RRI and Future-Making: Responsibility through Anticipation

  • Veranstaltungsart:

    Interdisciplinary International Graduate Summer School

  • Tagungsort:

    University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Donostia‐San Sebastian, Spain

  • Datum:

    10.09.18 - 14.09.18

  • Call for Papers - Presentation - Keynote lecturers - References - Objectives & Guiding Questions - Concept - Registration - Organizers

    The PhD Program in Philosophy, Science and Values (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, National Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM, and University Carlos III Madrid) the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS, KIT Karlsruhe) and the HumTec Centre (RWTH Aachen) will be hosting an International Summer School for PhD students, titled “RRI and Future-Making: Responsibility through Anticipation”. The Summer School is part of the 37th edition of the UPV/EHU Summer Courses.

Call for Papers


The European Commission claims that research and engineering activities under the next R&D Framework Programme, “Horizon 2020” (2014-2020), will be conducted according to a “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI) framework, meaning that “societal actors work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes, with the values, needs and expectations of European society” (European Commission, 2012, p. ii). RRI can be understood thus as an effort to justify innovation not on grounds of uncritical, or taken for granted macro-economic assumptions, but on the basis of societally-beneficial objectives, or challenges, as openly defined and debated by a plurality of societal actors. As such, RRI-based EU policy aims to introduce “broader foresight and impact assessments for new technologies, beyond their anticipated market-benefits and risks” (von Schomberg 2013, p. 51).

RRI’s radical rhetoric on openness and socialization regarding techno-industrial innovation processes has been claimed to ultimately reflect four fundamental principles of responsible governance: anticipation, reflexivity, deliberation and responsiveness (Stilgoe, Owen and Macnaghten 2013). The summer school is particularly interested in the anticipation dimension—even though the four principles are constitutively interrelated. Far from representing a commitment with prediction and control, “anticipatory governance” (Guston 2014) is related with the expansion of the societal imaginations about future possible socio-technical scenarios, and the willingness and capacities to constitute a more reflexive, participatory and societally responsive innovation governance on that basis.

Keynote lecturers (confirmed)

Richard Owen, Professor of Strategic Innovation Management and Chair in Responsible Innovation. University of Exeter Business School, United Kingdom.

Cynthia Selin, Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU); Associate Professor, School of Sustainability, and Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at ASU.

René von Schomberg, Science and Technologies Studies specialist and a philosopher. He has been a European Union Fellow at George Mason University (2007). European Commission, Directorate General for Research & Innovation.


European Commission. 2012. Responsible Research and Innovation – Europe’s ability to respond to societal challenges. Brussels.

Guston, D. H. 2014. “Understanding ‘anticipatory governance’”. Social Studies of Science 44(2), 218-242.

Stilgoe, J., Owen, R., Macnaghten, P. 2013. “Developing a framework for responsible innovation”. Research Policy 42(9), 1568‐1580.

von Schomberg, R. 2013. “A Vision of Responsible Research and Innovation”, in R. Owen, J. Bessant and M. Heintz, Eds., Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society, Chichester, UK: Wiley, pp. 51‐74.

Objectives & Guiding Questions

This summer school will analyze the meaning and role of anticipation in the constitution of more responsible research and policy dynamics. On that sense, it aspires to provide conceptual bases to better understand the ways in which future-making practices impinge on responsible innovation and governance dynamics, and viceversa. Against this background, the main questions and areas of interest of the summer school are:

  • What does it mean to be “responsible” in RRI contexts? Are there multiple and legitimate ways of being responsible?
  • How is anticipation conceived and expressed in research, policy and broader societal contexts? What role does anticipation play in the legitimization and formulation of innovation dynamics?
  • Case studies on responsibility concerning R&D practices in selected innovation and business areas. What role does anticipation play in those cases? Contributions comparing different areas of innovation are warmly welcomed.
  • Is anticipation creating different effects on governance? Anticipatory governance as a challenge for responsibility. What kinds of epistemological, political and regulatory transformations are needed in order to adapt anticipatory governance styles and architectures?
  • The meaning and scope of anticipation and responsibility throughout the world. How are emerging countries dealing with them? What are the main differences, difficulties and opportunities underlying anticipatory-like international governance dynamics?
  • Which are the philosophical, political, cultural… grounds of anticipation? How do they relate? What is new (and old) about anticipatory governance?


The Summer School provides PhD students with the opportunity to develop their projects in a stimulating working atmosphere and in an international context. We aim at an inspirational environment for learning and discussion that ensures excellent feedback on everyone’s work. In formats such as “Lecture”, “Individual Presentation”, “Workshop” and “Poster Presentation”, a varied intellectual experience shall be created. At the same time, San Sebastian provides participants with the opportunity for a week of relaxed interchange, discussion and networking with experienced scholars and other PhD students.

  • Lecture: Established researchers will present their basic positions in lectures.
  • Individual Presentation: This format consists of a 30 minutes paper, in which PhD students present their project to the plenum. A senior scholar will provide comments on the presentation, based on a previously submitted paper- and the presentation will then be discussed in the plenum.
  • Workshop: In a workshop, problems of relevance to the work of the PhD students will be addressed and discussed in small groups. Each group will be chaired by a researcher with considerable experience in the relevant field. In this intense format, the students will be able to submit and discuss their own concrete problems.
  • Poster Presentation: PhD students bring a poster showing the key questions and issues related to their work. Creative designs are encouraged. The posters will be featured in a special session, presented in a Flash Talk and facilitate the mutual learning in the group.

The language of the Summer School will be English. On successful completion of the Summer School, the graduate will receive a certificate of attendance.


The Summer School is open to PhD students at various stages of progress in their dissertation project. Please apply by sending us, at the latest by February 28th 2018, an abstract of max. 3.000 characters outlining your PhD project and in particular the background to the problem discussed, research questions as well as the methods and theoretical approaches to be adopted, together with a CV.

Please send your suggestions to Bettina‐Johanna Krings. Applicants will receive notification of acceptance by March, 31st 2018.

Participation in the course is free of charge. Unfortunately, the organizers cannot cover any travel or accommodation costs. We would like to draw your attention to national sponsorship institutions like the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in the case of Germany, who offer training course scholarships for students. In some cases, there might be the option of sponsorship by KIT (KHYS). Please contact your university’s international office for further information on scholarships available in your country.