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Organising stakeholder workshops in research and innovation – between theory and practice

The 26-page article, Organising stakeholder workshops in research and innovation – between theory and practice (2017), was written by Morten V. Nielsen, Nina Bryndum, and Bjørn Bedsted, and published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 13: Iss. 2. From the abstract, “This article addresses the theory and practice of creating responsiveness among actors through deliberative dialogue processes with stakeholders from diverse institutional settings…The article concludes that while theoretical perspectives can provide general guidance, practical experience is essential when dealing with the trade-offs that are an intrinsic part of organising stakeholder workshops.”. Read an excerpt from the article below and find the PDF available for download on the Journal of Public Deliberation site here.

From the introduction…

Developments in research and innovation (R&I) are often created through collaboration between diverse actors, and the innovations created can affect actors far beyond the innovation process itself. Through deliberation, all affected actors can be brought together. Deliberation among actors of research and innovation is not something new, yet the current policy initiatives promoting deliberation in EU-led research has an interesting potential to mainstream deliberation in larger R&I projects in Europe. There has been a push within the EU to increase dialogue among all actors of research and innovation, including public administration, businesses, and civil society organizations. The dialogue is promoted as part of the objective to create responsible research and innovation (RRI1 ) in Europe. The promotion of RRI creates new opportunities for deliberation and at the same time defines a context and aim for such deliberation. One key aim is to achieve responsiveness among actors of research and innovation.

The article will examine how existing theory and practical experience with stakeholder workshops can inspire dialogue processes working toward the aim of responsiveness. Thus, both the theoretical literature based on practitioner experiences and the literature on democratic ideals will be applied to explore the complexity of deliberation processes in R&I. To highlight gaps between theoretical work and dialogue practices, the article will use a case, which illustrates the challenges of organizing stakeholder workshops. Through the illustration, the article aims to move discussions of stakeholder workshops to the muddy center, where difficult decisions and practical trade-offs have to be considered. Central to the success of dialogue initiatives is the ability to create a constructive dialogue among the participating stakeholders. The article discusses how something constructive can come out of something as imperfect as dialogue between strangers.

Download the full article from the Journal of Public Deliberation here.

About the Journal of Public DeliberationJournal of Public Deliberation
Spearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen-friendly form.

Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter: @delibdem

Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA

Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol13/iss2/art9/

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