of academia, civil society, industry and government. It enables you to work on the challenges that we as society need to tackle, while keeping ethical implications into account. 
Let’s work together!