OWL Colloquium

Platform for deliberating science-society inter-actions at VU University's Athena Institute

The call for science not only to contribute to the existing stock of knowledge but also to finding solutions for societal challenges grows ever louder, not in the least by funders of science and innovation. This leads scientists to rethink their role(s) and identities, in light of which various questions arise regarding problems to work on, methods to use, actors with different (disciplinary) back-grounds and forms of expertise to involve and ways of communicating and collaborating with these.

With its monthly OWL colloquium the Athena Institute aspires to stimulate an inter-, multi-, cross and trans-disciplinary process of deliberation about topics relating to the interface between science and society pertinent to all questions posed above—and more. Thus, speakers from all corners both within and without academia (CSOs, policy, business and industry...) are invited to present on empirical, theoretical and methodological developments topical to bridging the variety of gaps that complicate science and society interactions.

Next colloquium 24 June: Co-Creation in Health Innovation by Prof.Dr. Ellen Moors

Modern society faces complex and persistent global challenges for which more than one solution exists, including climate change, non-communicable diseases and unmet medical needs. These solutions often revolve around innovations. But such innovations require change in different domains, as stakes are high and multiple actors are involved. Various trends are visible: First, new technologies are increasingly complex and converged, such as nanomedicines or biochips. Second, public engagement grows. Third, innovations cannot be understood without its intertwinement with regulatory practices, as novel health claims on food products or regulation of advanced medicines show.

It is clear that society increasingly relies on co-creation to make innovation a success. We define co-creation as the cooperation of multiple actors in a creative process, aligning various ideas, expertise, values and interests. Moreover, we propose a new take on the systemic innovation approach that uses the lens of co-creation as an ongoing alignment process of convergence, collective actions, and institutionalisation, and that could lead to improved innovation outcomes. Insights from multiple disciplines are combined, and we focus on examples from orphan drugs and personalized medicines development, tackling unmet medical needs, and perform longitudinal case studies on the dynamics of co-creation, as enacted in spaces of technological design, user communities, and regulatory practices.

About our speaker: Ellen Moors is full professor of Sustainable Innovation at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development of Utrecht University. She holds a MSc in biochemistry, a PhD in technology management, and postdoc experience in science and technology studies. Her research focuses on the dynamics and governance of technological innovations in science-based sectors in which emergent technology development occurs, such as in health and life sciences. Her theoretical focus is on user-driven innovations, and also concentrates on studying changing institutional arrangements in health innovations and safety-related vigilance systems. She publishes on topics including technology dynamics and innovation management, technology strategies, industrial production systems and user-producer interactions.  

Date & time: 24 June, 16:00-17:00

Venue: VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, Room TBA
Contact: Pim Klaassen, p.klaassen@vu.nl